Free-Agents for SF Giants To Avoid
1. Jake Arrieta
It seems safe to say that Jake Arrieta‘s tenure with the Chicago Cubs was nothing but an aberration. The 6-foot-4 right-hander went from being one of the best pitchers in baseball over a two-year stretch to an aging, injury-prone average starter.
The City of Brotherly Love has been anything but lovely to Arrieta: 22-23 record with a 4.36 earned run average in 64 starts was solidly mediocre, but a far cry from his peak. Arrieta has not really been as durable as he used to be as well. He only made 24 starts in 2019 and was shut down this year after nine starts with a right hamstring strain.
The Philadelphia Phillies exercised his 2020 player option of $20 million and most likely won’t be back. The Giants would be wise not to pick him up for the same reason as Sánchez: he may experience somewhat of a resurgence pitching at Oracle Park but he’s getting older and coming back from a severe injury.
What’s even more troubling is that his earned run average has substantially inflated since his Cy Young award campaign. It increased from 1.77 in 2015 to 5.08 in 2020. This is a result of his strikeouts winding down and having to rely on his defense to produce his outs.
Arrieta seems like a last-resort option for the Giants to shore up their shaky rotation. Otherwise, Fiers and Sanchez have their upsides while Arrieta is in danger of not remaining in the major leagues much longer.
Only time will tell how the SF Giants fillout their 2021 pitching staff. The team will obviously be targetting a number of starting pitchers to help them contend. Still, not all free-agent starters are equal. There are plenty of warning signs around Mike Fiers, Aníbal Sánchez, and Jake Arrieta. To best position themselves, they need to find other options.