Giants fortify bullpen, sign veteran southpaw Alvarez originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Earlier this week, potential closer Jake McGee said he couldn't remember being in a camp with so many left-handed relievers. On Saturday, the Giants added another one.
They announced a one-year, $1.15 million deal with veteran Jose Alvarez, who pitched well for Gabe Kapler in 2019 with the Philadelphia Phillies, a season when bullpen issues contributed to him losing his job and ultimately ending up in San Francisco. The deal includes a club option for 2022 that would pay Alvarez $1.5 million, along with a $100,000 buyout if the option is not exercised.
Alvarez pitched just 6 1/3 innings last season before getting struck by a line drive and allowed one run in those eight appearances. In 2019, he had a 3.36 ERA in 67 appearances for Kapler's Phillies. Alvarez's best big league season came in 2018 with the Los Angeles Angels, when he had a 2.71 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 76 appearances. That was one of five consecutive seasons with at least 64 appearances for the Angels and Phillies.
The Giants would not seem to have an obvious need at the big league level, but they have worked all offseason to build depth at the majors and in Triple-A with the thinking that teams will need more pitching than ever coming off a shortened season. Alvarez seemingly joins McGee as left-handed locks in the bullpen. Jarlin Garcia also would be a top option, although he hasn't appeared yet this spring. The Giants also have Caleb Baragar, Sam Selman, Wandy Peralta and Conner Menez on the 40-man roster.
To clear room on the roster, the Giants designated right-hander Jordan Humphreys for assignment, who promptly was claimed by the San Diego Padres. The Giants originally had lost the right-handed starter to the Cleveland Indians on a waiver claim last November but claimed him earlier this spring when the Indians let him go.