When the Giants signed Kevin Gausman to a one-year, $9 million contract last offseason, the hope was that he would build up enough value so that the front office could deal him at the trade deadline.
Instead, with the Giants in contention for an NL playoff spot due to the expanded field, Farhan Zaidi, the president of baseball operations, hung on to Gausman.
Now, former Giants pitcher and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Shawn Estes is calling on Zaidi to keep Gausman in San Francisco long-term.
"I believe Kevin Gausman should be a Giant for years to come," Estes said during Giants Pregame Live on Monday. "I relate him a lot to Jason Schmidt. Jason Schmidt came over the Giants when he was 28 years old and he ended up winning 78 games with the Giants in six years. He was a three-time All-Star. And he was one of those guys that kind of spun his wheels with other teams for a while.
"I believe Gausman is one of those guys, that he's finally coming into his own and he's going to be good for a long time. So I think the Giants should do themselves a favor and lock this guy up."
Drafted No. 4 overall in the 2012 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles, Gausman spent the first five full seasons playing at Camden Yards. In his sixth season, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves.
Last season, the Braves waived Gausman and he was claimed by the Cincinnati Reds where was used as a reliever for the first time in his career. He had success in that role and turned it into a one-year contract with the Giants.
So far this season with the Giants, he's been one of manager Gabe Kapler's most reliable starters. Entering his outing Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gausman has posted a 4.43 ERA and struck out 53 batters in 40 2/3 innings over seven starts and one relief appearance.
The Giants very likely will be in the market for starting pitchers this winter, so keeping Gausman in their system might be a good idea. He does turn 30 in January, but if he can pitch like Schmidt did from 2002 through 2004 with the Giants, then re-signing Gausman would turn out to be a good investment for Zaidi.