As the team heads down to Arizona in preparation for its first Spring Training game on February 23, the Giants are reportedly looking to bolster their bullpen with free agent reliever Tony Watson.
The #SFGiants are involved in serious contract talks with prized free agent reliever Tony Watson for the back end of their bulllen.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 13, 2018
Watson first reached the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011. After three years, his best came in 2014, where he held a 10-2 record with a 1.63 ERA in 77.1 innings pitched over 78 games. He went on to put up a 1.91 ERA the following year in roughly the same amount of work.
Last July, Watson was traded by the Pirates to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who eventually won their fifth straight NL West pennant and reached the World Series for the first time since 1988. Watson served the Dodgers well in the World Series, taking credit for two of their victories after pitching only 3.2 innings against the Houston Astros, and is one of the top free agent relievers on the market.
The Giants did well to fill their needs at third base and the outfield, but the bullpen remains an area where they could use some help. They’re coming off a season, where their bullpen put up a 4.34 ERA, which was the 19th highest in the major leagues. Even before last season, the Giants had a 3.65 bullpen ERA that ranked as the 15th worst in baseball.
However, signing Watson would inevitably put the Giants over the luxury-tax threshold; a mark they’ve managed to stay under, despite the additions of Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen.