On Thursday, the San Francisco Giants filled out their rotation and finally added a left-handed pitcher to it by signing former Dodger Alex Wood to a one year contract with $3 million guaranteed, and the potential for more via performance bonuses.
Wood, who just turned 30 two days before the contract signing, has struggled through two injury-marred seasons in the past two years, but had been a reliable starter for multiple seasons before that.
In his contract, Wood can increase his deal’s worth up to $6 million, as long as he makes certain number of appearances with 10 or more outs. If he makes 12 or 14 such appearances of that length, he’ll make $125,000 each. There are more checkpoints where he’d make $250,000 and then $500,000 each. To make the maximum amount for his contract, he’d have to make 30 appearances of 10-plus outs.
Wood had joined the Cincinnati Reds in a trade ahead of the 2019 season, but he suffered a back injury in Spring Training, and did not debut until July 28th, and then ended it early at the end of August. He had a 5.80 ERA in seven starts in all on the season. He rejoined the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent in 2020, but was suffering shoulder inflammation in his first start, and was quickly back on the DL. Wood only made nine appearances in the 2020 regular season, only two of them starts, and posted a 6.39 ERA. But he rejoined the Dodgers in the playoffs, and in the World Series clinching Game 6, he threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts, which seems to give the Giants hope that he can reclaim his previous form.
For his career, Wood, has a 3.45 ERA, mostly as a starter, averaging a rate of 8.3 SO per nine innings, and 2.6 BB per nine innings. His best season was in 2017 with the Dodgers, when he had a career low 2.72 ERA with 151 strikeouts and 38 walks in 152.1 innings of work.
Wood becomes yet another starting pitcher pitcher on a one-year contract with the Giants since Farhan Zaidi took over as the Giants President of Baseball Operations. In 2019, the Giants signed Drew Pomeranz and Derek Holland to such contracts, both of whom were traded for prospects during the season. In 2020, The Giants signed Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, Tyler Anderson, and Trevor Cahill to such deals, with Gausman and Smyly becoming sought-after free agents after good years with the team, and Gausman returned to the Giants after accepting their qualifying offer.