The SF Giants are limping to the finish line after another disappointing season. Changes are likely on the horizon, especially on the roster. They have a handful of players slated to hit free agency. So, who will not be back with the club in 2024?
3 SF Giants who will not be back with the club in 2024
The list of pending free agents includes Brandon Crawford, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood, John Brebbia, Jakob Junis, Scott Alexander, and Roberto Pérez. The number could increase if any of Ross Stripling, Sean Manaea, or Michael Conforto decide to opt out of their contracts.
Stripling has indicated that he will not exercise his opt-out clause, which is hardly surprising given that he has struggled to the tune of a 5.57 ERA in 21 outings this year. Manaea and Conforto are less certain as either one could decide to test free agency in a weak market. None of the three have performed well enough this year to have a ton of leverage, but it is possible.
The Giants could non-tender a player or two, but for now, we are sticking with players whose contracts are expiring at the end of this season. And, in the case of Crawford, we are assuming that he is retiring, but he has not tipped his hand one way or the other.
1. Alex Wood
It is no secret that Alex Wood has not been happy with his role. He began the season in the starting rotation but did not give the Giants enough length to remain in that role. Of course, the Giants have not gotten much length out of any of their starters except for Logan Webb and Alex Cobb.
Nevertheless, Wood likely still sees himself as a starter. The Giants, on the other hand, do not view him in that type of role anymore. The lefty's overall numbers are not that bad as he has posted a 4.55 ERA, 4.55 FIP, 1.43 WHIP, 6.7 K/9, and a 1.77 SO/W ratio across 93 innings.
It is a bit concerning that his strikeout rate has plummeted from a career mark of 8.4 K/9. Plus, his command has regressed this season. When he is right, the 11-year veteran is attacking the strike zone and getting a healthy number of ground balls. His 44.9 percent ground ball rate is one of the lowest of his career.
The left-handed hurler might be in a position where he needs to re-establish market value on a pillow contract. This worked for him and the Giants in 2021 as he signed a one-year, $3 million contract and went on to post a 3.83 ERA in 26 outings.
The Giants might be interested in retaining him at that rate, but they have a handful of younger options that they likely prefer, including Keaton Winn, Kyle Harrison, and Tristan Beck. More than likely, he departs for a team that offers him a chance to start. I would not rule out a team like the Detroit Tigers given that former Giants general manager Scott Harris runs the show there now.