The San Francisco Giants need starting pitching, and they are reportedly taking an "incredibly aggressive" approach to the position this offseason.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported as much Monday, noting Logan Webb was the only starting pitcher who is currently slated into the rotation. "The expectation is that they will sign multiple starting pitchers in the coming days," Passan wrote while also pointing out San Francisco is a desirable location for free agents after a successful 2021 campaign.
It didn't take long for the team to follow that aggressive path:
The Giants finished with the best record in the league last season at 107-55, although they lost to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series.
Despite the early playoff exit, they exceeded expectations and were aggressive at the trade deadline, acquiring 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant. They will reportedly remain aggressive this offseason as they look to build a team capable of competing with the powerhouse Dodgers once again in 2022.
Yet the only hope to realistically contend with Los Angeles is by addressing the pitching.
San Francisco already declined Johnny Cueto's $22 million club option, and Kevin Gausman and Alex Wood are free agents. Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi called the rotation the team's "No. 1 priority" this offseason, per Maria Guardado of MLB.com.
Guardado noted San Francisco has a "reputation for helping free-agent starters rebuild their value" thanks to director of pitching Brian Bannister and pitching coaches Andrew Bailey and J.P. Martinez, which could contribute to Passan's report that players want to join the team.
The rotation was just Webb prior to San Francisco's decision to re-sign Anthony DeSclafani, although that is a solid starting point.
The 25-year-old finished the 2021 season with a 3.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 158 strikeouts in 148.1 innings and appears primed to serve as a key contributor for the Giants in the immediate future. Who will be lined up around him and DeSclafani in the rotation is the bigger question.