MLB

San Francisco Giants Remain in Search of Rotation Help Despite Samardzija Signing

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Mike Leake #13 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by teammates after they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park on September 30, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants signed starter Jeff Samardzija to a five-year, $90 million deal over the weekend, bolstering their rotation behind ace Madison Bumgarner. After missing out on Zack Greinke, the Giants moved swiftly to add Samardzija to a rotation that will also feature Jake Peavy, Chris Heston and Matt Cain rounding out the final three slots.

Even with what appears to be a complete rotation, the Giants may not be done on the pitching market, as there remain a number of second-tier free agents that GM Bobby Evans and the front office have been linked to. That includes the likes of Mike Leake, last year’s deadline acquisition, as well as Scott Kazmir.

Leake in particular looks like the team’s main target, with Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal reporting that, “the San Francisco Giants are still in on Leake, also Iwakuma [prior to his signing in L.A.]. Nothing brewing in trade discussions at this time.”

Leake is reportedly expected to land a deal in the five-year, $75-80 million range, with the Diamondbacks and Cardinals also suitors alongside the Giants.

The Giants are also in need of some outfield help, but as the team stated early in the offseason, pitching would be their main focus this winter. If healthy, the Giants have a full rotation already, but that remains a big if, especially after the amount of injuries suffered to the rotation last season. Every starting pitcher aside from Bumgarner and Heston spent some time on the disabled list, and that included since-departed starters Tim Hudson, Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum. Even with as many as eight pitching options last season, Bruce Bochy struggled to keep a full rotation, so it’s no surprise that the Giants would like to further shore up their rotation while quality options remain on the market.

“As the market unfolded over the last 10 days, it’s been helpful to put a significant piece into our rotation,” Evans said. “There’s still a lot of different scenarios and discussions with trades, and there are still free agents out there and markets developing, and we’re trying to understand the level of all those options.”

Outside of the pitching rotation, the Giants are also looking at Ben Zobrist to help fill their left field position, with reports that the two sides met earlier this week. With the Winter Meetings taking place this week, it’s likely that San Francisco makes another signing by the end of the week.

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