The SF Giants have been connected to a 2019 all-star starting pitcher early and often this winter, but there is going to be some stiff competition.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, free-agent hurler Jake Odorizzi continues to garner broad interest with the SF Giants being one of the potential suitors. Morosi adds that the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, and Toronto Blue Jays remain involved as well.
SF Giants Maintain Interest in Free-Agent Pitcher
Odorizzi’s market has stalled in recent weeks as Trevor Bauer continues his drawn-out foray into free agency. Once Bauer signs, Odorizzi’s market should become clearer.
The veteran starter was originally drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Highland High School in Highland, Illinois. Since then, Odorizzi has established himself as one of the more reliable arms in baseball with the 2020 campaign being an exception.
In nine seasons, the 30-year-old has registered a 62-56 record, 3.92 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, and a solid 2.78 SO/W ratio. This includes a 2019 American League All-Star nod as he posted a 15-7 record with a 3.51 ERA across 159 frames. Following a strong 2019 season, Odorizzi was issued a one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer by the Twins, which he accepted.
However, the 2020 season was a rough one as a nagging blister injury and a chest contusion limited him to just four starts. In those starts, Odorizzi generated a 6.59 ERA in 13.2 innings, but this is an outlier in a career that has shown consistency and durability.
The Giants’ interest in Odorizzi is not surprising. Though, after signing Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, and Alex Wood, the level of interest may be questionable at this point. Johnny Cueto and Logan Webb will likely round out the final two spots of the rotation.
With that being said, it bears mentioning that Webb has two minor-league options remaining. San Francisco could, in theory, sign one more starter to a major-league contract with the plan to start Webb in the minors next season. Given the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, teams will opt for more pitching depth than usual and this is one way to approach it.
On the other hand, Odorizzi should receive a multi-year contract. The Giants have been stingy in handing out those types of deals since Farhan Zaidi took over as president of baseball operations in 2018. The fit might not be there, but it does sound like the Giants are continuing to monitor the pitching market for more additions before Spring Training gets underway.