The Giants made two acquisitions Tuesday evening, signing pitcher Kevin Gausman to a one-year contract and acquiring infielders Zack Cozart and Will Wilson from the Los Angeles Angels for future considerations.
These moves aren’t quite as earth-shattering as the Gerrit Cole signing, but both have short term upside for the Giants, which is consistent with the team’s goal of not completely gutting the roster while rebuilding.
Kevin Gausman is a long-term favorite of mine, and the $9 million the Giants will pay him in 2020 strikes me as a reasonable risk to take given the upside he represents. His stint with the Braves in 2019 is one he’d be happy to forget thanks to the 3-7, 6.19 ERA line he put up in 16 starts. It’s very easy to lose sight of the fact that his 4.20 FIP was nearly two runs better than his actual ERA, which was inflated by a .344 BABIP. Gausman’s strikeout rate had faded in recent years, dipping to a lackluster 7.3 K/9 in 2018, so his 9.6 K/9 in Atlanta was roughly a 30% improvement, which generally portends pleasant results rather than what actually happened.
When looking at Gausman’s 2019 hit data, the ZiPS projection system expects a BABIP of…