San Francisco Giants – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-01-18T15:16:33Z WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Sign Alex Wood]]> 2021-01-15T02:38:24Z 2021-01-15T02:04:05Z The Giants have signed left-hander Alex Wood to a one-year contract, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. It’s a $3MM guarantee that includes up to $3MM more in performance bonuses for the ACES client, per Maria Guardado of

Wood, an ex-Dodger, will now reunite with Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who was the Los Angeles general manager earlier in the southpaw’s career. Wood had some of his best seasons when Zaidi was in LA’s front office, and the 30-year-old has largely held his own since he broke into the majors with the Braves in 2013. Overall, Wood has logged a strong 3.45 ERA/3.72 SIERA in a combined 851 2/3 innings, though his drop-off over the past couple of years made him a buy-low type this offseason.

LA sent Wood to Cincinnati as part of a blockbuster deal before the 2019 campaign, and the Reds were surely expecting him to give them quality innings that year. However, nagging back issues held him out for most of the season and limited him to just 35 2/3 frames of 5.80 ERA pitching.

The Dodgers brought Wood back in free agency almost exactly one year ago (Jan. 12, 2020) on a $4MM guarantee, but the reunion didn’t go quite as planned. Wood struggled with shoulder problems in the regular season, in which he tossed 12 2/3 innings and yielded nine earned runs (mostly out of the bullpen). But Wood did rebound during the Dodgers’ World Series-winning playoff run with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball and eight strikeouts against three walks. Four of those innings, all of which were scoreless, came during the Fall Classic against Tampa Bay.

In an ideal world for the Giants, Wood will perform more like he did in last year’s playoffs than in the regular season. Either way, it’s not all that surprising that they’re bringing him into the fold. Not only does Wood have connections to Zaidi and manager Gabe Kapler, another former member of the Dodgers’ front office, but Giants GM Scott Harris made it known earlier this week that acquiring a lefty starter was a priority for the team.

The Giants lost southpaw Drew Smyly to the Braves earlier in free agency after he served as an inexpensive steal for the club in 2020, which temporarily left them with a righty-laden projected rotation. Wood should provide some balance to a Giants starting staff that figures to rely heavily on two of Wood’s former Reds teammates – Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani – as well as Johnny Cueto and Logan Webb.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Eyeing Left-Handed Starters]]> 2021-01-13T18:59:08Z 2021-01-13T18:59:12Z 12:59pm: The Giants have shown “preliminary” interest in Hamels, Morosi tweets. The 37-year-old was limited to just one start with the Braves last year due to shoulder troubles and is planning to host a showcase for interested parties, though said workout has yet to be scheduled.

8:20am: The Giants are still in the market for rotation help, and the organization’s preference would be to balance out its group of starters by adding a left-hander, general manager Scott Harris revealed to Jon Morosi on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM this week (Twitter link).

At present, the top three spots in San Francisco’s rotation all belong to right-handed starters: Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto and Anthony DeSclafani. Twenty-four-year-old Logan Webb is likely the favorite for the fourth spot despite some struggles through his first 94 MLB innings. That’s in part due to his strong minor league track record and recent standing as one of the organization’s top prospects, but also due to a lack of palatable options elsewhere on the 40-man roster. Righty Shaun Anderson has struggled both in the rotation and in the bullpen. Fellow right-hander Tyler Beede is expected back from Tommy John surgery in 2021 but will obviously come with some workload limitations.

The Giants do have one lefty option on the roster in the form of 25-year-old Conner Menez, and former Rays/D-backs top prospect Anthony Banda will be in camp on a non-roster invite as well. Handedness aside, the Giants could simply use more innings in the rotation at the moment. Even DeSclafani, who is guaranteed a spot after signing a $6MM contract for the upcoming season, pitched in only nine games (seven starts) last year. DeSclafani missed the entire 2017 season due to elbow troubles and has spent time on the IL in all but one season (2019) over the past five years.

The free-agent market isn’t short on experienced lefties for the Giants to consider. It’s possible they could reunite with Tyler Anderson, who pitched reasonably well for them in 2020 but was nonetheless non-tendered. They’ve also already been reported to have interest in veteran Jon Lester, whom Harris knows well from his time as director of baseball ops and assistant general manager with the Cubs. Other options with ties to the Giants’ front office include former Cub Jose Quintana and Alex Wood, the latter of whom was with the Dodgers during Zaidi’s time as general manager there.

