San Francisco Giants would be wise to stay away from the reliever market

San Francisco Giants (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants have a major need in their bullpen heading into the 2020 offseason. But they should resist the temptation to pay for any big-name relievers.

The San Francisco Giants will enter the 2020 offseason with plenty of needs up and down their roster. That’s obviously to be expected given the state of the franchise, but it’s true nonetheless.

And one of the primary needs will be in the team’s bullpen. That said, they should resist the temptation to spend on any of the top relievers on the market and instead pivot to other options.

The Giants were a deeply flawed team last year, but one of the strengths of the roster was actually their bullpen. Over the first half of the season, the Giants actually hosted one of the most impressive bullpens in baseball.

Closer Will Smith was perhaps the most dominant reliever in the MLB through July while the late-innings were rounded out by the likes of Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, Reyes Moronta, and even Drew Pomeranz for a little while.

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Unfortunately, Dyson, Melancon, and Pomeranz were dealt at the deadline, Moronta will be out most if not all of 2020 recovering from a torn labrum, and Smith recently signed with the Atlanta Braves in free agency.

What was a true strength for the team last season may have become their biggest weakness.

But despite that, it just doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Giants to go all-in on adding big-name relievers. For starters, it’s not as if there are really any prototypical “big-name” relievers left on the market.

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Smith already signed with Atlanta and this just isn’t the best year if you’re looking for a closer on the open market. The top options still available are likely players such as Will Harris, Dellin Betances, Steve Cishek, and yes, even Drew Pomeranz.

But while all of those players would undoubtedly provide a boost to an inexperienced bullpen, the Giants would be wise to steer clear.

For a rebuilding team like the Giants, it doesn’t make sense to pay top dollar for relievers. The Giants aren’t in a position where they expect to contend so it wouldn’t be smart to start handing out bigger, possibly long-term contracts to relievers.

Instead, it might just make sense for the Giants to go young and evaluate the internal options that they have.

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Shaun Anderson showed promise as a possible late-inning reliever last season. Tyler Rogers was fantastic in his limited playing time. And the team saw enough from Sam Coonrod and Jandel Gustave to warrant a look at an increased role.

On top of that, the Giants could simply employ a similar strategy to last season. Rather than making the early-offseason moves for a reliever or two, the Giants could simply wait until the market dies down in February or March to make a few signings.

We saw this last season when the team traded cash considerations for Trevor Gott and handed Nick Vincent a non-guaranteed deal after spring training had already begun. There will always be moves like that to make.

In all likelihood, the Giants bullpen in 2020 will be a pieced-together, conglomeration of young talents and career journeymen. That’s a far cry from the relievers the team had last season, but it’s likely what’s best for them in the long run.

And who knows, maybe the Giants could find a few diamonds in the rough who could be future building blocks for the bullpen.

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As they say, the cream will always rise to the top. And the Giants will be sure to give every arm in their organization a chance to do so in 2020.