Signing a top closer that will give his team confidence entering the eighth and ninth innings has become very costly.
With Kenley Jansen re-signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week, each of the three top closers that were free agents are no longer available.
Aroldis Chapman has returned to the New York Yankees for $86 million and Jansen signed with Los Angeles for $80 million.
The two deals make the move San Francisco made for Mark Melancon, the third top closer available, at $62 million appear as a big bargain. Since Melancon was considered such a big bargain, the Giants should be looking at adding additional relief help for their new closer.
The Giants leading up to the All-Star break had baseball’s best overall record, even better than the Chicago Cubs. Yet, by the end of the regular season, the Giants were barely hanging on for one of the wildcard spots and that can be blamed nearly in its entirety on the poor performance of the San Francisco bullpen.
In September, the ERA of Santiago Casilla was 5.87 and included three blown save chances. Fellow reliever Sergio Romo, in eight appearances to start September, had an ERA of 4.91, prior to four straight shutout innings across four appearances.
Javier Lopez appeared in 12 games pitching 4.1 innings that produced an ERA of 4.15. During Game 4 of the division series versus the Cubs, after Matt Moore the starter threw eight strong innings allowing just a pair of runs, five relievers for the Giants could not protect a lead of 5-2 during the ninth.
The three relievers that appeared first, with Romo and Lopez in that group, could not record an out, and Chicago rallied to eliminate San Francisco 6-5.
Romo, Lopez and Casilla will all not be part of the Giants roster next season. Melancon is the new closer, which will be a solid start to a new pen, but he will need help if the Giants hope to compete for the NL West title.
Possible relievers for the Giants would be Joe Blanton who pitched for the Dodgers last season. Brad Ziegler, who was with both Arizona and Boston last season, had a second consecutive strong season.
Joe Smith pitched last season with the Cubs and Angels is another possibility.
There are a number of possibilities for the Giants in the relief department to help Melancon.