The San Francisco Giants have made another low-risk, high-reward move with the signing of veteran left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins.
The San Francisco Giants under Farhan Zaidi have made a habit out of low-risk, high-reward transactions in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. And their recent signing of lefty specialist Jerry Blevins certainly fits that bill.
Zaidi was a well-known scavenger of the waiver wire last season and a few of his low-profile pick-ups actually turned into valuable assets for the team.
Offseason signing Drew Pomeranz was flipped for possible second baseman of the future Mauricio Dubon while 29-year-old career minor leaguer Mike Yastrzemski — who was traded for back in March — turned into a very credible major leaguer.
Both Dubon and Yastrzemski are slotted to start in 2020.
Evidently, Zaidi’s approach hasn’t changed going into this offseason as the Giants have been scouring the bottom-barrel of the free-agent market looking for players who could revitalize their careers and become assets to the organization.
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The 13-year MLB veteran originally debuted with the Oakland Athletics back in 2007 and would pitch with them until 2013. From there, he struggled in his lone year with the Washington Nationals before turning his career around in his four-year stint with the New York Mets.
Blevins signed back with the A’s prior to last season before being traded to the Atlanta Braves in late April in exchange for cash considerations. In 45 games with the Braves, Blevins recorded a 3.90 ERA with 37 strikeouts over 32.1 innings.
The 36-year-old has always been known as a lefty-specialist throughout his career with splits to support that claim. In his career, righties are hitting .243 against him while lefties are hitting just .213 with a woeful .583 OPS.
It’s no surprise that despite playing in over 600 games, Blevins has just 495.1 innings pitched to show for it.
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Unfortunately, his value might significantly decrease this season with the MLB expected to implement a new rule requiring pitchers to face at least three batters or pitch to the end of a half-inning.
This could drastically affect how the Giants view Blevins — who has struggled against right-handed batters — as a possible bullpen option.
Still, the Giants could use another veteran southpaw in the bullpen to pair up with projected closer candidate Tony Watson. Perhaps Blevins — who was signed to a minor-league deal — could fill that role.
If Blevins does impress, the Giants could always flip him for more assets at the deadline in a similar fashion to how they did Pomeranz last season. Once again, this is Zaidi fishing for cheap assets while the team rebuilds.
Hopefully Jerry Blevins could become a valuable piece of the Giants roster and give the team another experienced arm in their bullpen.
But if not, this is another case of no harm, no foul.