The San Francisco Giants have signed pitcher Alex Wood to a one-year deal. The team announced the deal late Thursday evening on Twitter.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) January 15, 2021
Giants Sign Alex Wood
Wood pitched in 2020 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and put up the worst numbers of his career. The left-handed pitcher posted a 6.39 ERA with 15 strikeouts and six walks in just 12 2/3 innings. He has been in steady decline since an outstanding 2017 campaign where he received down-ballot Cy Young support thanks to 16 wins and a 2.72 ERA in 152 1/3 innings. His fastball remained fairly constant in the low-90s and a 5.01 FIP indicates some bad luck, but it’s hard to know what to make of Wood as he enters his age-30 season.
The Atlanta Braves originally drafted Wood in the second round of the 2012 Amateur Draft. He threw 77 2/3 innings just one year later with a 3.13 ERA and 77 strikeouts. The Braves traded Wood to the Dodgers in a huge trade that involved those two teams and the Miami Marlins. His best year was easily 2017, but he has accumulated an over 11 career WAR. There is still plenty of time left for Wood to reclaim some of his previous production.
Wood’s Role with San Francisco
Wood can act as either the Giants’ fifth starter or a solid bullpen option. His arsenal includes a sinker, changeup and curveball that should play fine in San Francisco’s pitcher-friendly environment. Wood’s career groundball rate is only 48.8 percent, but it has peaked at 53.5 percent as recently as 2016. That should somewhat compensate for a strikeout rate that has bounced between 19.6 percent and 25.9 percent over the past few seasons. This seems like a smart, low-risk investment for a rebuilding organization. At the very least, people will want to see how Wood handles being on the opposite side of the heated Dodgers-Giants rivalry.
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Player Mentioned: Alex Wood