In case you missed it, the San Francisco Giants killed two birds with one stone on Thursday. They added to their starting pitching rotation, and also to their name department.
Come on down, Drew Smyly. And welcome to the Giants. Hopefully you find much to smyle about.
Smyly isn’t a big signing, but he’s about as big of a move as the Giants will make this time of year. Or at least this time of this year. So let’s take a look at some links from people smarter than I am, talking about Smyly.
Hey, let’s keep it local, and start with our own Bryan Murphy. Here’s Bryan on how Smyly fits the organizational philosophy of the Giants:
So, that means the Giants are better off cultivating multiple options when it comes to a 5-man starting staff, if not for permanent pieces, then to better put themselves in situations where they can be flexible. There’s a decent chance will be seeing a lot of opener starts or piggyback situations. This could very well be the Giants’ experimental phase.
Beyond that, acquiring Smyly, who missed two years because of Tommy John and subsequent rehab, falls in line with Zaidi’s m.o. with the Dodgers in terms of stockpiling depth. Gausman, Anderson, and Smyly fall neatly into the Brett Anderson / Rich Hill / Scott Baker / Scott Kazmir / Brandon McCarthy mold of just trying to find guys who could be good, when healthy, and hoping that either one of them really has a in-season glow up or their IL stints simply follow each other’s rather than overlap.
Over at NBC Sports Bay Area, Alex Pavlovic pointed out that Smyly’s handedness plays a big factor for a team that just lost Madison Bumgarner:
The Giants had been looking for left-handed help, and Smyly should find himself with the same opportunity Pomeranz and Holland were given last year. Both started the season in the rotation and eventually ended up in the bullpen. Pomeranz turned into a nice trade chip, bringing Mauricio Dubon to San Francisco at the deadline.
And at The Athletic, Andrew Baggarly notes that the Giants newly-minted General Manager is pretty high on his new pitcher:
The club signed Smyly to a one-year major-league contract worth $4 million that includes a $250,000 bonus if he is on the opening day roster. Smyly also can earn performance incentives based on games started and games finished, although Giants GM Scott Harris said the club intends to use him as a starting pitcher to balance an otherwise all-righty staff.
“Unfortunately, as is the case with most pitchers that get injured, sometimes fans and executives forget about them,” Harris told The Athletic. “But he was one of most promising left-handed starters in the game just a few years ago.”
John Shea and Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle added on about Harris’ interest:
“He’s now in that sweet spot being two years removed from Tommy John surgery, and we believe the talent plus the health make him an intriguing buy-low left-handed starter for us,” general manager Scott Harris said on The Chronicle’s Giants Splash Podcast.
I’m not sure if any of these articles have you chomping at the bit to get the season started so you can watch Drew Smyly, but they at least help explain the move.