The SF Giants made a big move on Tuesday by signing power-hitting outfielder Mitch Haniger. They are circling in on another outfielder as well. The starting rotation still needs help and they could be looking at a reclamation project in Sean Manaea to fill one at least one spot according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Rumor: SF Giants interested in adding veteran left-handed hurler
The Giants' projected rotation for 2023 includes Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, Alex Wood, and Anthony DeSclafani. Carlos Rodón is a free agent, but he is unlikely to return given that he is in the market for a six-year deal.
At the very least, they need one starter but they will likely add at least two notable pitchers to fill out the rotation. Manaea fits the mold of a pitcher that the Giants might be able to sign to a one-year deal as a spot starter or bulk-innings pitcher.
The presence of Wood gives the Giants some flexibility in that he can transition to the bullpen if they add multiple starters this winter.
That said, Manaea is coming off of a down season after the San Diego Padres swung a trade to acquire the lefty from the Oakland A's in exchange for a pair of prospects in Adrian Martinez and Euribiel Angeles. Manaea had been a quality arm throughout his career, so the Padres thought they were adding a mid-rotation arm.
It did not go as planned as the 30-year-old struggled to the tune of a 4.96 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, 8.9 K/9, and a 3.12 SO/W ratio across 158 frames in 2022. This included an extremely high 1.71 HR/9 ratio, which was the worst mark in baseball among starters with a minimum of 150 innings pitched.
On one hand, Manaea maintained a healthy strikeout rate while limiting walks. On the other hand, he allowed home runs at too high of a frequency. Over the last three seasons, the southpaw has recorded a 1.40 HR/9 rate, which is a really high trend over a significant data set.
However, Manaea has registered a 4.06 ERA with a 3.47 SO/W rate across seven major league seasons, so he has been a quality arm. He just has not performed with consistency.
It would be an interesting fit if the Giants pursue the left-handed hurler. He would need to be brought in along with a more reliable starter. The Giants typically have a depth chart in the rotation that includes at least seven starters, so adding Manaea would make the most sense as a sixth or seventh starter.
San Francisco has had luck with getting the best out of pitchers in the past, so it is a move that could make sense for Manaea. In the meantime, the baseball world is waiting on Aaron Judge's decision.