Offseason Targets: 2019-20 Free Agent Pitchers

It looks like there have been a few updates worth noting on the hitter front since I profiled them. I thought Brett Gardner was a non-option candidate, and it turns out I was right. I was wrong about him hitting free agency though, as he re-upped with the Yanks for $7M after they bought out his option. While that might not make him as realistic of an option for the Giants, it might mean New York is more willing to part ways with Clint Frazier, who missed most of the year with a concussion and doesn’t seem to fit into their roster plans anymore.

A couple of infielders I find intriguing had their options declined and became free agents this week too. Yangervis Solarte was the one among them who I did profile, while Josh Harrison was a guy I somehow overlooked. I like that Solarte hits both ways and offers some pop. Harrison’s only a year removed from 16 HR and 12 SB. Either guy can play multiple infield positions, and either would make a nice part-time option, especially if the Giants acquire an upgrade at 2B (Marwin Gonzalez or DJ LeMahieu).

Anyway, onto the pitchers who might be trade candidates in their final year of control. This isn’t a very long list, and it’s not exactly the most exciting list either. But the idea is to look at this offseason from many different angles, so that’s what we’re going to do.  

* = Team option for 2020.

Mike Fiers RHP | A’s = One of the underrated parts of the Giants looking for a new front office regime – especially if they bring in a well-regarded, “next-gen” type that we’ve been hearing about – is the potential to do business with some old foes. Let’s be real. As long as Sabean is in charge, the Giants aren’t doing business with Beane & the A’s. Ain’t happenin’! But maybe the new GM can bury the hatchet and build new relationships. Fiers had a nice bounceback season (30 starts, 1.4 fWAR) and looks to get about $10M in arbitration. That probably puts him on the block. He could be a nice one-year option for the Giants… then again, his 4.75 FIP may be a warning sign, and the A’s might just hate the Giants no matter who’s calling the shots!

Kyle Gibson RHP | Twins = Gibson finally put it all together this year for Minnesota, logging nearly 200 IP and 3 fWAR. They ended up not trading at the deadline, and he heads into the offseason projected for $8M in his final arbitration year. He’s a sinker/slider guy, and if the Giants think his increased K rates are for real, I’d think he’s worth making a call on… as are many other Twins players, it seems.

Sonny Gray RHP | Yankees = This one is kind of a no-brainer, and it’s gotten so much promotion recently that it’s probably unlikely to happen now. To be fair though, Brian Cashman is the one who said Gray’s future lies elsewhere… so what are we supposed to do but speculate? Gray’s numbers really fell off this year, but look a little closer and you’ll see a pitcher who struck out nearly a batter an inning, allowed only 3 HR and a 3.17 ERA on the road, and actually logged a 3.63 ERA in the second half. Would a move to the NL West help improve that gaudy 6.98 home ERA? With only one year of control left, it seems like there’s enough reasons to find out.

*Julio Teheran RHP | Braves = Ok, cheating a bit here, as he’s got a $12M option for 2020, which I don’t consider an automatic pickup right now. He’s been kind of an enigma for a while, but he’s still a durable, 28 year-old starter who can be pretty dominant at times. The “wild idea” scenario here is that Atlanta tosses Teheran in with some top prospects as part of a return for Bumgarner.  

Shelby Miller RHP | D-Backs = Miller’s time with Arizona has been nothing short of a mess, and to make matters worse he only logged 16 innings this year as he struggled to return from Tommy John surgery. I just can’t see them giving him the ~$5M he’s owed this year. A minor league deal would seem more appropriate. I don’t know, maybe he’s finished, but then again, we’ve seen some of these post-TJ guys catch fire in recent years.  

Brad Boxberger RHP | D-Backs = Speaking of D-Backs pitchers… Like I said, this list isn’t the most exciting. Boxberger came over from Tampa last winter to close games, and things didn’t go so well. Especially in the second half, with a 7.00 ERA. Apparently Arizona’s open to dealing just about everyone on the payroll this winter, and Boxberger looks like one of the only semi-intriguing relievers on the list of 2019-20 free agents.

Addison Reed RHP | Twins = Reed signed a 2-year deal with Minnesota last winter, but didn’t have near the success they were expecting from him in year one. He’s making $8.5M next season, so it might make more sense for the Twins to see if he can bounce back. If they want to move him and are willing to pay just a tad of his salary, maybe it’s worth a call. Maaaaybe…

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