SF Giants fans are clamoring for the team to sign the wrong free agent pitcher

Many SF Giants fans are clamoring for the team to sign the wrong left-handed free agent pitcher.

World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two
World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

After the SF Giants officially signed free agent third baseman Matt Chapman, there were immediate calls for the team to sign another free agent: left-handed star pitcher Blake Snell. The Giants should sign a top starter, but not Snell. Instead, they should target Jordan Montgomery.

SF Giants fans are clamoring for the team to sign the wrong free agent pitcher

While Snell is still the flashiest free agent available coming off a season that saw him win his second Cy Young Award, there are still valid questions about him. He has only thrown over 180 innings in a season twice (both times winning the Cy Young) but outside of that has never even come close to 150 innings pitched.

He also has a high walk rate, issuing a league-high 99 walks last season with the Padres. For an organization that has put a premium on pitchers being able to reliably throw strikes in recent years, Snell runs counter to that model.

In enters Jordan Montgomery. While not as flashy or exciting as Snell, Montgomery has been a solid, reliable starter for the last few seasons. He has thrown 150 innings or more in each of the last three seasons and has an ERA of 3.83 (2021), 3.48 (2022), and 3.20 (2023) in those years.

He also had only 48 walks last season compared to Snell's 99. Keep in mind that the walk number came in almost 8 innings more work for Montgomery compared to Snell.

Of course, Montgomery is not a power pitcher in the same mold of Snell. For as wild as Snell can be, he still has superior stuff which is why he had 234 strikeouts last season compared to 166 for Montgomery.

However, with the current state of the Giants rotation right now which is essentially, "Logan Webb and a whole lot of question marks," it would not be the worst thing to choose reliability and consistency over flash and excitement.

Plus, the lack of a qualifying offer is another factor. Snell rejected a qualifying offer earlier in the offseason, whereas Montgomery was not eligible after being traded in the middle of the season. The Giants are already losing a draft pick and $500,000 in international bonus pool with signing Chapman. They probably do not want to lose anymore amateur spending capital.

The Giants need to add to their rotation with their younger starters like Tristan Beck and Keaton Winn sustaining injuries. Plus, we do not know how the Jordan Hicks experiment is going to go. If the Giants can start the year with a rotation that goes: Webb, Montgomery, Harrison, Hicks, Winn/Black, that could eventually become: Webb, Montgomery, Ray, Cobb, Harrison when everyone is healthy, that would be a formidable rotation.

While most fans are clamoring for Snell, the Giants should pursue Montgomery as a less flashy but more reliable starter to solidify their starting rotation. Snell offers the high upside, but with plenty of risk as well. On the other hand, Montgomery has a lower range of outcomes, meaning more predictability and less risk.