The SF Giants have four holes to fill in the starting rotation and they are expected to cast a wide net. With that being said, they remain interested in brining back a key arm from the 2021 season.
Rumor: SF Giants interested in reunion with veteran southpaw
Robert Murray of Fansided dropped a couple of nuggets about the Giants' offseason plans. The first nugget is that the front office has been aggressive in surveying the free agent market so far. That is to be expected given how much work the rotation needs.
The second nugget is that the Giants have "stayed in touch" with left-handed hurler Alex Wood. This is hardly surprising given that the Giants have conveyed interest in retaining Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, and Kevin Gausman.
Of the three options, Wood will likely be the most cost effective starter. The nine-year veteran signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Giants last offseason and that deal proved to be a bargain.
However, it came with its fair share of risk as well. Before coming to San Francisco, the left-handed hurler posted a stout 3.45 ERA in eight seasons, most notably with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He battled a series of shoulder injuries in 2019 and 2020 that limited him to a combined 48.1 innings.
The Giants accepted this risk and it was a move that paid dividends. The 30-year-old did miss some time with a back injury to start the season and he was placed on the COVID-IL later in the year as well. When he was healthy, he served as an effective mid-rotation arm.
In 26 starts, the veteran southpaw registered a 3.83 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, and a 3.90 SO/W ratio across 138.2 innings. The fact that he managed to record more than 25 starts likely exceeded the front office's expectations as durability has been a question mark for Wood in recent years.
The Giants pitching staff led baseball with a 3.43 SO/W ratio in 2021 and Wood's performance played a huge role in that. Typically, a SO/W ratio above 2.0 is considered good and the Giants thrived at accumulating high strikeout totals while limiting free passes.
That has become a key metric for the front office and is likely one of the many reasons that they are interested in a reunion with Wood. The lefty should see a nice pay raise in free agency after a strong season and MLB Trade Rumors is predicting that he will receive a three-year, $30 million deal. The Giants will have to weigh whether those terms make sense for a pitcher who has missed considerable time throughout his career. Nevertheless, retaining Wood makes a lot of sense for the Giants.