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SF Giants Sign Former Arizona Diamondbacks Reliever to MiLB Deal

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 06: Pitcher James Sherfy #54 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a pitch during an intrasquad game ahead of the abbreviated MLB season at Chase Field on July 06, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2020 season, which has been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to start later this month. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 06: Pitcher James Sherfy #54 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a pitch during an intrasquad game ahead of the abbreviated MLB season at Chase Field on July 06, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2020 season, which has been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to start later this month. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, James Sherfy, Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher James Sherfy throws at alternate site workouts at Chase Field. The SF Giants have agreed to a minor-league deal with Sherfy. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK)

The SF Giants have agreed to a minor-league deal with right-handed pitcher James Sherfy that includes an invitation to big-league Spring Training, according to a report by Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Sherfy will join a long line of relievers with MLB experience that the Giants have added this offseason who will be competing for a spot on the  Opening Day roster.

Sherfy had spent his entire professional career in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, making 43 MLB appearances with the team from 2017-2019. While he spent the entirety of the 2020 season at the team’s alternate site, he’s been quite effective in his limited experience at the game’s highest level.

SF Giants added James Sherfy on a minor-league deal.

In 45.1 innings pitched, Sherfy has posted an impressive 2.98 ERA with 48 strikeouts against just 17 walks and 36 hits. His career .267 BABIP suggests he has benefitted from some good luck on balls in play. Still, even statistics like FIP (3.82) and xFIP (4.52), that attempt to adjust for batted-ball luck, suggest he’s been a serviceable bullpen arm. His minor-league numbers align with a more modest big-league projection than his career ERA suggests. In 141 appearances at Triple-A, Sherfy has posted a 3.25 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 64 walks.

He has occasionally mixed in a curveball and changeup to moderate success, but his primary pitch is his above-average slider alongside an average, low-90s fastball. As has been the case with many Giants additions this offseason, Sherfy does not generate strikeouts from premium velocity but an advanced feel for a breaking ball that is strong enough to carry a fringe fastball.

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The SF Giants have added James Sherfy, another reliever with a strong MLB resume, to the bullpen mix. It is unclear whether the contract includes an out that would enable him to return to free agency if he does not make the big-league club by a certain date. If not, he could be a strong depth candidate to fill the Triple-A bullpen.

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