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3 free agents that the SF Giants should absolutely avoid

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Nathan Eovaldi, SF Giants
Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

3 free agents that the SF Giants should absolutely avoid

2. Starter Nathan Eovaldi

Oddly enough, Nathan Eovaldi has the type of profile that the Giants like in a pitcher. He fills up the strike zone and induces a lot of ground balls.

However, there are some red flags. The first is that he rejected a qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox, meaning that the Giants would lose a draft pick if he signed. There are certain players where losing a draft pick makes sense like signing Aaron Judge or Trea Turner. However, I do not think it is a smart baseball move to lose a draft pick to sign a veteran starter who will be entering his age-33 season in 2023.

Plus, the right-handed hurler has had Tommy John surgery twice! Coming back from it is remarkable and he has quickly become the best pitcher to return from the surgery a second time. That said, the injury risk could potentially be high, and while the Giants have a high degree of risk tolerance, this might be too much.

Regardless, Eovaldi was fantastic in 2022, posting a 3.87 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, and a 5.15 SO/W ratio in 20 starts for the Red Sox. This includes a 47.0 percent ground ball rate. The righty gets a fair number of strikeouts, limits walks, and keeps the ball on the ground. This is a recipe for success from the Giants' standpoint.

However, there is one huge red flag. The 11-year veteran had a 1.7 HR/9 ratio, which was the second-highest rate in baseball with a minimum of 100 innings pitched. Only Josiah Gray of the Washington Nationals had a higher mark at 2.30 HR/9.

Earlier in his career, Eovaldi was stingy with allowing home runs, but he has averaged 1.3 HR/9 over the past four seasons. Perhaps, it is a product of pitching too much in the strike zone, but this is a trend that does not get better with age.

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