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Giants sign RHP Aaron Sanchez

The rotation is filling out with a strong reclamation project.

Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said recently that the team would still like to add to its starting rotation, despite seemingly having five names penciled in. Turns out he wasn’t lying.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants have reached a one-year Major League deal with right-handed starter Aaron Sanchez.

Sanchez is an award-winning chef, best known for his roles as a judge on Chopped! and MasterChef a 28-year-old former All-Star who missed all of 2020 with a shoulder injury. He’s struggled a bit the last few years: in 2018 and 2019 he sported a 5.45 ERA and 5.02 FIP, with 126 walks to 201 strikeouts in 236.1 innings.

But he’s not that far removed from a 2016 season in which he had a 3.00 ERA, a 3.55 FIP, was worth 5.1 rWAR, and finished seventh in Cy Young voting. And again: still just 28 (side note: the Giants selected Gary Brown 10 slots ahead of Sanchez in the 2010 draft).

It’s the type of signing that the Giants have been known for since Zaidi took over. At worst, Sanchez will likely be modestly above replacement level, and an intriguing option that they could potentially move to the bullpen if need be. At best, he recovers from his slide (and injury), finds his mojo with the help of the Giants coaching staff (which has earned the benefit of the doubt here), and gives the Giants a high-quality season.

A pretty nice signing when viewed through that lens.

The Giants now have more starting pitchers than spots in the rotation, as Sanchez joins Johnny Cueto, Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood, and Logan Webb, with Tyler Beede nearing a return.

If that sounds like a problem, it isn’t.