Despite a slow offseason thus far, the SF Giants are still in the market to rebuild the rotation, and there are several potential right-handed targets.
As currently constructed, the SF Giants have Johnny Cueto, Kevin Gausman, and Logan Webb penciled in for next year’s rotation. On top of this, Tyler Beede should return from Tommy John surgery at some point but is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day. If we assume San Francisco is looking at options aside from the top of the market, there are still several names that can improve the team without breaking the bank.
Three Right-Handed Pitching Targets for the SF Giants
1. Jake Odorizzi
Jake Odorizzi is a sensible target for a lot of teams and the Giants have been reportedly interested in contact with him and his representatives. Usually a reliable and durable arm, the right-handed hurler had two stints on the injured list in 2020 due to a chest contusion and a blister. As a result, his 2020 season never got going and the numbers reflect that.
He only appeared in four games and registered a 6.59 ERA, 6.12 FIP, 1.39 WHIP, with a 20 percent strikeout rate against a five percent walk rate in 13.2 innings. Given the small sample and the freak nature of his injuries, prospective teams can probably overlook Odorizzi’s 2020 season as a blip.
In nine seasons, Odorizzi has posted a 3.92 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, and a 22.7 percent strikeout rate against an 8.2 percent walk rate. Some teams, especially in hitter-friendly ballparks, will be turned off by his flyball tendencies. He has induced a flyball in 45.4 percent of his batted ball events, and he has generated a less-than-ideal 0.73 GB/FB ratio.
Still, as his market shrinks, the SF Giants, who play half of their games in the pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park, should benefit. Unlike many free agents the Giants have signed since the new front office has taken over, Odorizzi will likely command a multi-year deal, but should still come at an affordable rate.
Earlier in the offseason, Mike Minor signed a two-year, $18 million contract with an option for a third year. That is likely is in the neighborhood of what Odorizzi is seeking on the market as well. The Giants have handed out only one multi-year deal in the last two offseasons, so they would have to dip into uncommon territory in reeling in a pitcher like Odorizzi. However, he would go a long way in stabilizing a rotation that badly needs help.