SAN FRANCISCO -- Though another day passed without the Giants acquiring an experienced outfielder, they addressed the enduring issue of starting-rotation depth Wednesday by signing free-agent left-hander Thomas Pomeranz to a one-year contract.Pomeranz was a 2016 National League All-Star with San Diego before being dealt to Boston. He finished 17-6
SAN FRANCISCO -- Though another day passed without the Giants acquiring an experienced outfielder, they addressed the enduring issue of starting-rotation depth Wednesday by signing free-agent left-hander Thomas Pomeranz to a one-year contract.
Pomeranz was a 2016 National League All-Star with San Diego before being dealt to Boston. He finished 17-6 with the Red Sox in '17 but endured two arm injuries last year, limiting him to 74 innings and a 2-6 record.
The 30-year-old joins a full field of candidates for spots in the season-opening rotation, including Madison Bumgarner, Dereck Rodriguez, Derek Holland, Chris Stratton, Andrew Suarez and Jeff Samardzija.
Giants president Farhan Zaidi pointed out that most clubs employ more than five or six starters during any given season.
"I don't think there's anything particularly nuanced or inventive about it. I think every team wants to have as much pitching depth, particularly starting-pitching depth, as possible," Zaidi said.
The Giants' rotation needs strength in numbers, particularly since they don't know what to expect from Samardzija, the right-hander who made only 10 starts last year due to shoulder problems.
"All indications for us are [Samardzija] is going to be ready for the start of the season, ready for camp, ready to throw in games. As of now, he's very much on schedule," Zaidi said.
But, Zaidi added, "He's not a guy you can afford to write in for 32 to 34 starts."
Zaidi insisted that he remains mindful of replenishing San Francisco's outfield. With the departures of Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco, the most experienced outfielder on the club's 40-man roster is Mac Williamson, who has 1 year and 113 days of big league service time.
San Francisco's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training camp at Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 12. Position players must report Feb. 17. Zaidi sounded confident about obtaining outfield help in due time.
"As long as we feel that there are good options out there, whether it be via trade or free agency, the actual pulling of the trigger becomes a little bit less relevant," Zaidi said. "As long as you feel like you have some good leads, which I think we do, you don't want to get in a situation of urgency or even panic. We're continuing to have those conversations. ... I'm still optimistic about making some additions on that front."
Pomeranz will be a bargain if he overcomes his injuries and regains his relatively recent form. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported that Pomeranz will receive a $1.5 million base salary with incentives that can increase the deal's value to $5 million.
In eight Major League seasons, Pomeranz has posted a 44-48 record with a 3.92 ERA in 196 games with four teams. He reached his zenith between 2016-17, when he had a combined 3.32 ERA in 63 games (62 starts).
"He was one of the best left-handed starters in baseball," Zaidi said.
Then came a forearm flexor strain at the beginning of last season, followed by biceps tendinitis in June. The ailments forced Pomeranz onto the disabled list.
Pomeranz related that the eventual World Series champion Red Sox urged their pitchers to take "kind of a relaxed approach" toward preparing for the season. This didn't exactly suit Pomeranz, who indicated that he prefers to throw more regularly.
Pomeranz thus found himself trying to compensate for lost time when the regular season began. He sustained the forearm injury before his first start.
Therefore, Pomeranz has trained diligently during this offseason. "There's zero lack of motivation this year," he said. "I definitely have put in way more time than I have in a long time."
To make room on the 40-man roster for Pomeranz, the Giants designated outfielder Mike Gerber for assignment.
Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.