The Giants have signed right-handed starter Anthony DeSclafani to a one-year deal worth $6 million, along with $250,000 in performance bonuses for innings pitched. The team announced the deal, which was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, on Wednesday:
The Giants signed Anthony DeSclafani to a one-year deal worth $6 million. He can make another $250,000 in performance bonuses for innings pitched.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) December 16, 2020
The 30-year-old DeSclafani has seemingly been ready to break out for about half a decade but has repeatedly been hampered by injuries. He missed the entire 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery, large chunks of the 2016 and ‘18 seasons due to oblique strains, and a couple weeks in 2020 with a back strain. He’s often been very good when healthy, though — particularly considering that his home ballpark has been Great American Ball Park for most of his career. He was stellar in 2016, posting a 3.28 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP over 20 starts for the Reds, and he was again fantastic in 2019 (only his second full, healthy season), throwing for a 3.89 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 31 starts.
Whether it was due to the lingering effects of the back injury, the unique conditions of the shortened 2020 season, or just a flat-out drop-off in performance, DeSclafani struggled this year, posting a career-worst 7.22 ERA and 1.69 WHIP with 25 strikeouts and 16 walks in 33.2 innings. That made him a rather cheap option to help fill out the back of the Giants’ rotation, and Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris’ front office will hope they can resurrect him in the same way they did with veteran journeymen Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, and Trevor Cahill in 2020.
With Smyly signing with the Braves, Cahill still a free agent, Tyler Anderson being non-tendered, and Jeff Samardzija being released, DeSclafani has a pretty good shot at opening the season as part of the Giants’ starting five. Gausman, Johnny Cueto, Logan Webb, and Tyler Beede figure to complete the rotation as things stand now, though it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see the Giants add more rotation depth as camp approaches, especially with Beede working his way back from Tommy John surgery.