Of course, such connections can be overblown, and the market has plenty of alternatives. James Paxton is perhaps the highest-upside option of the bunch if he’s healthy, while veterans like J.A. Happ or Martin Perez could provide some bulk innings. Cole Hamels and Rich Hill remain unsigned as well, and Carlos Rodon is still seeking a new home after an injury-ruined finish to his White Sox tenure.

The Giants should have ample payroll capacity to take on any option they prioritize, be it via free agency or trade. At present, the club projects to have a payroll just north of $142MM (via Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez) — a far cry from the $200MM mark carried as recently as 2018.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 1/12/21]]> 2021-01-12T17:00:38Z 2021-01-12T17:00:38Z Here are Tuesday’s minor moves from around the game…

  • The Giants agreed to a minor league deal and Spring Training invite with utilityman Arismendy Alcantara, reports Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Once considered to be among baseball’s top 100 prospects, the former Cubs prospect hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2017. The 29-year-old Alcantara has appeared in 167 MLB games, splitting time between the Cubs, A’s and Reds, but he has just a .189/.285/.315 batting line to show for it. Alcantara has experience at second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield spots, and he’s a career .273/.326/.468 hitter in parts of four Triple-A seasons.
Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Phillies Acquire Sam Coonrod From Giants]]> 2021-01-09T20:45:22Z 2021-01-09T20:21:32Z The Phillies have acquired right-hander Sam Coonrod from the Giants in exchange for pitching prospect Carson Ragsdale, according to’s Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan (Twitter link).

Originally a fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft, Coonrod debuted in the big leagues by posting a 3.58 ERA over 27 2/3 innings for the Giants in 2019, though advanced metrics weren’t impressed by his work.  That fortune turned in 2020, as while Coonrod’s advanced numbers improved, his ERA ballooned to 9.82 in 14 2/3 frames.  Overall, Coonrod has a 5.74 ERA, 18.9 K%, 7 K-BB%, and 5.05 SIERA over his brief Major League career.

Coonrod missed much of the 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery but he returned from that long rehab with plenty of heat on his fastball, averaging 97.1 mph in the bigs.  He was a regular starting pitcher in the minors prior to his surgery, but Coonrod could best be positioned to remain a relief pitcher for the foreseeable future.

While he may have been expendable for the Giants, the Phillies will surely take a live arm as they try to rebuild a bullpen that posted dreadful numbers in 2020.  Newly-hired Phils pitching coach Caleb Cotham and bullpen coach Jim Gott will now be tasked with seeing if they can turn Coonrod’s velocity and excellent curveball spin into consistent results for the 28-year-old.

Ragsdale was Philadelphia’s fourth-round selection in the 2020 draft, so he has yet to begin his pro career.  A product of the University Of South Florida, Ragsdale’s college career was interrupted by Tommy John surgery but he still posted a 3.75 ERA and a very impressive 33.6 K% over 50 1/3 NCAA innings, albeit with some control problems.  MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 30th-best prospect in the Phillies’ farm system, citing his promising fastball and curve but also noting that there is still a lot of uncertainty over Ragsdale’s potential as a starter due to the lack of games in the abbreviated 2020 NCAA season.

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Giants Sign Jay Jackson To Minor League Contract]]> 2021-01-09T04:32:22Z 2021-01-09T03:01:12Z
  • The Giants have signed right-hander Jay Jackson to a minors contract, MLBTR has learned. Marc Delucchi was first to report that the two sides were close to a deal.  Jackson has seen some action in the majors as a member of the Padres (2015) and Brewers (2019), with whom he has combined for a 4.67 ERA alongside a 33.6 percent strikeout rate and a 12.5 percent walk rate in 34 2/3 innings. But Jackson has been big in Japan, where he has spent parts of four seasons (including 2020 with the Chiba Lotte Marines) and recorded a superb 2.16 ERA across 183 innings in Nippon Professional Baseball. Jackson returned stateside with the Reds last August, but he didn’t pitch for them in 2020.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Examining The Giants' Financial Picture]]> 2021-01-05T18:29:58Z 2021-01-05T18:14:22Z
  • With all of the economic uncertainty surrounding baseball, the Giants “will be better positioned than almost any team…to weather whatever 2021 brings,” The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly (subscription required) writes in a breakdown of the team’s overall solid financial outlook.  This doesn’t necessarily mean the Giants will heavily spend on new players this winter, but it bodes well for the future — perhaps as soon as next offseason, once almost all of San Francisco’s expensive contracts are off the books.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Sign Curt Casali]]> 2021-01-04T23:35:59Z 2021-01-04T23:11:52Z The Giants have signed veteran catcher Curt Casali to a one-year major league contract worth $1.5MM, Maria Guardado of was among those to report. To make room for Casali on its 40-man roster, the team officially sold left-hander Andrew Suarez’s rights to the LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization. Casali is a client of Beverly Hills Sports Council.

