Giants

Giants

Madison Bumgarner is an Arizona Diamondback. Let that sink in. With the Giants' longtime ace gone, one thing is clear: It's rental season for San Francisco's starting rotation. 

The Giants already added possible one-year stopgaps in Kevin Gausman and Tyler Anderson. A third option makes way too much sense when you look at how Farhan Zaidi is constructing the 2020 roster. 

Alex Wood checks every need for the Giants. Willing to take a one-year contract? Check. Trade deadline candidate? Check. Farhan Zaidi connection? Checkmate. 

Wood, who turns 29 years old in January, was limited to only seven starts last season for the Cincinnati Reds due to back issues. When he was on the mound, he was far from dominant. The veteran left-hander went just 1-3 with a career-high 5.80 ERA and career-worst 1.40 WHIP. 

Prior to last season, however, Wood was coming off a solid three-year stretch with the Los Angeles Dodgers where he went 26-14 with a 3.29 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 122 ERA+ over 74 appearances (62 starts). Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations, knows exactly how valuable the lefty can be, too. 

When Zaidi was the Dodgers' general manager, he acquired Wood from the Braves as part of a three-team deal at the 2015 MLB trade deadline. Two seasons later, Wood made his first All-Star Game and finished ninth in NL Cy Young award voting. 

Gausman, who signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Giants at the Winter Meetings, could be this year's version of Drew Pomeranz and help San Francisco add another top prospect before the deadline. The better bet to do so, though, is Wood. 

 

Known for his sinker, Wood has been working on adding velocity this offseason. His average fastball velocity was a career-low 90 mph last season, according to FanGraphs, with his sinker averaging 89.9 -- his slowest since 2015. 

The Giants currently have more than a handful of options for their rotation going into next spring. There are veterans like Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Gausman and Anderson, but the rotation also features younger options like Logan Webb, who still is on an innings limit.

Zaidi also stacked the Dodgers with pitching depth and he very well could do the same in San Francisco by adding at least one more veteran. 

MLB Trade Rumors predicted Wood to sign a one-year, $8 million contract this offseason. That seems right in Zaidi and the rest of the front office's wheelhouse. 

[RELATED: What Giants' rotation might look like with MadBum now gone]

If the Giants exceed expectations next season, Wood is a proven veteran who can be relied on in the rotation or out of the bullpen. If they are down in the standings at the deadline, he can help them retrieve another building block for the future. 

It's rental season in San Francisco, and Wood could be the Giants' next reclamation project.