The Giants added a pretty solid relief option on Monday, but they'll have to wait a while to see if he can help fill a hole in their bullpen.
Right-hander John Brebbia was signed to a one-year, $800,000 contract, adding another reliable right-handed arm to a group that needed a couple more even after the previous addition of Matt Wisler. Brebbia had three good seasons for the Cardinals but missed all of 2020 after having Tommy John surgery. In a release to announce the signing, the Giants said Brebbia is progressing well in his rehab and additional updates will be provided closer to spring training. Brebbia surely will miss the start of the year and could be out until midseason, but the Giants can put him on the 60-day Injured List during spring training to open up that roster spot.
Brebbia, 30, is a former 30th-round pick who broke into the big leagues in 2017 and had a 3.14 ERA, 3.39 FIP and 1.10 WHIP in 161 appearances for the Cardinals. He pitched 66 times in 2019, posting a 3.59 ERA and 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
Brebbia ranked in the top 20 percent of MLB pitchers in most advanced metrics in 2019. He has a fastball that averaged 93.5 mph in 2019 and had a strong spin rate. In 2018, Brebbia regularly got his fastball above 97 mph. He's a two-pitch guy, complementing the fastball with a slider that opponents hit just .169 off in 2019.
The Giants have been looking for additional relief help from the right side, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said last week that additions likely would not be from the high end of a market that includes Liam Hendriks, Archie Bradley and other somewhat big names. The front office has now added Wisler and Brebbia for about $2 million, putting some experience alongside Reyes Moronta, Tyler Rogers and others.