1: Who Will Be “The Guy” Out of the Bullpen?
The achilles heel for the Giants last season was the bullpen, and it cost them plenty of games. Things came to an ugly head in NLDS game four, and the Giants enter this offseason with the crew of relief pitchers being their biggest need.
On the open market, there are plenty of options. With a hefty amount of money coming off the books, they have the budget to go out and spend a little bit. The big three on the market are Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon, and Aroldis Chapman.
To get any of those guys, the Giants are going to need to involve themselves in a bidding war. A lot of teams will be looking for the services of relievers of that caliber, and the price tag won’t be cheap. The team that wins the war will need to shell out some serious dough.
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So can the Giants sway Melancon or Jansen to join the orange and black as they contend for another shot at October glory? Will they throw morals to the side and go after Chapman and his awe-inspiring fastball? What happens if they miss out on those three?
There are other options, and they obviously won’t be nearly as appealing as the big three. The Giants have already expressed interest in Greg Holland, who missed the 2016 season following Tommy John surgery. If not for that injury, Holland likely would be regarded as highly as a Melancon or Jansen, but is he ready to pitch at that level again after missing time?
In a weak free agent market, there isn’t a whole lot of meat left on the bone beyond those guys. Could they take a chance on someone like Joaquin Benoit or Brandon Morrow? Could they sign Andrew Cashner with designs on making him a reliever?
Maybe they could go for one of the lower-level pitchers and expand roles for current guys. Derek Law was tremendous in his rookie year and seems ready for a bigger role. Will Smith was fantastic after a mid-season trade, and Hunter Strickland continues to develop as a pitcher. Could one of those guys become “the guy”?