Report: Giants have shown interest in free agent Odorizzi


The Giants already made one big move to their starting rotation by bringing Kevin Gausman back with the $18.9 million qualifying offer. That doesn't mean they're done adding, though. 

While the Giants already have been connected to Trevor Bauer, the cream of the free-agent crop, they likely have their eyes on some smaller names as well. ESPN's Buster Olney reported Monday morning that the Giants are part of a handful of teams that have shown interest in pitcher Jake Odorizzi. The 30-year-old could be one of the most underrated players on the open market, too.

Odorizzi spent a majority of the 2020 season on the injured list with a back injury, as well as time after being hit in the chest with a line drive. He made just four starts and had a 6.59 ERA. However, he made his first All-Star Game in 2019 and is a strong bounce-back candidate. 

In 2019, Odorizzi saw his average fastball velocity spike from 91.1 mph to 92.9 mph, which brought him great rewards. His average fastball sat at 93 mph in a small sample size this past season. Odorizzi's fastball had a 30 percent whiff percentage in 2019, and in total, he had a career-high 27.1 strikeout percentage.

The veteran right-hander went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA for the Minnesota Twins in 2019. He struck out 178 batters in 159 innings, and had a career-high 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

This past offseason, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi made smart moves by signing Gausman, Drew Smyly and Tyler Anderson to one-year contracts. Odorizzi falls in line as another candidate Zaidi could seek out with his velocity-range metrics. 

RELATED: Giants Mailbag: What's 2021 plan for Posey, Beede, others?

San Francisco's rotation is set to include Gausman and Johnny Cueto at the top. It's a bit of a question mark after that. Logan Webb still is only 23 years old -- he turns 24 on Wednesday -- and Tyler Beede is returning from Tommy John surgery. The Giants also need a veteran arm or two to bridge the gap with prospects Sean Hjelle and Tristan Beck on the way.

Sure, Zaidi and Co. might make a splash by signing someone like Bauer. Adding an arm like Odorizzi sure makes a lot of sense, though, and falls in line with Zaidi's history.

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