    Casali became a professional when the Tigers used a 10th-round pick on him in 2011, but he has so far divided his major league career between the Rays and Reds. He was a Red for the previous three years, during which he posted a productive .260/.345/.440 line with 18 home runs in 485 plate appearances. As a defender, the 32-year-old Casali has thrown out a respectable 27 percent of would-be base stealers, but the all-around package wasn’t enough for Cincinnati to keep him in the fold. The team non-tendered Casali before the Dec. 2 deadline instead of paying him a projected $1.8MM to $2.4MM in arbitration.

    Now that he’s on his way to the Bay Area, Casali seems like the front-runner to back up returning starter Buster Posey, who opted out last season over COVID-19 concerns. Casali will now reunite with right-handers Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani, whom he played with in Cincinnati.

    Along with Casali and Posey, the Giants also have fellow catchers Joey Bart and Chadwick Tromp, but those two have all three minor league options remaining. In the event the Casali pickup works out well for the Giants, they’ll be able to keep him around in 2022, as he’ll be eligible for arbitration through then.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Who Will Sign Tomoyuki Sugano?]]> 2021-01-03T17:40:28Z 2021-01-03T17:40:28Z Tomoyuki Sugano arrived in the United States two days ago, according to The Hochi News (Japanese language link), as the right-hander and his agent Joel Wolfe plan for the final few days of Sugano’s 30-day posting window.  January 7 is the final day of that posting period, and with at least six MLB teams known to have interest in Sugano’s services, the odds seem to be in favor of Sugano pitching in the big leagues in 2021.

    A move to North America is not guaranteed, however.  As noted in that Hochi News item, Sugano said earlier this month that he hadn’t yet fully decided on whether or not to make the jump to Major League Baseball, with the COVID-19 pandemic weighing as a factor in his decision.  As we just saw yesterday with outfielder Haruki Nishikawa, it isn’t uncommon for Japanese players to reach the end of their 30-day posting period without having reached a deal with any MLB teams.

    Beyond that uncertainty, it’s also possible that Sugano’s market has been somewhat reduced in number.  Of the six teams linked to Sugano in rumors, two have made other significant pitching additions that may have removed them from the running.  The Rangers already made one foray into the Japanese pitching market by signing Kohei Arihara to a two-year, $6.2MM contract.  The Padres, of course, dominated headlines by swinging a pair of blockbuster trades for Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, and now headlines a rotation mix that also includes Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack, Adrian Morejon, Joey Lucchesi, and several impressive younger arms.

    This isn’t to say that Texas or San Diego wouldn’t still have interest in Sugano, of course.  Even with Arihara’s signing, the Rangers could still conceivably add to their rotation considering that Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, and Kolby Allard all struggled in 2020.  As for the Padres, they’re so clearly in win-now mode that they might see Sugano as another key piece for what they hope is a World Series contender.  Adding another starting candidate serves as a further guard should Lamet have an injury setback, and it could allow the Padres to potentially float one of their younger arms as a trade chip in another trade.

    The Red Sox also made a recent pitching addition in Matt Andriese, but while Andriese will be given a crack at a starting job, he might end up as a reliever or perhaps a swingman.  Boston has enough questions in its rotation that signing Sugano would make sense even if Andriese did end up as a starter.  Likewise, the Giants have retained Kevin Gausman via the qualifying offer and signed Anthony DeSclafani since the start of the offseason, but San Francisco’s pitching staff would certainly still use further reinforcement.

