The Giants have agreed to a contract with right-hander Nick Vincent, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic tweets. Vincent will join the MLB side of camp, but on a minor-league deal, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).
Vincent, 32, owns a sparkling 3.17 ERA over his 332 total MLB innings, so the track record of outcomes is certainly an appealing one. He ended the 2018 campaign with a personal-worst 3.99 ERA, though, and ended up being non-tendered when the Mariners decided not to pay a projected $3.5MM salary.
Given the outcome of his foray onto the open market, MLB teams aren’t terribly optimistic as to Vincent’s ability to keep up his career earned run average. The signing seems like quite a nice move from the Giants’ perspective, though, as Vincent has not only managed to find success over a long stretch but has been supported (at times, at least) by a closer examination.
Vincent, in fact, is something of a darling of certain ERA estimators, though that’s due more to his earlier-career combination of excellent K/BB rates and low home run tallies. More recently, Vincent has proven less than immune to the long ball. Still, metrics have generally valued him as a useful pitcher — including both last year (3.75 FIP, 4.51 xFIP, 3.72 SIERA) and over his full career to date (3.09 FIP, 3.85 xFIP, 3.27 SIERA).
Statcast, likewise, gives cause for optimism. Vincent has been among the league’s best at limiting exit velocity over the past two seasons. During the Statcast era, opposing hitters have managed only a .283 wOBA against Vincent. And that’s actually just a shade higher than the .279 xwOBA that the computers would have anticipated.