While the SF Giants look to add a frontline starter, they could bolster the midde part of the rotation as well. On Tuesday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post speculated that the Giants could reignite interest in Marcus Stroman, saying that "he wouldn't shocked" if the Giants checked in on the veteran pitcher.
MLB insider "wouldn't be shocked" if SF Giants looked into signing two-time All-Star pitcher
The Giants heavily pursued Stroman two offseasons ago before he signed with the Chicago Cubs on a two-year, $50 million pact. This included a $21 million player option for a third season that he declined, thereby becoming a free agent.
It is pretty clear that the Giants will not be able to put together a lineup that will compete with teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. They can, however, create a bit of a competitive advantage by fortifying the starting rotation. This would entail adding at least one frontline starter and another mid-rotation arm.
Stroman would better fit the description of a mid-rotation arm at this stage in his career. And, the 32-year-old will likely be seeking a contract that is much more within the Giants' comfort zone for a pitcher. That is to say, Stroman is probably going to be in the market for a two-or-three-year deal.
On paper, the nine-year veteran would be an excellent fit for the Giants as he has proven to be a durable and consistent producer on the mound. The 2023 campaign was no different as he posted a 3.95 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 1.25 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, and a 2.29 SO/W ratio in 27 appearances while earning his second All-Star nod.
The righty pitcher has typically posted below-average strikeout rates, but he continues to excel at keeping the ball on the ground. Stroman induced a ground ball in 57.1 percent of batted ball events in 2023, which was the third-best mark among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched. Can you guess who was ahead of him? Logan Webb (62.1 percent ground ball rate) and Alex Cobb (57.6 percent ground ball rate).
A high ground ball rate usually results in fewer home runs allowed. Stroman tallied a 0.59 HR/9 rate in 2023. Only Sonny Gray (0.39 HR/9) had a lower rate using the same criteria as above.
Keeping the ball on the ground and in the ballpark have been consistent characteristics of Stroman's career. He has a track record for attacking the strike zone as well even if his walk rate was unusually high last season.
From a performance standpoint, he does a lot of what the Giants like in a pitcher and would be a nice fit. In fairness, Stroman has some off-the-field concerns as well that would need to be addressed.