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5 non-tendered players Giants could pursue

@mi_guardado
December 5, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants wasted little time in retaining one of their four non-tendered players, re-signing left-hander Tyler Anderson to a one-year contract with a $1.775 million base salary plus incentives. There figure to be other players in the non-tender pool who could pique the Giants’ interest this offseason.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants wasted little time in retaining one of their four non-tendered players, re-signing left-hander Tyler Anderson to a one-year contract with a $1.775 million base salary plus incentives.

There figure to be other players in the non-tender pool who could pique the Giants’ interest this offseason. Fifty-six players around the Majors became free agents on Monday after their former clubs declined to tender them contracts for 2020, creating new options for the Giants to consider as they look for ways to improve their roster.

Here’s a look at five non-tendered players who could be a fit for the Giants:

César Hernández, 2B

The Giants would like to add a left-handed-hitting infielder who can complement third baseman Evan Longoria and second baseman Mauricio Dubón, both of whom bat right-handed. The switch-hitting Hernández could be on their radar, especially given new manager Gabe Kapler’s familiarity with him. Hernández, 29, played under Kapler with the Phillies and has been valued for his on-base skills, though his production has dipped over the last two years. He batted .279 with a .741 OPS and 14 home runs (13 of which came against right-handed pitchers) and was projected to earn $11 million in his final year of arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

The majority of Hernández’s starts have come at second base, but the Phillies also used him at third base, shortstop and center field earlier in his career. That background could make him attractive to the Giants, who have put more of an emphasis on defensive versatility under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

Kevin Gausman, RHP

Starting pitching will be a priority for the Giants this offseason, though it’s unlikely that they’ll be major players for top-tier options like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg. The Giants’ two rotation additions last offseason -- Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz -- signed one-year contracts, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Zaidi make similar short-term moves to bolster the club’s pitching depth while still leaving opportunities for young starters like Tyler Beede, Logan Webb and Shaun Anderson to further their development in 2020.

Gausman, who turns 29 in January, could fit the bill for the Giants. He logged a 5.72 ERA over 31 appearances (17 starts) between the Braves and Reds, but he continues to be a power arm and averaged a career-high 10 strikeouts per nine innings this season. Gausman posted a 3.92 ERA in 31 starts for the Orioles and Braves in 2018, so it could make sense to take a flyer on him and slot him behind veterans Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija in the 2020 rotation.

Blake Treinen, RHP

There will be significant interest in Treinen, who was an All-Star closer for the A’s in 2018 but is coming off a down season. Treinen, 31, recorded a minuscule 0.78 ERA with 100 strikeouts and 21 walks over 80 1/3 innings in '18 for Oakland, but his effectiveness waned as he dealt with command issues and injuries in '19. Treinen still averaged 96.5 mph on his sinker, but he proved far more hittable this past season, logging a 4.91 ERA over 58 2/3 innings.

The Giants will need a new closer after losing Will Smith to the Braves and could use another experienced back-end arm like Treinen in their bullpen, but he will likely have a healthy market in free agency due to his past success.

Yimi García, RHP

García could be another intriguing relief option for the Giants to consider, as he recorded a 3.61 ERA over 64 appearances for the Dodgers in 2019. He was homer prone, surrendering 15 home runs over 62 1/3 innings, but his flyball tendencies could play better in the expansive outfield at Oracle Park. Zaidi is familiar with the 29-year-old given their shared background with the Dodgers.

Junior Guerra, RHP

Guerra will turn 35 in January, but the veteran right-hander is coming off a solid season after posting a 3.55 ERA over 83 2/3 innings for the Brewers in 2019. Guerra has posted relatively even splits over his career, a skill that will likely be more in demand now that MLB is expected to adopt the three-batter-minimum rule for relievers next season.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.