The SF Giants had a handful of free agents when the season began. It seemed unlikely that they would bring any of them back, but one reunion makes some sense - Scott Alexander.
One possible reunion that could make sense for the SF Giants
Joc Pederson and John Brebbia recently signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox, respectively. Brebbia was joined by Paul DeJong, who signed with the White Sox earlier this offseason. Lastly, Roberto Pérez agreed to join the Boston Red Sox on a minors pact.
That leaves Brandon Crawford, Jakob Junis, and Alexander as the lone remaining Giants free agents. Junis has some interested suitors, whereas Crawford could retire if the right opportunity does not arise.
Alexander's market has been very quiet, which is not too surprising given that he is coming off of a season in which he tallied a 4.66 ERA in 55 appearances. Plus, the lefty reliever has not been all that durable as he surpassed 30 innings in 2023 for just the third time in nine seasons and being a middle reliever is tough in free agency.
The Giants do not necessarily need a left-handed reliever but it is a soft spot on the 40-man roster. Taylor Rogers will be the first southpaw reliever out of the bullpen. He had some rough moments, but posted a 3.83 ERA in 60 outings in 2023. He allowed a .101 batting average against left-handed hitters, which was the best mark in baseball among pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched.
Behind him is Erik Miller, who had a nice season in Triple-A last year but is inexperienced. This is where the Giants could use another left-handed reliever. And, Alexander makes some sense for a reunion to give the Giants a little extra depth in that area.
The 34-year-old pitcher grew up in Northern California and attended Sonoma State University before being selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Kansas City Royals. Given that he is coming off of a below-average season, it is possible that he can be signed on a minor league deal or a low-value, guaranteed contract.
While his overall numbers were not great last year, the veteran reliever still held left-handed bats to a .215 batting average with only one home run allowed. Plus, he still excels at inducing ground balls as he recorded a 60.7 percent ground ball rate in 2023.
Alexander struggles a bit more against right-handed hitters, but can still be an effective lefty reliever even with the three-batter minimum so long as two of those three batters hit from the right side.
The Giants are going to be facing some strong, lefty-dominant lineups like the Los Angeles Dodgers. It would behoove them to have an extra option to gain even a slight platoon advantage against hitters like Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani.