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SF Giants trade rumors: Possible reunion with familiar name?

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 20: Starting pitcher Tyler Anderson #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 20, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 20: Starting pitcher Tyler Anderson #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 20, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Tyler Anderson
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 20: Former SF Giants Starting pitcher Tyler Anderson #31 with the Pittsburgh Pirates throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 20, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

On Monday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the SF Giants are active in the starting pitching market with the trade deadline right around the corner. Morosi added that the Giants have expressed interest in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ available players, including left-handed hurler Tyler Anderson.

SF Giants trade rumors: Possible reunion with a familiar name?

Anderson signed a one-year, $2.5 million pact with the Pirates before the season began and that is turning out to be an attractive investment. The 31-year-old has registered a 4.35 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 ratio, and a 3.44 SO/W ratio across 103.1 frames.

The Pirates have a 38-61 record, sitting comfortably in last place in the NL Central, and are looking to move any tradable assets in the next couple of days. Given Anderson’s modest track record and affordable salary, he represents a depth option for teams who are brushing up against the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT).

The Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers are two teams that Morosi mentions who could be in the market for an affordable starter such as Anderson. With an estimated CBT payroll of $162 million, the Giants have plenty of wiggle room to make additions, so they do not need to be as cost-conscious as other suitors.

However, the Giants have a need for starting pitching, especially a lefty considering that Alex Wood (17) and Sammy Long (3) are the only southpaws who have started more than one game in 2021. Adding Anderson would give them depth in a thin area on the roster and he is a name that they are familiar with.

The Giants originally claimed the six-year veteran before the 2020 season off of waivers from the Colorado Rockies. They felt that a move away from Coors Field was all that Anderson needed to excel at the major league level.

With the Giants, he gave them a reliable starter as he posted a 4.37 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 1.39 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, and a 1.64 SO/W ratio in 59.2 innings with the Orange and Black. Anderson demonstrated subpar command, but with the caveat that he underwent major knee surgery in 2019, so it is possible that he did not regain the consistency in his delivery in his brief tenure with San Francisco.

In a mild surprise, the Giants decided to non-tender the lefty, thereby making him a free agent. They had expressed interest in a reunion in the offseason, but Anderson likely wanted more assurances of playing time.

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The Giants are looking at all avenues to bolster the rotation and Anderson gives them some predictability. He would not represent a major upgrade, but it gives them insurance for a rotation that has been surprisingly durable so far this season.

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