SF Giants lose veteran reliever in free agency to White Sox

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The SF Giants seemed unlikely to re-sign any of their impending free agents when the offseason began. Perhaps, John Brebbia was an exception. However, that ship has sailed as the veteran reliever has agreed to join the Chicago White Sox according to Jon Morosi of The MLB Network.

SF Giants lose veteran reliever in free agency to White Sox

The contract is a one-year, $4 million pact with a $6 million mutual option for 2025. That option carries a $1.5 million buyout, so the guaranteed portion is $5.5 million, which will be his cap this upcoming season for Chicago.

Brebbia reunites with Brian Bannister, who had served as the Giants' director of pitching for four seasons beginning in 2020. The former major-league pitcher had been well-regarded in that role and was a key addition by the White Sox following Chris Getz's hire as the team's general manager last year.

For the past couple of seasons, Brebbia had been one of the reliable arms in the Giants bullpen. The bullpen has had its fair share of struggles lately, but not due to Brebbia's impact.

San Francisco added the reliever following the 2020 season. Previously, he pitched for three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, so he was non-tendered. The league was going through an uncertain period in terms of cash flow given the COVID-19 pandemic, so teams decided to cut costs where they could.

This led to Brebbia becoming a free agent, but the Giants saw this as an opportunity and signed him to a one-year, $800,000 deal while still being controlled through his rookie contract. The right-handed hurler returned to the mound in the middle of the 2021 season and tallied 5.89 ERA with 22 strikeouts against four walks in 18.1 frames.

Not surprisingly, Brebbia's sharpness was a bit off following major elbow surgery. However, he followed that up with a 3.47 ERA over the next two seasons. This included a 2022 season in which he led the National League with 76 appearances.

The six-year veteran missed a lot of time last year following a lat strain. That said, he still managed to set a career-high with 11.0 K/9.

Being a middle reliever is a tough gig but Brebbia has done a nice job at it throughout his career. You only get one or two opportunities to get paid and he was rewarded nicely by Chicago. Of course, this was a move the Giants could have replicated, but decided against it for one reason or another.