After seeing Drew Smyly, Tyler Anderson, and Andrew Suarez depart, the SF Giants are lacking in a key area that could dictate how they navigate the rest of the offseason.
Currently, Caleb Baragar and Conner Menez are the only left-handed hurlers with extensive experience pitching out of a rotation on the SF Giants 40-man roster. That said, they both worked primarily out of the bullpen in 2021.
Since Farhan Zaidi has taken over the reins as the Giants president of baseball operations, he has sought balance with the rotation. This winter, he has added a pair of right-handers in Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani.
The SF Giants were reportedly targeting another right-hander in Japanese hurler Tomoyuki Sugano, but he will remain with the Yomiuri Giants after his posting period expired on Thursday. If San Francisco had swung a deal with the righty, the rotation would have likely featured five right-handers to go along with Gausman, DeSclafani, Johnny Cueto, and Logan Webb.
For a front office that wants balance, that would have been a rotation that would have resembled a kid sitting on a seesaw without a partner on the other side of it.
Now that Sugano is officially off of the market, the Giants can pivot to address the left side of the pitching staff.
So, if you want to look at what the Giants’ next move might be, that area is a good starting point. Fortunately, the free-agent market has moved at a pace that makes turtles look fast in that there are plenty of southpaws available. Only Drew Smyly, Robbie Ray, and Mike Minor are off of the board from the left side
There are a few intriguing reclamation projects such as Alex Wood and Carlos Rodon as well as some established veterans like Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez. With that being said, the front office seems to go with outside-of-the-box ideas.
They seemingly intentionally avoid the most sensible names on the market and that is part of why they are in a position of power. That is not a criticism of the front office at all. On the contrary, they have proven to found value in parts of the market where no one is looking.
I guess the point of all this is that while it is disappointing that the SF Giants missed out on Sugano, they still need left-handed pitching. By itself, one arm is not enough, so expect that Giants to add a couple of notable southpaws on low-value or minor league deals before the season gets underway.