Three SF Giants Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Targets:
3. Gio Gonzalez
The longtime veteran Gio Gonzalez has been in the league since 2008. Most recently, he was a member of the Chicago White Sox. Although he has bounced around a lot, most memorably, he was a member of the Washington Nationals in 2014 when the Giants beat them in the NLDS.
While he is not the same pitcher as he was earlier in his career, he is still a solid left-handed pitcher who would help the Giants out in 2021. In 2020 he was primarily a reliever, working in a long-reliever role. He recorded a 4.83 ERA in 12 appearances, striking out 34 batters in 31 innings pitched.
He is not as heavily skewed towards ground balls, like Anderson, or strikeouts, like Paxton, much like the third bowl of porridge in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, he is just right, with a slightly above-average strikeout rate over the course of his career. Recently turning 35-years old, though, the question is how much longer he can sustain it.
His market seems unlikely to be too competitive, and he might even end up settling for a minor-league contract. While the Giants could give him a chance to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation, Gonzalez could be a prime candidate to fill the role Trevor Cahill did for the team in 2020.
The SF Giants may not pursue any of these three left-handed starting pitchers in free agency, but it seems hard to envision them entering next year without adding another proven arm. Without a proven left-handed arm, it seems like they would be inclined to go shopping for a southpaw. James Paxton would obviously come with the most upside. Brett Anderson could be a safer alternative, and Gio Gonzalez would probably cost the least if they are looking to give younger players a chance to compete.