The San Francisco Giants have been a team built around their pitching staff. In their two world championship years, 2010 and 2012, it was the pitching that led the way.
Unfortunately, the pitching faltered this past season and GM Brian Sabean is tasked with rebuilding the staff. We could possibly see as many as seven new faces making up the Giants' pitching staff next year.
In a previous article, I wrote about the available free-agent starting pitchers the Giants could be looking at. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1805694-san-francisco-giants-guide-to-the-2013-free-agency-pitching-market
We will now focus on the bullpen, which was a disappointment in 2013. Only Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez pitched consistently well over the course of the season.
Injuries and ineffectiveness cost the Giants dearly and Sabean has several holes to fill. If Heath Hembree throws the ball well in the spring, he will join Romo and Santiago Casilla from the right side. The only lefty signed at the big league level is Jeremy Affeldt and he had a very poor year.
The Giants may opt not to retain their only other left-hander, Jose Mijares, who is arbitration eligible. Mijares pitched very poorly in 2013 and may be cut loose.
Lopez is a free agent and will be in high demand. Other Giants' relief pitchers in 2013 included George Kontos, Sandy Rosario, Jean Machi, Jake Dunning and Guillermo Moscoso. None of these pitchers did enough to warrant any job security heading into 2014.
Yusmeiro Petit pitched well late in the season and is still under the Giants' arbitration control. However, he could be a candidate for the Giants' vacant fifth starter role.
Chad Gaudin also pitched well until an injury ended his season prematurely. Gaudin excelled out of the bullpen as a long reliever and pitched well when he became a starter after the injury to Ryan Vogelsong.
Gaudin is also a free agent, so there's no guarantee he will be returning.
Sabean will be looking to sign one and potentially two left-handed relievers. He will also look to acquire one more solid reliever from the right side and a long reliever, spot starter type.
Let's take a closer look at which relievers might fit into the Giants' plans.
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com. All contract details courtesy of baseballprospectus.com.