The San Francisco Giants finally made a move, and they brought back one of their most popular players in the process. They re-signed Sergio Romo to a two-year, $15 million contract. It’s a deal that shows a few things.
1. Romo wasn’t getting much interest around Major League Baseball as a potential closer.
2. The Giants still believe in Romo as a setup man at the very least, and probably envision a time where they’d need to use him as a closer if something happened to Santiago Casilla.
3. The four relievers who’ve played a part throughout this three-title run will remain in the Giants’ bullpen (or dugout, when games are played at AT&T Park).
But there are still several other roster holes left to fill. They need a starter and a third baseman most of all, and some outfield help would be nice. According to a source close to the team, three players they’re targeting in trade talks would fill those holes quite nicely. What remains to be seen is what the Nationals, Yankees and Rays will ask for in return.
He’s arbitration eligible (MLB Trade Rumors projects Fister to get a 2015 salary of $11.4 million), and set to hit the free agent market in 2016. Fister dealt with elbow inflammation in March and a lat strain that kept him out until May, but he was good enough to finish eighth in the Cy Young voting anyway. He’s also one of the better postseason pitchers in baseball: 4-2, 2.60 ERA in 55.1 innings, including just one run over 13 innings in two starts against the Giants (including seven shutout innings in Madison Bumgarner’s only loss).
He threw his sinker 57% of the time in 2014, and doesn’t strike out or walk a high percentage of batters, so trading for Fister would almost be like adding a version of Tim Hudson who’s 6′ 8″ and almost nine years younger.
The Giants need a third baseman. The Yankees don’t, because they re-signed Chase Headley (Alex Rodriguez is also returning — woo-hoo). Prado, 31, is making $11 million in each of the next two seasons and quietly is one of the more valuable players the Giants would have a chance at acquiring. Based on WAR, his career has been roughly equal to Justin Upton’s (22.4 rWAR and 19.2 fWAR over 981 games for Prado; 20.0 rWAR and 22.5 fWAR over 1,034 games for Upton).
Prado is currently the Yankees’ starting second baseman, but they need pitching and seem to like Jose Pirela (there was talk that the Yankees would move Prado to third and start Pirela at second if they were unable to keep Headley).
The Giants talked to the Rays before the 2014 trade deadline about Zobrist, who’s similar to Prado in that he can play second base, third base and left field. Zobrist, 33, can also play shortstop and right field. His power has dropped a bit after consecutive 20-homer seasons in 2011-12, but he’s been remarkably consistent nonetheless.
- 2013 slash line: .275/.354/.402
- 2014 slash line: .272/.354/.395
He’s also making just $7.5 million next year, a small sum for a guy who’s averaged 6.2 rWAR and 5.9 fWAR over the last six seasons. Zobrist is a free agent after the 2015 season.