Although the San Francisco Giants have been described as a team that needs to upgrade its pitching staff, a new report suggests that the team might not go after former Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole despite his status as one of the top free-agent hurlers this offseason. Likewise, the Giants also aren’t expected to chase after Cole’s fellow free-agent superstar Anthony Rendon, who had a standout season at third base for this year’s World Series champions, the Washington Nationals.
In Monday’s edition of his column for The Mercury News, Kerry Crowley answered a question from a fan who asked if San Francisco will go after Cole, Rendon, or any of the other highly-regarded free agents available on the market. According to Crowley, the Giants likely “don’t feel it’s time” to go after such players, as the team might opt instead to target players in the “next tier” as they address their needs in the pitching rotation and the outfield.
As further speculated, the Giants’ top pitching options in lieu of Cole might include Zack Wheeler, a former San Francisco prospect who last played for the New York Mets, as well as ex-Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu. Crowley added that the team might also try to re-sign longtime starter Madison Bumgarner, who won three World Series and appeared in four All-Star Games in his 11 MLB seasons with the Giants.
“If they strike out in an attempt to lure a mid-to-top of the rotation starter to San Francisco, the next group of starting pitchers includes Tanner Roark, Julio Teheran and Wade Miley,” Crowley wrote.
As Crowley focused on recommendations for the outfield after discussing San Francisco’s likely pitching targets, he did not touch on the organization’s present situation at third base. However, Fansided‘s Around the Foghorn wrote earlier this month that Giants president Farhan Zaidi likely won’t consider free agents such as Rendon and Josh Donaldson in the event the team trades its starting third baseman, Evan Longoria.
Due to the fact that Cole is a California native, previous reports have linked the 29-year-old right-hander to MLB’s two Los Angeles-based teams — the Dodgers and the Angels. Rendon, meanwhile, has been associated with teams such as the Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox in free-agency rumors, although MLB Network insider Jon Heyman recently suggested that the Nationals are hoping to bring him back and sign him to a new contract, as cited by ClutchPoints.