According to Ken Rosenthal, John Lackey could become a target of the San Francisco Giants.
Add #SFGiants to list of teams interested in Lackey, per sources. Giants, like most clubs seeking pitching, examining wide range of options.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 24, 2015
Lackey is coming off a fantastic 2015 season, and despite being 37 and attached to a qualifying offer, he should have no problem securing a contract. Last year he threw 218 innings, and posted an ERA of 2.77, an FIP of 3.57, and an fWAR of 3.6. Since 2003, Lackey has thrown at least 160 innings, and over the last three years, he's competed at least 189.1.
Heading into the 2016 season, the Giants' biggest question mark is undoubtedly their pitching staff. Behind Madison Bumgarner, the rest of San Francisco's rotation is Jake Peavy, Chris Heston, and Matt Cain.
In addition to Lackey, the Giants have also been connected to starters like David Price, and Zack Greinke. While San Francisco has the funds to pull off a deal for either one of those pitchers, they're reportedly looking to acquire two starters, which could make Lackey, and someone like Mike Leake more attractive than just one big name free agent.
The Giants have a few pitching prospects of note in their system, namely Clayton Blackburn, Tyler Beede, and Phil Bickford. Of these three, only Blackburn has a chance to crack the rotation at the outset of 2016, and San Francisco may want him to start the year in AAA. Signing Lackey, who's likely looking for a two-to-three year deal, would allow the Giants to give their prospects the time they need, and avoid the risk of rushing them to the big leagues.
As of now, the Giants' interest in Lackey is seemingly in the preliminary stages of offseason due diligence, but that could change once the market picks up over the next couple of weeks.