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Giants find their lefty starter and sign former Dodgers standout


Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


The Giants added a World Series champion.

As well as, following a trend, a 2019 Cincinnati Red and a figure from Farhan Zaidi’s past.

The Giants’ rotation seems about set after they signed Alex Wood, a helpful piece of the Dodgers’ title run last season, for $3 million Thursday in a one-year pact that includes another $3 million available in performance bonuses. The 30-year-old becomes the first and likely only lefty in the group that includes Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto, Anthony DeSclafani and likely Logan Webb. Tyler Beede, coming off Tommy John surgery, is targeting a May return.

It is likely the Giants add more fliers, but this is the five that projects to leave Scottsdale as the club’s rotation.

Wood excelled with Zaidi’s Dodgers and was a 2017 All-Star, a season in which he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA. His career was sidetracked by a 2019 back injury that limited him to seven appearances before a shoulder ailment cost him all but 12 2/3 innings in last season’s regular season. He bounced back for the postseason, though, and pitched four scoreless innings in two relief appearances to help the Dodgers break through.

Reconnecting with Zaidi makes sense, as well as reconnecting with a handful of teammates from Cincinnati, where he spent his 2019 campaign. The pipeline from the Giants, which began with respected hitting coach Donnie Ecker, is real. That season’s team featured Gausman, DeSclafani, Wood and reliever Wandy Peralta throwing to newly signed Giants catcher Curt Casali. Go back a previous season and newly signed Giants reliever Matt Wisler was a Red, too.

The Giants believe they have the coaching staff that can maximize players’ talents, as evidenced by the growth of Gausman, Drew Smyly and Drew Pomeranz. Wood, whose velocity actually rose last season with a fastball that averaged 91.2 mph, becomes the latest and likely final hope for the rotation.

 

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