By Chandler Guadagnin
From the Giants dramatic collapse against the Cubs in Game 4 of the NLDS, it is clear that San Francisco plans to improve their bullpen, primarily from the in the closer position. This offseason, offers a plethora of closing arms that the Giants could pursue before the start of the 2017 season. Below is a list of possible closer options for San Francisco.
Aroldis Chapman, LHP
After spending the 2016 season with the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs, Aroldis Chapman is back on the market looking to continue his success with a big contract. According to the current collective bargaining agreement, because Chapman split the year between to different teams, he is ineligible to receive a qualifying offer. Thus, the team that signs Chapman, need not worry about surrendering a draft pick. This season, between the Yankees and Cubs, Chapman posted a 4-1 record over 59 games and 58 innings pitched with a 1.55 ERA and 36 saves in 39 attempts. In the postseason, he tacked up a record of 2-0 over 13 games and 15.2 innings pitched with a 3.45 ERA and 4 saves in 7 opportunities. Besides his success in the bullpen, Chapman is known for his electric arm; which often, reaches triple digits. In all, Chapman is sure to receive a good paycheck.
Kenley Jansen, RHP
Jansen spent the 2016 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 68.2 innings pitched over 71 games, he went 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA, striking out 104 and compiled 47 saves in 53 chances. This postseason, he posted a 0-0 record with a 3.09 ERA in 11.2 innings pitched over 7 games. The Dodgers have tendered Jansen a qualifying offer; meaning that, whoever signs Jansen, will forfeit a draft pick to his former team.
Mark Melancon, RHP
The 31 year old, four time All-Star pitched for both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals in 2016. During the regular season, with both Pittsburgh and Washington, Melancon went 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 71.1 innings pitched over 75 games, collecting 47 saves in 51 opportunities. Melancon, too, was a part of the 2016 postseason. He logged a 0-0 record in 4.1 innings pitched in 4 games with an ERA of 0.00 and went 1 for 1 in saves.
Not only are the Giants in need of a shutdown closer; they also are in search of an outfield bat. Options for the Giants include:
Yoenis Cespedes, CF
The 2016 Silver Slugger spent the 2016 season with the New York Mets.; electing to opt of his three year contract after a year. In 132 games played, Cespedes amassed 134 hits including 25 doubles, 1 triple and 31 home runs with 108 strikeouts and 51 walks, on his way to a .280 batting average and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .884. Cespedes has been tendered a qualifying offer from the Mets.
Dexter Fowler, CF
A 2016 All-Star, Fowler spent the 2016 campaign as the leadoff man for the World Champion Chicago Cubs. Fowler hit .276 in 125 games with 25 doubles, 7 triples, and 13 home runs. Fowler is also known for his speed swiping 13 bases in 17 attempts. During the postseason, batted .250 with 5 doubles and 3 home runs and a stolen base. Fowler was tendered a qualifying offer from the Cubs.
Rajai Davis, CF
Davis, a former Giant, played for the AL Champion Cleveland Indians in 2016. This year, Davis hit for a batting average of .249 and an on-base percentage of .306. In 134 games played, Davis collected 113 hits, 37 of them for extra bases. For a 35 year old, Davis still has great speed as he swiped 43 bases in 49 tries. This postseason, Davis hit .147 in 15 games. Davis a double and of course, the World Series home run to tie Game 7.
San Francisco, who has already signed pitcher Josh Johnson to a minor league deal and picked up the club option on Matt Moore, have shown in past years that they are not afraid to spend some money. As the offseason progresses, the Giants will continue to monitor their options.
Statistics courtesy of www.mlb.com and www.baseball-reference.com