San Francisco Giants: Key Free Agents and Potential Targets

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Starting Pitcher

Oct 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jake Peavy throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning during game six of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2015 season, only three rotation spots for the San Francisco Giants are guaranteed right now. Madison Bumgarner is the ace, Tim Hudson will be back in 2015, and Matt Cain will look to be dominant again after undergoing ankle and elbow surgeries last season. Yusmeiro Petit and Tim Lincecum are also options, but they both seem like better options from the bullpen. There is a wide array of minor league pitchers available for the Giants, but they don’t want to rush the young guys.

1) Jake Peavy: Peavy had a terrible start to his year with the Boston Red Sox, but he bounced back following the trade that brought him to the Giants. He went 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA while wearing orange and black. His postseason wasn’t as nice, but his passion and veteran presence are hard to come by. He’s 33 years old, and he will be sought after for teams looking for a third or fourth starter. The Giants will give him a look but will also be careful not to overspend.

2) Ryan Vogelsong: Vogelsong’s story is well known around the league. He has gone from major league castoff to a San Francisco rotation mainstay. He had a rough 2014, going 8-13, matched with a 4.00 ERA. However, he was the victim of extreme bad luck, as the Giants’ offense became anemic with Vogey on the mound. The 37 year-old already said he wants to return to the team that resurrected his career, and San Francisco may give a short-term deal.

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3) Hiroki Kuroda: Kuroda will be 40 years old when the 2015 season starts, but he has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the game since coming from Japan on 2008. He has a career 79-79 record but with a very good 3.45 ERA. Kuroda spent the last three seasons with the New York Yankees and pitched very well in a great hitter’s park, going 38-33 with a 3.44 ERA. He is a fantastic control pitcher, as he allows just 1.9 BB/9IP, and .9 HR/9IP. Moving to a pitcher’s park will certainly help him. He made $16 million in 2014 and will likely command a fairly high salary.

4) Ervin Santana: Somewhat quietly, Santana has been one of the better pitchers in the game the last two seasons. He’s gone 23-20 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.221 WHIP. In 2014 with the Atlanta Braves, he struck out 8.2 per nine innings, his best total since 2008. Santana is also a great innings-eater, as he will give a team close to, if not more, than 200 innings in a season. He’s a solid second-tier pitcher and would fit nicely behind MadBum, Hudson, and Cain.

5) Francisco Liriano: Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy likes to have multiple lefties in his rotation, and Liriano is probably the best left-hander on the market not named Jon Lester. He’s enjoyed a career resurgence with the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitching to the tune of a 3.20 ERA in the last two years. Durability is an issue, as he hasn’t started 30 games since 2010. If the Giants want to put another lefty in the rotation, Liriano is a good option.