The San Francisco Giants made a significant move on Thursday, signing left-handed starting pitcher Alex Wood to a one-year deal.
Wood will reportedly receive a guaranteed $3 million, with another $3 million in incentives.
Wood's contract is worth $3 million. He can make an additional $3 million in performance bonuses for games pitched in which he records ten outs or greater: $125,000 each for 12 and 14; $250,000 each for 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24; $500,000 each for 26, 28 and 30.— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) January 15, 2021
Just yesterday I wrote an article examining the Giants options for a lefty, and I used Wood’s picture. I placed Wood in a tier that I titled The “whoa, wait, you’re actually making moves? Cool!” options. And I started that tier by stating, “The Giants almost surely won’t sign these players, so move on with your life. But it sure would be cool if they did.”
And it is cool!
Wood has struggled the past two seasons, as he dealt with a shoulder injury in 2020 and a back injury in 2019. Those injuries led to a 5.96 ERA, a 6.02 FIP, and 45 strikeouts to 15 walks in just 48.1 innings.
But prior to that, Wood — who turned 30 just a few days ago — was a very good pitcher. From 2016 to 2018, he had a 3.29 ERA, a 3.38 FIP, and 352 strikeouts to 98 walks in 364.1 innings. In his six seasons prior to 2019, he had been worth 13.4 fWAR in just over 800 innings.
Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi is certainly familiar with Wood, as both were members of the Los Angeles Dodgers for many years. It will be a tiny bit odd to see Wood in a Giants uniform, since he’s spent about half of his career wearing Dodger blue, but I think Giants fans will adjust just fine.
This certainly isn’t a move that will put the Giants in contention in a division that features the Dodgers and San Diego Padres, but it certainly feels like the Giants are a better team today than they were yesterday.