SF Giants: 3 worst signings of the Farhan Zaidi era
2. Pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (3 years, $36 million)
After posting a 3.17 ERA across 31 starts for the Giants in 2021, Anthony DeSclafani was due for a raise but did it have to be with San Francisco? That is a fair question to ask as the Giants seemed reluctant to bring back Kevin Gausman, who had a cap hit of $9 million per year more than DeSclafani but with far better production.
Similar to Tommy La Stella, DeSclafani's 2022 struggles are likely due in large part to injuries. His first season under the new contract is already in the books. The right-handed hurler labored through five starts, posting a 6.63 ERA, 4.84 FIP, 2.00 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, and a 4.25 SO/W ratio.
He tried to return from a nagging ankle injury but he never looked right on the mound this season. DeSclafani was placed on the injured list at the end of June and underwent season-ending ankle surgery shortly thereafter.
Hopefully, he is fully healthy in 2023. He had a very nice season last year but demonstrated concerning splits as he recorded a 2.68 ERA in the first half of the season compared to a 4.03 ERA in the second half of the season. Was the first half an unsustainable trend? That is likely the case, but committing so much in terms of years and capital to a pitcher who has a 4.12 ERA in eight seasons is a bit concerning.
Plus, the 32-year-old benefitted from a change of scenery from the Cincinnati Reds to San Francisco when he originally signed a one-year, $6 million pact before the 2021 season. His fly ball tendencies
(36 percent in his career) did not perform well in a hitter-friendly ball park like the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
That said, I am typically concerned with fly-ball pitchers as they age because those fly balls at the warning track tend to go over the fence as a pitcher loses command and velocity. Hopefully, that is not the case with DeSclafani. He still has two years to turn this contract around.