It’s been an exceedingly quiet offseason for the San Francisco Giants, unless you’re Kevin Gausman’s bank account. And it appears bound to stay that way.
The Giants have long been one of the handful of teams linked to 31-year old right-hander Tomoyuki Sugano, who has been shutting down hitters in Nippon Professional Baseball, posting a 1.97 ERA with a 0.888 WHIP in 2020.
But it looks like the Giants will ultimately pass on bolstering the rotation, for a predictable yet lame reason: money. According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Giants aren’t expected to match Sugano’s desired price tag.
The New York Mets are out. Other teams to whom he has been linked, like the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox, are not expected to pay Sugano what he desires ... The next 24 hours are likely to determine Sugano’s near-term future. Teams recognize that Sugano could see the depressed free-agent market and balk, targeting next year, when the worst part of the pandemic is expected to have passed and he can hit free agency without his signing team needed to pay a posting fee to Yomiuri.
None of this is surprising, given the Giants reluctance to spend money until (hopefully) next offseason, when Evan Longoria will presumably be the only large contract on the books. And without knowing what type of contract Sugano is seeking, it’s hard to be thorough in any criticism.
And yet still: it’s lame. Sugano was likely looking for something in the $10-15 million range, for only a few years, so he wasn’t going to break the bank or hinder future avenues to improve. He provided the Giants an opportunity to nab an intriguing talent who they could potentially hold on to for years if he panned out.
Sugano would be an ultra-fun addition, and on the surface at least, appears to be a player that offers a ton of potential reward with limited risk.
But it looks like the Giants are hell bent on saving their arcade tokens, and coming back on a random Tuesday.