As things currently, stand the SF Giants will need to add at least two more starters to the rotation to give them the depth and flexibility that they need. There is one name who will not be ready by Opening Day but he makes a lot of sense as someone who can give them innings down the stretch.
Veteran starter would be a perfect SF Giants target but with a catch
Danny Duffy is coming off of a strong 2021 campaign in which he posted a 2.51 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 1.21 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, and a solid 2.95 SO/W ratio in 13 appearances with the Kansas City Royals. He suffered a flexor strain injury in July that knocked him out for the remainder of the season.
There was hope that he would return at some point, so the Los Angeles Dodgers swung a trade to acquire the 11-year veteran in exchange for pitching prospect Zach Willeman. Of course, Duffy never did throw an inning for the Dodgers as he was unable tor recover from the flexor strain injury.
The expectation is that the 33-year-old pitcher will be fully recovered midway through the 2022 season, which would be an opportunistic move for the Giants front office. Given that the projected rotation will feature a pair of veteran pitchers with durability concerns in Alex Cobb and Alex Wood, the Giants will need to get creative with how the rotation eats up innings.
Duffy would be that type of creative addition in that he could likely be signed for a one-year deal with a modest guaranteed salary and then immediately stashed on the 60-day injured list. The injured list cannot be used in the offseason, but if the Giants time it correctly, Duffy could be signed at the beginning of spring training and then immediately placed on the injured list as he recovers.
This maneuver would give the Giants an extra starter who would not be the primary fifth starter in the rotation. Plus, signing him around spring training and putting him on the 60-day injured list removes him from the 40-man roster, so he would not be plugging up a roster spot.
In basketball, there is a concept known as draft-and-stash which is when teams draft the rights to an international player who will continue playing overseas until he is ready to play for the NBA. In a sense, this is what the Giants would be doing with Duffy.
They can still build a rotation as they planned, but adding Duffy gives them the depth they need as he would be able to soak up some innings later in the year. It is a low-risk move that could pay dividends if Duffy is able to return to the form that he demonstrated with the Royals last season. Rotation building is no longer about having five pitchers make 32 starts per season, but rather it involves being creative and flexible. This move checks both of those boxes.