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Giants re-sign Matt Reynolds to minor-league deal

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Reynolds was like the Kenley Jansen of the Lancaster Barnstormers, and we should respect that.

Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Matt Reynolds appeared in eight games for the 2016 Giants, walking five batters in six innings and allowing five runs. It was not the best introduction. In his final game with the team, he entered a 3-2 game and didn’t get an out. He was designated for assignment shortly after.

The Giants re-signed him to a minor league contract over the weekend, and I would like to explain why I’m happy with this move.

First: It’s December, and I’m a broken human being. I suppose those should be two separate reasons, but it’s too late now. Second: No, that’s pretty much it, and it’s going to be a long four months if the Giants are really done making moves. Third: It helps with depth, and the Giants needed to make a move just like this.

Reynolds is a tall left-hander with impressive strikeout numbers in both the minors and independent leagues. He doesn’t throw hard, rarely cracking 90 mph, and after re-watching a couple of his outings just now, it’s obvious that he doesn’t make up for that with his command. But he’s just deceptive enough to mess with left-handed hitters, and he throws four pitches.

Mostly, though, this is a proactive, welcome signing because here’s the Giants’ depth chart for left-handed relievers now:

  1. Will Smith
  2. Josh Osich
  3. Steven Okert
  4. Matt Reynolds
  5. Christian Jones?
  6. Kraig Sitton?
  7. Caleb Smith?
  8. Ricky Romero?

You get the idea. Without Reynolds, the fourth left-handed reliever in the system would have been Jones, possibly, who didn’t have good walk or strikeout numbers in Double-A last season. Sitton, in addition to being completely made up, hardly misses any bats at all. Smith misses bats, but he also misses the strike zone and spent most of last season in Low-A. And I’m not even sure if Romero is still with the organization — that was added for effect.

That meant two injuries would get the Giants into some weird contingency plans. Assuming that Ty Blach is in the Giants’ rotation (not a given, of course), there was a lack of emergency options. And we know that two pitchers can be injured at the same, unfortunate time. If they have to dig deep because of injuries, at least Reynolds is a veteran who offers a glimmer of high-strikeout upside.

Is it the same as signing Greg Holland to a low-risk, high-reward deal for bullpen depth? It ... is not. But it’s a necessary move, and Reynolds knows how to get to the ballpark already and everything. The odds are fair that we won’t see him in the majors again. But it’s better to have a LOOGY and not need him than need one and not have him.

Also, Bruce Bochy would start speaking in tongues if he had just one lefty out of the bullpen. We probably don’t need to test him like that.