The SF Giants are in the market for starting pitching and a right-handed-hitting outfielder. On Friday, Robert Murray of Fansided indicated that the Giants could potentially be in play for a pair of players that satisfy these needs.
Are the SF Giants interested in Mark Canha an Michael Lorenzen
He revealed that Oakland A's outfielder Mark Canha and Cincinnati Reds veteran hurler Michael Lorenzen are generating interest from West Coast teams. The Giants are in the market for an outfielder who hits with power and offers good at-bat quality, which are two traits that Canha consistently demonstrates.
The 32-year-old registered a .231/.358/.387 line (111 OPS+) with 17 home runs, 61 RBI, and 93 runs scored while being worth 2.5 WAR across 625 plate appearances. This includes a 12.3 percent walk rate against a 20.5 percent strikeout rate. Interestingly, he led baseball by being hit 27 times in 2021, so he has a knack for getting on base even if it is painful at times.
The Giants do not have a glaring need for an outfielder but adding a player like Canha could lengthen the lineup, especially against left-handed pitching. In a lot of ways, he could be a good fit for the Giants.
On the other hand, Michael Lorenzen had a down season in 2021 and missed substantial time due to a hamstring injury. He recorded a 5.59 ERA across 29 frames while working exclusively out of the bullpen, but he has expressed a desire to return to the rotation.
In seven seasons, he has registered a 4.07 ERA, 4.27 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, and a decent 2.06 SO/W ratio with the Reds. He has induced a ground ball in 48.2 percent of his batted balls events and that would bode well for the Giants given how strong their infield defense was last season.
He is a classic change-of-scenery pitcher who is coming off of a down season. The Giants have had a lot of success with these types of pitchers in recent seasons, and they can offer a spot in the rotation as Logan Webb is currently the only returning arm from the 2021 season.
So, would the Giants be one of the West Coast teams interested in both Canha and Lorenzen? Let's start by identifying the six West Coast teams including the Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland A's, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, and San Diego Padres.
Given that the A's are expected to cut payroll, I would not consider them one of the teams to express interest. Furthermore, the Padres currently have a projected payroll of $213 million according to Spotrac. I am not convinced that they will be able to spend aggressively without clearing some payroll first and finding the right partner for a move like that takes time.
That leaves the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Mariners. In terms of outfield help, the Mariners (Kyle Lewis, Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic, and Taylor Trammell) and Angels (Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Jo Adell, and Brandon Marsh) do not seem like a fit for Canha. However, the Dodgers (Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock) could be along with the Giants.
The Giants' current outfielder contingent consists of Mike Yastrzemski, Darin Ruf, LaMonte Wade Jr., Austin Slater, and Steven Duggar. It is fair to say that their outfield alignment is more fluid than the other Dodgers, so it seems like the Giants are one of the West Coast teams in on Canha. The Giants also might have an advantage given that Canha is a Bay Area product.
Identifying whether they are in on Lorenzen is a little more nuanced. The Dodgers (Walker Buehler, Julio Urías, and Andrew Heaney) will focus on retaining Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw. Plus, the Dustin May will return from Tommy John surgery by the middle of next season and Trevor Bauer's status remains unresolved. This is all to say that they already have a lot of options with starting pitching.
The Mariners and Angels are both likely to be in the market for starting pitching along with the Giants. All three teams have openings in the rotation and Lorenzen makes sense for any of the three mentioned.
That said, the Giants do have a recruiting advantage in that they have helped a lot of starters re-establish value in recent years. Drew Pomeranz, Kevin Gausman, and Drew Smyly are just a couple of examples and that does not go unnoticed from free agents, especially with someone like Lorenzen.
The Giants are likely going to cast a wide net for starting pitcher and will be looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder who fits well with the team's offensive approach. The rumors are just beginning but there are a lot of reasons to believe that both Canha and Lorenzen are a fit for the Giants. They are likely one of the teams mentioned in Robert Murray's rumor nugget, but they are certainly not the only team.