With Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner pitching more consistently, and Chad Gaudin clearly a rotation pillar, there's less of a mad scramble to get a starting pitcher. But what if there were a way to get a better starting pitcher and another reliever at the same time? If the Giants get someone, maybe Tim Lincecum reprises his bullpen-hero role from last postseason. It's worth looking into.
Or maybe Barry Zito could be a LOOGY. The Giants could use a fourth left-handed reliever, these days.
Or maybe Chad Gaudin really isn't the answer, and maybe the early-season struggles from Ryan Vogelsong were a legitimate cry for help.
It's kind of a mess! There are a lot of permutations and no easy answers. But if the Giants do want a starting pitcher, they'd be better served to get one who will be around for next year, if possible. And one of the few pitchers on the trade market who isn't a pending free agent just made some interesting comments:
The San Francisco Giants — Norris’ favorite team while growing up in nearby Novato — are one possible suitor. The Giants may have two rotation vacancies after this season, with the potential departures of Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito, and Norris almost certainly would sign a multi-year extension to stay in San Francisco because of his roots in the area.
"It gives you goose bumps when you think about it," Norris said when I mentioned that the Giants could be in the market for a starter. "Obviously growing up there, being a big Giants fan — and I rooted for the A’s, too, in the area, but I was more of a Giants fan.
Maybe he can drill Tulowitzki in the ribs for making the incorrect choice as a kid. Just once. That's all.
Ignore the part about a multi-year extension because Norris is arbitration-eligible for 2014 and 2015, too, and he's not exactly the kind of pitcher that you need to lock up before he gets too expensive. He's somewhere between cromulent and pretty okay, which is valuable. But not essential. He's closer to Zito to Cain, in other words.
Not terribly exciting, especially if this year is the aberration and last year was the reality. But he's always had good command and strikeout stuff. Maybe with a better defense and a spacious new home ...
Obviously, Norris growing up a Giants fan means as much as Sergio Romo growing up a Dodgers fan. That is, it means very, very, very little. But this is probably the kind of pitcher the Giants will have to look into -- cheaper, both in prospects and cash money -- so it's at least a little interesting.