3 SF Giants who will not be back with the club in 2024
2. Jakob Junis
The Kansas City Royals non-tendered Jakob Junis after the 2021 season before he landed with the Giants to finish out his rookie contract. The veteran pitcher does not have a specific keystone memory that I can think of in the orange and black, but he has quietly been a steady performer.
Over the past two seasons, the right-handed hurler has posted a 4.18 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, and a 4.22 SO/W ratio. Prior to joining San Francisco, he relied on a five-pitch mix, but the Giants have simplified it to maximize the effectivenes of his slider.
Opposing hitters have tallied a .216 batting average against it this season, so it is no surprise to see that the Giants have asked him to throw it more often. His 2023 numbers have been even better as he registered a 3.87 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 10.0 K/9, and a 4.57 SO/W in 40 appearances.
He does a lot of what the Giants like in a pitcher in that he throws effectively in the strike zone. It is a little surprising to see that they did not give him a look to start when the back end of the rotation struggled to hold up its end of the bargain.
Junis earned $2.8 million this season and I think he is due for a raise next year and could even be in the market for a multi-year deal. There is a relatively low ceiling as to how much he might earn, but a two-year, $14 million might not be out of the question.
That likely will not be with the Giants as he will look for an opportunity to start. Similar to Alex Wood, I think the front office will rely on some of their younger pitchers to fill out the back end of the rotation. Still, I think it is important to reiterate what a nice job Junis has done over the past couple of seasons and could very well be a reliable back-end starter.