The San Francisco Giants made a free agent pitcher signing on Tuesday evening during the second full day of the Winter Meetings. The team announced they have signed right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman to a one-year contract at the major-league level.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal will pay Gausman $9 million up front with an additional $1 million available in incentives. Those bonuses would be paid out in increments of $250K each should Gausman reach 18, 22, 26, and 30 starts in 2020. This brings the potential total value up to $10 million — a double-digit signing for the former Orioles, Braves, and Reds hurler.
Gausman (SFGiants): $9M guaranteed, and $250k for 18, 22, 26, 30 starts— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2019
Gausman, a Louisiana State University product, is currently 28 years old but will turn 29 in January. The former Orioles first-round pick made his MLB debut with Baltimore in 2013, tallying a handful of dominant seasons (including a year in which he made an MLB-best 34 starts) before being dealt to the Braves at the 2018 trade deadline. He spent roughly a year in Atlanta before finding his way to Cincinnati this past season.
In 2019, between Atlanta and Cincinnati, Gausman made 17 starts and appeared out of the bullpen 14 times. All 14 of those relief appearances came in the latter half of the year with Cincinnati, so it will be interesting to see what role he has with the Giants in 2020. Throughout these 31 games, Gausman pitched 102.1 innings, allowing 71 runs on 113 hits for a worrying 5.72 ERA. He walked 32 batters while striking out 114.
The Giants have what it takes to be contenders but are losing Madison Bumgarner this offseason and haven’t been mentioned much in conversations surrounding baseball’s top star free agents. Thus, while they should pump out an above-.500 season, they aren’t quite in a position to challenge the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers and the rest of the National League’s exciting clubs.