Earlier this week, we looked at three former SF Giants pitchers who could help the team in 2023. You can scratch one name off of the list as Reyes Moronta has agreed to a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers. His deal includes a camp invite.
Former SF Giants reliever joins Bruce Bochy in Texas
Moronta will reunite with longtime Giants manager Bruce Bochy. On a side note, is anyone having a better offseason than Bochy right now? He joined a Texas team that added a pair of stars in Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last winter while bringing in Jacob deGrom this offseason.
The Rangers will play in a tough division but it is clear that the organization is committed to getting back on track after several subpar seasons.
Moronta is also looking to get back on track after finishing the 2022 campaign with some reason for hope. The right-handed hurler was a mainstay in the Giants bullpen since he debuted in 2017. In his first three seasons with San Francisco, he tallied a 2.66 ERA with an 11.2 K/9 in 132 appearances while looking like a future closer.
However, the 30-year-old sustained a scary shoulder injury late in the 2019 season that required surgery. He did not return to the mound until 2021 where his four-seam fastball sat several ticks below his career norm.
The reliever allowed just one earned run in four appearances for the Giants in 2021 but he struggled badly with command and diminished velocity in Triple-A. In a minor surprise, the Giants cut ties with him at the end of that season.
Moronta did not go far as he latched on with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a minor league deal. He posted a 4.18 ERA in 22 appearances before being put on waivers and finishing the year with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In total, the righty reliever registered a 4.30 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 1.127 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and a 2.11 SO/W ratio in 39 appearances last year.
The good news was that he was healthy enough to pitch in the majors. The even better news is that his four-seam fastball averaged 95.3 MPH, which is a sign that he may be nearing a return to his pre-surgery form.
In his brief time with San Francisco, Moronta became a popular Giants player. I think a lot of fans just want to see him stay healthy and do well. It helps that he joins an organization with some level of familiarity given that Bochy is the manager.