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SF Giants Ink Southpaw Jose Alvarez to One-Year Contract

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarez (52) delivers a pitch against the SF Giants during the sixth inning at Oracle Park. (Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarez (52) delivers a pitch against the SF Giants during the sixth inning at Oracle Park. (Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Jose Alvarez
The SF Giants have signed former Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarez (52). (Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)

The SF Giants have agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million contract with left-handed reliever Jose Alvarez, according to a team press release. The deal also includes a team option for next season worth $1.5 million. It had been previously reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman that the Giants were the heavy favorites to sign Alvarez.

SF Giants sign left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarez.

Alvarez was an integral part of the Los Angeles Angels bullpen from 2015-2019. Over those five seasons, Alvarez completed 295 innings (335 appearances), allowed 296 hits, struck out 265, walked 90, and posted a 3.36 ERA (3.56 FIP). That track-record of consistency led the Philadelphia Phillies to target Alvarez heading into last season.

In 2020, Alvarez was once again a solid reliever, posting a 1.42 ERA (2.72 FIP) in 6.1 innings of work across 8 appearances. However, in his final outing of the year, Alvarez was victimized by a 105-mph line drive comebacker that hit him in the groin. After laying on the field for an extended period of time, Alvarez was carted off the field and missed the rest of the year with recovering from injury.

If Alvarez can return to his pre-injury form, he would bring one of the longest track-records of MLB success to the Giants roster. At his best, Alvarez works off a three-pitch mix: pairing a changeup with a low-90s sinker and four-seam fastball. While he’s never racked up strikeouts at an elite rate, he’s managed to generate enough whiffs and soft contact to be effective.

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The SF Giants added massive amounts of depth to their bullpen this offseason. After adding left-handed reliever Jose Alvarez on a major-league contract, the competition for the final spots in the big-league bullpen has gotten even more competition. While he is coming off a substantial injury,  Alvarez brings a long track-record of big-league success to the pitching staff.

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