The San Francisco Giants have signed left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year deal as the team looks to add additional depth to their pitching staff.
With no clear plan for their starting rotation outside of the duo of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, the Giants have been in the process of accumulating players to fill the remaining spots in the rotation.
Kevin Gausman was signed earlier in the offseason and the $9 million he was handed indicates that the plan is for him to have secured a spot. But aside from that, the remaining slots remain very much up for grabs.
The likes of Tyler Beede, Logan Webb, Tyler Anderson, Tyson Ross, and Andrew Suarez are all expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation. But aside from Anderson and Suarez, the Giants didn’t have much from the left-handed side.
That’s why the signing of Drew Smyly makes all the more sense.
Smyly spent last season split between the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies after missing two years while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. And it wasn’t exactly the comeback tour he had likely hoped for.
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The 30-year-old’s stay in Arlington was a disaster as he was released by the Rangers in June after pitching to an 8.42 ERA in nine starts and 13 appearances. After a brief stint in the minors with the Milwaukee Brewers, Smyly ended up with the Philadelphia Phillies where he was immediately given a starting role.
Smyly would fare better with the Phillies finishing with a 4.45 ERA in 12 starts before electing free agency at the end of the season.
At one point, Smyly was one of the better young pitchers in the league. His 2014 and 2015 seasons were impressive and it’s fair to assume he still comes with a bit of upside.
And with another year removed from his Tommy John surgery, the hope is that Smyly could bring stability to a Giants starting rotation that will desperately be needing some.
Either way, it certainly doesn’t hurt to add some additional depth at an overall weak position group. The Giants need all the help they could get and it’s likely we’ll see many different amalgamations of the starting rotation as the year goes on.
Perhaps Smyly could be a diamond in the rough or perhaps he falls by the wayside before long. Regardless, it’s certainly worth the gamble.