Yankees should explore deal to add reliever(s) from San Francisco Giants

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MILWAUKEE, WI – SEPTEMBER 07: Tony Watson #56 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch during the seventh inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 7, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Tony Watson has been extremely efficient thus far for the Giants this season. The lefty has appeared in 29 games with a 2.70 ERA across 26.2 innings pitched.

The 2014 All-Star is currently in the second year of a two-year, $7 million deal with a player option for 2020. He would only be owed $2.5 million for next season, which is a bargain considering what reliable relievers are getting paid in today’s market.

What stands out most about Watson is how few walks he allows. The 34-year old has only walked 1.01 batters per nine innings pitched – the third best in all of Major League Baseball among qualified relievers.

Watson is capable of retiring both lefties and righties, but has oddly struggled against left-handed hitting opponents this season despite a smaller sample size:

  • vs. RHB (2019): 79 PA, 17 H, 5 R, 17 K, .230 Opp. BA
  • vs. LHB (2019): 32 PA, 10 H, 6 R, 5 K, .313 Opp. BA
  • vs. RHB (Career): 1428 PA, 288 H, 149 R, 314 K, .226 Opp. BA
  • vs. LHB (Career): 774 PA, 158 H, 67 R, 178 K, .223 Opp. BA

Although his .313 opponent batting average against left-handers this season is a bit worrisome, Watson has proven in the past that he is not just a lefty specialist.

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Watson certainly isn’t as recognizable in regards to potentially available left-handed relievers such as Brad Hand, Sean Doolittle, or teammate Will Smith, but he could be had without giving up big-name prospects or acquiring a large contract.