The SF Giants entered this offseason with a need for a frontline starter. That issue was exacerbated when it was reported that Alex Cobb would miss a portion of next season. However, according to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, the Giants are already doing their due diligence on the starting pitching market.
MLB insider reports that SF Giants "already active" on starting pitching market
Morosi said this in the context of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez. Rodríguez rejected a midseason trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, citing a preference to finish the year in Detroit.
However, the left-handed hurler has no geographic restrictions in free agency, per Morosi. This is good news for pitcher-needy teams like the Giants and (welp) the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Morosi did not outwardly state that the Giants and Dodgers were interested in Rodríguez, but that the veteran pitcher has no geographic restrictions and that both teams are active in the pitching market. They could eventually become related statements, but for now, the Giants are active in the starting pitching market.
We ranked the top four frontline starters that the Giants should target this winter. There are not many frontline starters on the market, so the Giants will need to be in the unusual position of winning a bidding war.
Of course, familiarity is a big factor as well. There is a bit of a crossroads between the top starters on the market and familiarity. New Giants manager Bob Melvin has recent ties with both Sonny Gray and Blake Snell. Snell and Gray are among the Cy Young finalists for the National League and American League, respectively.
Interestingly, Gray pitched for the Minnesota Twins and Snell threw for the San Diego Padres in 2023. Both teams are looking to cut payroll this winter, so it is likely that neither team will be a player in this area of the market. This could bode well for a team like the Giants, who have the money to spend.
Aside from the financial cost, they would need to be comfortable with losing a draft pick as both players will presumably reject a qualifying offer in the coming days. The Giants have not signed a player who rejected a qualifying offer in nearly 10 years.
Those are not the only pitchers that the Giants will likely target this offseason. They have scouted Yoshinobu Yamamoto and there is some belief that they could even land the star NPB pitcher.
Using the familiarity theme again, pitchers like Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo could make sense as well. Not necessarily frontline starters, but pitchers who are coming off of very solid seasons.
One way or the other, the Giants have to land a reliable starting pitcher this winter. They relied heavily on the opener strategy in 2023, and at times, it worked. Though, playoff-caliber teams usually reach October baseball thanks in part to the top of their rotation.