The SF Giants had a very solid and dependable bullpen in the 2021 season despite a rocky start with a number of blown saves early in the season. Whenever baseball starts in 2022, they will have many of the same core relievers that helped them on their way to 107 wins and an NL West title.
Four Former SF Giants relievers still available in free agency
However, that does not mean that there aren't options out there that could help improve a bullpen that may have over-performed in 2021. In fact, there are several former SF Giants who are available in free agency who each could have something to contribute to the club in 2022.
It may not be very likely that any of these former SF Giants will end up signing with the team after the MLB lockout is over, but it is worth examining whether any of these potential deals make sense for the team.
1. Hunter Strickland
Don't click away already, hear me out. Most SF Giants fans will remember Hunter Strickland for two things: giving up a bunch of homers in the 2014 postseason and starting a stupid brawl back in 2017 by throwing at Bryce Harper.
This is a fair recollection of his time in San Francisco, but I like to remember Strickland as a misunderstood, angry man who may be better suited as a woodsman and who just so happened to record the save in the 18 inning game against the Nationals in the 2014 NLDS which was key in their run to the title that year.
Many people also forget that Strickland put up solid numbers as a Giant. From 2015-2018, his regular season ERA in each season respectively was: 2.45; 3.10; 2.64; 3.97. Those are respectable numbers that are obviously overshadowed by his more memorable moments in a Giants uniform.
Since he left San Francisco, he has bounced around the league a bit with mixed results. But last season as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers he posted a stellar 1.73 ERA in 36 innings pitched.
We know that Strickland has velocity and some solid secondary pitches. He may make sense as an insurance addition in case righties like Zack Littell and Dominic Leone struggle in 2022. Let's just hope that if the SF Giants do sign him he has taken up meditation or found some other way to control his anger.