The Giants are the latest team to be connected to Tomoyuki Sugano, as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi tweets that San Francisco is keeping an eye on the right-hander’s market. This makes at least six teams known to have interest in Sugano, as the Giants join the Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, and Rangers. Notably, Morosi omitted the Rangers from his list, so it could be that Texas is out of the running for Sugano after signing Kohei Arihara.
As with all of these pitching-needy clubs, Sugano would be a nice fit in San Francisco’s rotation. The Giants’ pitching staff was bolstered when Kevin Gausman accepted the qualifying offer, and the club made a further addition in signing Anthony DeSclafani to a one-year, $6MM contract. Sugano will require more money and a multi-year commitment, but it wouldn’t represent that big of an outlay for a Giants club that doesn’t have much payroll committed beyond the 2021 season.
More on some other free agents…
- Corey Kluber was known to be planning bullpen sessions for scouts next month, and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that these sessions are tentatively scheduled for January 12 or 13. Injuries limited Kluber to only 35 2/3 innings in 2019 and just a single inning of work last season, so there are plenty of questions surrounding the former Cy Young Award winner’s health. Despite this lack of recent track record, one would expect most teams to send evalutors to Kluber’s showcase, as there is major buy-low potential if Kluber looks anything like his old Cy Young Award-winning self. The Twins and Red Sox have already reportedly shown interest in Kluber this offseason.
- Tyler Naquin is drawing interest from multiple teams, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, but it doesn’t seem like a reunion with the Indians is in the cards. “The chances of [Naquin] re-signing were slim” after the Tribe non-tendered Naquin earlier this month, Hoynes writes. The 15th overall pick of the 2012 draft, Naquin showed flashes of stardom (particularly in his 2016 rookie year) during five seasons in Cleveland, but injuries and struggles against left-handed pitching have hampered Naquin’s career. Interstingly, Hoynes notes that “a couple” of teams are thinking about Naquin as a candidate to play center field, though Naquin hasn’t played the position since 2018 and his defensive metrics as a center fielder aren’t promising.
- The Blue Jays have been seemingly connected to just about every major free agent, yet The Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm makes the “bold prediction” that J.T. Realmuto will ultimately land with the team. There’s some process-of-elimination logic here, as Chisholm feels that George Springer will sign with the Mets and DJ LeMahieu will re-sign with the Yankees, leaving the Jays without either of what seem to be their top two targets. From Realmuto’s perspective, the Mets’ deal with James McCann may have already eliminated the most likely candidate for his services, as it isn’t yet clear if other potential suitors like the Phillies or Nationals are willing to meet Realmuto’s asking price. With Realmuto in the fold, Toronto could then use its young catching surplus as trade chips to address other needs.