The Giants never officially named a closer in 2020, but early on Gabe Kapler didn't really have to.
Trevor Gott was pretty much perfect in his first six appearances, picking up four saves and a win to lock that job down for three weeks before his season went off the rails. The stretch against the A's and Los Angeles Angels was shocking and Gott ended his season on the Injured List. But when the Giants brought him back in the offseason, it seemed he was in a good spot. That's why it was a bit of a surprise when Gott was the one designated for assignment Sunday, when the Giants officially signed right-handed starter Aaron Sanchez.
President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the Giants hope to keep Gott in the organization and called it a "difficult" decision.
"We have a pretty deep pitching group right now with some of the (non-roster invitees) that we've brought in and guys on the roster," Zaidi said. "Certainly we would have preferred a situation where we didn't have to make a move off the roster, but that was just a position of depth. Obviously we'll see what happens.
"There's been a lot of activity in the reliever market here lately so we'll see what happens, but if we are able to keep Trevor in the organization we have some things that we're hoping that we can work with him on to kind of get him back on track. The first half of 2019, he did a tremendous job for us, and we feel like there's still a chance to get him back to that level."
Gott had a solid season in 2019 and won the closer job with a strong summer camp in 2020. He allowed 13 runs in 15 appearances, but 11 of them came over a four-day stretch in the middle of August. Given his experience and strong fastball, it's possible Gott is claimed by another organization.
The Giants and Gott avoided arbitration in the offseason by agreeing to a $700,000 contract, but the deal is not fully guaranteed until Opening Day. Since they settled their first round of arbitration cases, the Giants have continued to add non-roster right-handers who are vying for bullpen jobs and they also took Dedniel Nuñez in the Rule 5 Draft. Just over the last week, they've signed Nick Tropeano and Shun Yamugachi, both of whom are options for the initial 26-man roster.
The Giants already cleared one 40-man spot by putting John Brebbia on the 60-day IL as he rehabs from Tommy John and they technically could have done the same with Tyler Beede, who also is recovering from elbow reconstructive surgery. But Zaidi said the front office felt it was too soon to go that route with Beede, who is throwing well in camp and could be back in May or June.