Spring training is right around the corner. This means that teams can create extra roster flexibility by being able to place players on the 60-day injured list. For the SF Giants, they will be eligible to use that lever on both Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray.
2 moves the SF Giants can make as soon as spring training begins
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the official date in which teams can use the 60-day injured list is on February 14. While players can be added to the 60-day injured list in spring training, the official 60-day clock begins on Opening Day.
Why is this important for teams? The 60-day injured list is not available in the offseason, meaning that teams lose a lever of roster flexibility. However, when it returns, teams can create a spot on the 40-man roster by transferring a player to the 60-day injured list. If a team has a move to make and has a player who is eligible for the 60-man injured list, then this is usually the logical corresponding roster move.
The Giants could be in that situation their 40-man roster is full after adding pitching prospect Ethan Small in a minor trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. They likely still have a move or two to make and there are still plenty of good free agents on the market.
While February 14 is just a couple of days away, the Giants could, in theory, agree in principle on a deal with a player and not finalize the signing until that date. A roster spot could be opened up by transferring either Cobb or Ray to the 60-day injured list. By the end of spring training, the Giants will make that move for both players. The timing of the moves depends on need.
Cobb underwent hip surgery earlier this offseason. The estimated recovery time was six months from the start of November. One way or the other, he is looking at a midseason return. The veteran pitcher is coming off of an All-Star campaign in which he tallied a 3.87 ERA in 28 outings in 2023.
Similarly, Ray is expected to bolster the rotation by the middle of the year. The Giants acquired the 2021 Cy Young winner in a three-player deal in January. The 10-year veteran only made one start with the Mariners in 2023 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. The usual recovery time is 12 - 18 months, but Ray has indicated that he hopes to return around the All-Star break.
Both Cobb and Ray will provide a midseason boost to the rotation. In the meantime, the Giants will be relying on Logan Webb to anchor the rotation along with the help from several intriguing, young pitchers headlined by Kyle Harrison.