According to Maria Guardado of MLB.Com, the SF Giants transferred reliever John Brebbia to the 60-day injured to make room for McGee. By placing Brebbia on the 60-day injured list, he is temporarily removed from the 40-man roster, which created room to add McGee.
SF Giants announce roster move to make Jake McGee signing official
With pitchers and catchers reporting to camp this week, teams were able to place players on the injured list again. If a player signs near the start of spring training, then it is common for teams to delay announcing the move until players are eligible to be placed on the injured list again.
Of course, the roster move involving Brebbia is not surprising. He sustained a torn UCL in his pitching elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in June of 2020 that put him on the shelf for the entire year. The recovery time from this type of surgery is at a minimum of 12 months, and relievers tend to recover much closer to that 12-month threshold.
Prior to needing Tommy John surgery, Brebbia had put together a solid career. The New York Yankees drafted the right-handed hurler in the 30th round out of Elon University in Elon, North Carolina. He is the first player from Elon University to appear in the major leagues since Greg Harris’ career (Class of 1985) concluded in 1995.
Interestingly, Brebbia was released by the Yankees in 2013 and he played Indy Ball before signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks in September of 2015. However, his stay with Arizona was short-lived as he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft of that same year.
The 30-year-old debuted with the Cardinals in 2017 and he has been a reliable reliever ever since. In three seasons, the righty has registered a 3.14 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 1.10 WHIP, and a strong 3.67 SO/W ratio. As a team, the SF Giants pitching staff recorded an 8.5 K/9 rate in 2020, and adding Brebbia should give them a nice boost in that category as he has generated a 10.2 K/9 as a major leaguer.
Brebbia became a free agent following the 2020 campaign. Given that he was eligible for arbitration, the Cardinals decided to non-tender him, rather than pay a modest raise for a pitcher who will miss substantial time in 2021. This turned out to be an opportunistic move by the Giants as he signed a one-year, $800,00 deal with San Francisco.
The Giants hold team control over Brebbia until 2024, so he could become a long-term fixture in the bullpen. For now, he will continue to rehab from surgery and may be ready midway through the 2021 season. That would be a nice boost for a bullpen that was light on right-handed relievers last season.