    The Blue Jays and Mets have respectively been linked to almost every free agent this offseason, so it isn’t surprising that they’re both in on Sugano.  Whether Sugano would be either team’s final major pitching addition is the question, as a case could be made that both Toronto and New York have enough arms on hand, or that another notable hurler (perhaps even Trevor Bauer) is required to really turn either rotation into a big plus.

    With these options in mind, it’s time to open the floor to the MLBTR readership.  Where do you think Sugano will pitch in 2021? (poll link for app users)

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Giants Interested In Tomoyuki Sugano]]> 2020-12-27T15:41:47Z 2020-12-27T15:39:11Z 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.

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Codify Helping Giants Hurlers]]> 2020-12-27T14:40:52Z 2020-12-26T20:28:10Z
  • Michael Fisher is helping pitchers take a proactive approach to retiring hitters through his data-analytics firm called Codify, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Rather than telling pitchers what they’re doing wrong, he creates heat maps to help pitchers find the right areas to target. He focuses on where they should throw the ball instead of where they shouldn’t. Fisher’s approach works for a number of Oakland A’s pitchers like Jake Diekman, Jesus Luzardo, and Sean Manaea, Giants’ hurlers Tyler Beede and Logan Webb, as well as free agent closer Liam Hendriks.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Sign John Brebbia]]> 2020-12-21T22:42:14Z 2020-12-21T21:07:38Z The Giants have signed right-handed reliever John Brebbia to a major league deal worth $800K for next season, Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group reports. It’s fully guaranteed, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.

    Brebbia came available when the Cardinals non-tendered him earlier this month. They would have owed him a projected $800K in arbitration had they kept Brebbia, but after he missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, the Cardinals decided to go in another direction. He could be a member of the Giants for the next three seasons, as he’s under arbitration control through 2023.

    Because he went under the knife in late June, Brebbia will not be able to help the Giants for at least the first couple months of next season – if it starts on time or anywhere close, that is. But the Giants are nonetheless taking a low-risk chance on a pitcher who posted terrific numbers out of the Cardinals’ bullpen from 2017-19. Brebbia, now 30 years old, combined for 175 innings of 3.14 ERA/3.39 FIP ball with 10.18 K/9 and 2.79 BB/9 during that span. Despite a paltry 28 percent groundball rate, Brebbia has allowed just 0.98 home runs per nine during his career.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Giants Sign Anthony DeSclafani]]> 2020-12-18T20:07:49Z 2020-12-18T20:06:30Z DEC. 18: The Giants are deferring half of DeSclafani’s salary, including incentives, to the first quarter of 2022, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

    DEC. 16, 4:06pm: The Giants have announced the signing. The deal comes with up to $250K in performance bonuses based on innings pitched, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.

    3:27pm: The two sides have agreed to a one-year, $6MM contract, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. That comes in north of MLBTR’s one-year, $4MM prediction for DeSclafani.

    3:08pm: The Giants and free-agent right-hander Anthony DeSclafani are nearing a deal, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. DeSclafani is a client of VC Sports Group.

    This figures to be a buy-low pickup for the Giants, who are set to add a starter who has gone through an up-and-down career since it began in 2014. DeSclafani was a member of the Marlins during his first season, but he moved on to the Reds after that in a trade that sent fellow righty Mat Latos to Miami.

    Cincinnati received rather impressive production from DeSclafani from 2015-16, during which he accrued 308 innings and notched a 3.74 ERA/3.79 FIP with 7.48 K/9 and 2.48 BB/9. DeSclafani missed the next season because of elbow problems, though, and didn’t return until June 2018. His production from then through 2019 was fairly respectable, but DeSclafani fell on hard times last season. Despite posting a career-high 94.9 mph on his fastball, the 30-year-old logged personal worsts in ERA (7.22), FIP (6.10), K/9 (6.68) and BB/9 (4.28) across 33 2/3 innings. He also had a rough year by Statcast’s standards, ranking closer to the bottom of the league than the top in most of its categories.

    Although last season was no doubt a disaster for DeSclafani, the Giants have done well recently in signing starters to low-risk contracts. They added one of DeSclafani’s former Reds teammates, Kevin Gausman, on a one-year, $9MM pact last offseason. That couldn’t have worked out much better for the Giants, who were so impressed that they issued Gausman a qualifying offer a few weeks back. Gausman accepted that $18.9MM offer and will be atop their rotation in 2021. Along with picking up Gausman a year ago, the Giants signed Drew Smyly to a $4MM guarantee. Smyly also exceeded expectations, though he left for a raise with the Braves earlier this winter.

