SF Giants: Lefty Andrew Suarez Heading to the KBO
By Jeff Young
SF Giants left-handed hurler Andrew Suarez is on the move after his contract was sold to the LG Twins of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
Several weeks ago, a rumor circulated by Daniel Kim of ESPN KBO that the SF Giants southpaw was nearing an agreement with the LG Twins, and that news was confirmed on Monday. This move came as the Giants needed a 40-man roster spot to officially sign catcher Curt Casali and it allows Suarez a chance to get exposure.
Suarez, who was originally drafted by the Giants in the second round of the 2015 draft, rose quickly through the minor league ranks and was generally considered as one of the top pitching prospects as he came up through the organizational pipeline.
The 28-year-old debuted with the Giants in 2018 where he registered a 4.49 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 7.3 K/9, and a 2.89 SO/W ratio across 160.1 frames. This looked like a promising rookie season to build off of, but he struggled in the following two seasons. In that time, he posted a 5.31 ERA, 6.4 K/9, and a 1.50 SO/W ratio in 42.1 innings spread across 27 games.
Despite making 29 starts for the Giants in 2018, Suarez only made two starts after that season. It seemed as if the Giants struggled to find a role for the lefty as he fell down the organizational depth chart.
Interestingly, the Giants now only have two left-handed pitchers on the 40-man roster with extensive experience pitching out of a rotation. Both Conner Menez and Caleb Baragar came up as starters but were primarily used out of the bullpen in 2020.
As the SF Giants look to get the roster ready for 2021, it does seem like they have an obvious void from the left side in the rotation. The front office has a history of seeking rotation balace, so they are still likely in the market for multiple southpaws, especially ones that can be had on minor-league deals.
For Suarez, the young lefty gets a nice change of scenery and likely a chance to work out of the rotation, which he would not have seen with the Giants next year. We, at Around the Foghorn, would like to wish Suarez nothing but the best as he pitches overseas next year.