San Francisco Giants: Guide to the 2013 Free-Agent Pitching Market

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San Francisco Giants: Guide to the 2013 Free-Agent Pitching Market
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Will Tim Lincecum return to the orange and black?

The San Francisco Giants finished the 2013 regular season with a record of 76-86, in a tie for third place in the NL West. The Giants ended up 16 games behind the Dodgers, who won the division.

The task now falls to GM Brian Sabean to rebuild and retool the roster. The Giants have already begun the process by signing outfielder Hunter Pence to a five-year, $90 million contract.

Sabean will look for another quality outfielder, but his main focus right now is the pitching staff. Currently, the Giants have only Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain for their starting rotation and must fill three more starting jobs.

Tim Lincecum is a free agent, and it remains to be seen if the Giants can sign him. The Giants will also pay Barry Zito his $7 million buyout and allow him to move on.

The case of Ryan Vogelsong is a bit more cloudy. The Giants can opt to exercise his option and pay him $6.5 million for 2014. Alternatively, they can give him $300,000 and allow him to become a free agent.

It appears as though the Giants would like to keep Vogelsong but for a price tag well below the $6.5 million. However, by letting him test the open market, it is possible that Vogelsong will sign elsewhere if he gets a better offer than what the Giants are willing to pay.

The Giants also have a couple of major needs in the bullpen, as they need one lefty for sure and maybe two. They would also like to add one more quality middle reliever from the right side, in addition to a long reliever.

Retaining free-agent lefty relief specialist Javier Lopez would go a long way to ensuring the Giants bullpen is solid in 2014. Lopez and Sergio Romo were the Giants' two most effective pitchers out of the bullpen this past season.

Since Sabean's top priority is with the starting rotation, we will focus on the options he has there.

Let's take a closer look at which starters are available on the free-agent market and assess how they might fit in with the Giants.

All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com. All contract data courtesy of baseballprospectus.com.

 

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