    Assuming DeSclafani is part of the Giants’ rotation next year, he should join a group that will include Gausman, Johnny Cueto and likely Logan Webb. The other spot will probably be up for grabs, especially with Andrew Suarez nearing an agreement with a team in the Korea Baseball Organization.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Zaidi On Giants’ Pitching Plans]]> 2020-12-17T04:54:14Z 2020-12-17T04:54:14Z While they’ve already done a fair bit of heavy lifting in the pitching arena, the Giants may not be done yet. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters, including Alex Pavlovic of NBC News Bay Area (Twitter link) and Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic (via Twitter), that the team is still looking for arms.

    The rotation just picked up a new piece when the club inked Anthony DeSclafani to a single-season pact. He’ll join Kevin Gausman, who made good on his own one-year deal with the Giants and ultimately elected to accept the qualifying offer extended by the club.

    Despite those additions, Zaidi says the Giants still “have room to add another guy” to the starting staff. That’s not exactly surprising, as the rest of the unit comes with questions. Diminished veteran Johnny Cueto will take one spot, while Connor Menez, Logan Webb, and Shaun Anderson are the current 40-man options to fill out the staff. Tyler Beede could challenge for a role, but he’ll first need to polish off his Tommy John rehab.

    It’s certainly possible that the Giants could still pursue a significant player to buttress the rotation. The organization is said to have kicked around the idea of pursuing top available free agent Trevor Bauer. The market still contains a variety of hurlers with differing profiles and there are some interesting trade possibilities as well.

    In the bullpen, it seems there’s less reason to wonder about a big strike — at least on the right-handed side. Having already plugged in one piece with Matt Wisler, Zaidi suggests the Giants will primarily be looking for value opportunities. The right-handed relief market is “probably an area where we seek to be more creative and out of the box,” he says.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Andrew Suarez Close To Joining KBO’s LG Twins]]> 2021-01-04T23:53:18Z 2020-12-16T13:46:07Z The LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization are close to signing left-hander Andrew Suarez to a one-year contract, according to Daniel Kim of ESPN and DKTV (Twitter link).  It’ll be a $600K pact, Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News tweets. The deal would have to be tied into a purchase of Suarez’s rights from the Giants, as Suarez is still controlled by the San Francisco club.

    Suarez was a second-round pick for the Giants in the 2015 and seemed to be emerging as a rotation candidate during a 2018 rookie season that saw him post a 4.49 ERA, 2.89 K/BB rate, and 7.3 K/9 over 160 1/3 innings.  That debut was followed up, however, with only 32 2/3 frames of big league work in 2019 (at a 5.79 ERA), as well as some unimpressive numbers at Triple-A, albeit in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.  This past season, Suarez made several trips back and forth from the Giants’ alternate training site to the active roster, posting a 3.72 ERA over 9 2/3 innings of relief work, but with more walks (six) than strikeouts (five).

    Since Suarez is out of minor league options and seemed to becoming an afterthought in San Francisco, it isn’t surprising that he and his representatives explored opportunities elsewhere.  Pitching in the KBO League would allow the left-hander to both earn more money than he would have as a pre-arbitration player in the big leagues, and also presumably give him a chance to start games and re-build his value.  Suarez only turned 28 last September, so there is plenty of time for a potential future return to North American baseball.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Buster Posey To Return As Giants' No. 1 Catcher]]> 2020-12-16T03:42:15Z 2020-12-16T03:42:15Z After a year off, Giants icon Buster Posey will return as their “primary catcher” in 2021, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters (including John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle) on Tuesday. Posey opted out of last season over family health concerns (he and his wife had just adopted twin girls who were born prematurely), and he discussed his decision this week with Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. The 33-year-old told Baggarly he’s “comfortable” with the choice he made because of the unknowns at the time, including whether Major League Baseball would even be able to get through its season. Posey added that he’s “confident” he’ll play next year, which will be the last guaranteed season of his contract. The Giants may have an heir apparent in Joey Bart, but he and the rest of their catchers had rocky seasons in 2020. It now appears they’ll take a backseat to Posey for at least one more year.