Giants sign LHP Boyd, expected to 'start meaningful games'

March 20th, 2022

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants continued to layer on pitching depth on Sunday, announcing deals with left-hander Matthew Boyd and right-handers Carlos Martínez and Taylor Williams.

Boyd, who is targeting a June return after undergoing surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his left forearm in September, received a one-year, $5.2 million contract, while Martínez and Williams landed Minor League deals with invitations to big league camp.

Boyd’s contract includes up to $2.3 million in performance bonuses for games started as a pitcher at the Major League level: $400,000 each for 12, 14 and 16 starts; $500,000 for 18 starts; and $600,000 for 20 starts.

Boyd went 3-8 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP with 67 strikeouts over 78 2/3 innings in 15 starts for the Tigers in 2021. The 31-year-old has compiled a 37-62 record with a 4.96 ERA over his seven seasons in the Majors with Toronto and Detroit.

Boyd said he was drawn to the Giants due to their proximity to his hometown of Seattle and their reputation for developing pitchers.

“I wanted to play for a winning organization,” Boyd said Sunday. “It was a combination of a winning organization, being close to home and playing for a place where I can grow. I believe my best baseball is ahead of me. I know I’ve started to taste that over the last few years. I wanted to go somewhere that I could grow as a ballplayer and truly develop and propel hopefully the next 10-plus years of my career. I thought there was no better place to do it than with this staff. I’m really, really excited to be wearing black and orange.”

The Giants already appear to have a set starting rotation in Logan Webb, Carlos Rodón, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood and Alex Cobb, but they’ve been stockpiling arms to ensure they have enough depth to guard against injuries and underperformance. While Boyd will be unavailable to start the season, the Giants will be able to keep him in their back pocket and fold him into the mix once he’s healthy.

“I think he’s going to start meaningful games for us this season,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I’m pretty confident in that. Obviously that’s going to be dictated by health, but we have every intention of having him pitch big games for us. We’ve discussed this many, many times over the last couple of years, but I think it’s always worth reminding, we’re not going to have five guys, or six guys or seven guys make 162 starts and all of the potential playoff starts. We need to have a lot of guys able to contribute to take down all those innings. He’s going to help us with that.”

Boyd said his rehab is going well, as he resumed throwing in January and is aiming to get on the mound in the next couple of weeks.

In addition to Boyd, the Giants signed Jakob Junis, a possible swingman, and brought in Martínez, a two-time All-Star with the Cardinals, to compete for a spot on the pitching staff this spring. Martínez’s deal will be worth $2.5 million if he makes the team, with up to $1.5 million in incentives, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Martínez, 30, logged a 3.36 ERA while working as a starter and a closer over the first seven years of his career, but his past two seasons have been derailed by injuries. He posted a 6.23 ERA over 16 starts in 2021 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb in July.

“Obviously we’ve seen him as a pretty good pitcher in years past with St. Louis,” Kapler said. “We want to see him get back to that level of performance and then let the innings that we see from him dictate the best way for him to help our club at some point. He’s obviously been electric at times in his career. That’s no guarantee that he’s able to show up and have that same level of performance right away, but we’re going to do everything we can to support him and put him in a position to reach that potential.”

Williams, a 30-year-old reliever, has a career 5.29 ERA over five Major League seasons with the Brewers, Mariners, Padres and Marlins.

To clear a spot for Boyd on the 40-man roster, the Giants designated outfielder Austin Dean for assignment.