Within 24 hours of me posting yesterday’s post, asking the Giants to go out and sign another left-handed reliever like Tony Watson, they did precisely that.
According to ESPN and many other sources, the Giants came to terms with the lefty on a deal which the exact terms are a little unclear at the time of writing this. I've heard anywhere from $9M over the next two seasons with incentives and options in there that could make it bigger. I've also heard it could be as low as a 2-year deal in the $7M range. The incredible thing about this deal though is that the Giants were creatively able to get him signed without going over the luxury tax threshold, which I'm still unclear on how they were able to do so. I just heard the news and haven't investigated the money part of it too deeply, but one thing I know for sure is this is a huge move for the club. As I said just 24 hours ago in yesterday's post, relief pitching, particular of the left-handed variety, was perhaps the biggest question mark on the team. Now with Watson in tow, at least now they have two quality lefties they can throw at you in Smith and Watson. It also will allow them to baby Smith back from TJ surgery and not force him into big innings upon his return which is now expected to be early May. That piece of information makes this an even better move for the Giants, and the fact that they were able to get it done without going into the luxury tax violation had to have taken some creative thinking to say the least.
So two thumbs up to Evans and Sabes for getting that done. I still would love to see them round things out with another veteran starting pitcher to throw into the 4th/5th starters battle this spring, however, but that's really the last thing they really need heading in. Our next post will be our 2018 Giants preview, and it's gonna be so nice to be able to type Watson's name into the relief pitching roster and not need to count on both Josh Osich and Stephen Okert out of the gate. Big move for the Giants to say the least as Watson was money down the stretch for LA, has pitched well in the playoffs and should immediately become one of the top 3 or 4 arms in that bullpen. So long as Derek Law and Mark Melancon rebound after treacherous seasons a year ago and, again, Smith gets back into the swing of things early on in the season (hopefully not in mid-June), this bullpen has the arms and the talent to be a strong group. Assuming Smith is healthy for opening day, it looks like your 7 relievers are pretty much set now as follows:
RH Derek Law
RH Corey Gearin
*Either LH P's Josh Osich or Derek Holland are likely candidate to take Smith's spot until he returns, which is expected to be by May 1st.
Again though, the key to this squad will be all about health, because if they're healthy, they're going to be just fine!
This post first appeared on The Giants Baseball Blog- A San Francisco Giants B, please read the originial post: here