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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Giants sign much needed reliever in Tony Watson

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:

CL Melancon
SU Strickland/Dyson
SU Smith/Watson
RH Strickland/Dyson
LH Smith/Watson
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!

The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Great pickup and exactly what we needed. Now at least hopefully the bullpen will be passable, and if we need another starter or maybe an outfielder we can target that in a trade in-season. I'm very excited about what the Giants have done, can't wait for March 29th to actually see these guys in the Giants uni in a real game. It's gonna be a good, even year again for the Giants I think!

  • At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Are there any starters left we can even sign? I think that’s gonna be our weakness.

  • At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Baseball Junkie said…

    This really was a great cap to the offseason IMO. I between this guy, Dyson and Melancon the Giants have 3 guys now with at least some legit closing experience. Dyson did a pretty good job for them without Melancon last summer but it's gonna help the pen out so much more to have these "closer ability" type guys in set-up and mid-releif. I think the Giants bullpen is going to surprise some people this year and finally be more of a strength. Maybe not quite up to the level of the 2010 bullpen but I think if they're all healthy, including WIll Smith, the Giants now have a pretty darn good bully.

  • At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Any chance this Kyle Jensen dude makes the team? Never even heard of this guy before a week ago and this guy has 5 jacks alaready in 10 at-bats? If they're really going to try to put the best 25 guys onto the roster, there's got to be a spot for him somehwere right? Why is NOBODY talking about him. Everyones talking about Duggar and Mac Williamson, but Jensen's lookin like Babe Ruth reincarnated right about now!


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