Since winning the World Series in late October, the San Francisco Giants have made only a few additions to their roster. The team brought outfielder Andres Torres back into the fold on a one year deal, primarily to offer some depth off the bench. They also claimed pitcher Sandy Rosario off of waivers with the hope that he’ll compete for one of the final spots in the team’s bullpen. Beyond those moves, the Giants winter has been focused on retaining the core group that helped the team win for the second time in the past three seasons. Santiago Casilla inked a three year deal to avoid arbitration. Marco Scutaro re-signed on a three year deal. As did Jeremy Affeldt. Angel Pagan got four.
The Giants, for better or worse, have largely stood pat this winter. Coming off a winning season with few significant departures expected there wasn’t much that needed to be done.
It would now appear, according to CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly, that the team is looking to make one last move before Spring Training begins and have started “deep discussions” with free agent reliever Brandon Lyon. The two sides have reportedly been talking since earlier this month but have tabled discussions for the time being in order to allow the team to focus on its impending arbitration cases. Talks are expected to pick back up next week, though there is no certainty that a deal will be reached.
Lyon’s last foray into free agency resulted in a three year, $15 Million contract with the Houston Astros prior to the 2010 season. The move was widely panned at the time as a big mistake by the Astros. It was an overpay for a pitcher who wasn’t worth the long term commitment. Houston got just what they paid for. Lyon pitched just 91.1 innings over the first two years of the deal, posting a 9-9 mark with a 4.34 ERA and 1.434 WHIP. He may have saved 24 games over that span, but his walk rate spiked and he had trouble avoiding the home run ball. By July of this past season the Astros had seen enough, including Lyon in a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays mid-month. The veteran pitched well with Toronto, pulling his collective line on the year to a 4-2 mark with a 3.10 ERA, a career high 9.3 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9.
San Francisco will likely continue with Sergio Romo as their incumbent closer, but the potential addition of Lyon could be a nice pickup for the Giants. The move would also likely assure the end of Brian Wilson’s tenure with the team, as the reliever was non-tendered in early December but has yet to sign elsewhere on the open market.