The San Francisco Giants are adding a veteran name to the rotation. On Wednesday, the team agreed to a deal with right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, reportedly for one year and $6 million.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported that the deal was near an agreement, and Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reported the finalization and contract details.
I’m hearing RHP Anthony DeSclafani is nearing a FA deal with the Giants.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 16, 2020
Free-agent right-hander Anthony DeSclafani in agreement with Giants on one-year contract in $6M range, source tells The Athletic. First with deal being close: @susanslusser.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 16, 2020
DeSclafani, who is 30 years old, had an awful 2020 for the Cincinnati Reds, with a 7.22 ERA, a 6.10 FIP, and 25 strikeouts to 16 walks in 33.2 innings.
But he was pretty strong in 2019, when he had a 3.89 ERA, a 4.33 FIP, and 167 strikeouts to 49 walks in 166.2 innings, and was worth 2.7 rWAR and 2.4 fWAR.
With a revamped coaching staff, the Giants certainly had good luck with reclamation projects and mid-tier pitchers a year ago. Drew Smyly and Kevin Gausman were sensational, while Trevor Cahill and Tyler Anderson both showed some marked improvements.
Presumably the Giants will look to do that with DeSclafani, but the size of his contract suggests that he’ll be plugged straight into the rotation. They’re surely optimistic that they can help DeSclafani get his groove back, and they’re banking on him starting every fifth day. This isn’t a scrap heap contract.
But in order for him to be effective, the Giants will need to fix what ailed him in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season.
Last year, the difference between Anthony DeSclafani’s slider and curve was lesser than ever before, and the curve responded by having the worst results of his career. Maybe he can have more success by going back to the more cutter-like slider (harder, less drop) he had before. pic.twitter.com/tdyzImris0— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) December 16, 2020
While neither move is major, the last two days have brought some signs of what the rotation will look like in 2021, as the Giants not only signed DeSclafani, but appear ready to let Andrew Suárez move on to the KBO, as well.