It’s been an up-and-down tenure with the Giants for Gott. Is this latest fall the setup for another climb?
The San Francisco Giants designated for assignment reliever Trevor Gott on Sunday, marking yet another sharp turn in the Giants roller coaster ride for the right-handed pitcher. The decision came as the team announced the signing of starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez, who needed a space cleared for him on the 40-man roster.
The Giants announced the Aaron Sanchez deal. He’ll make $4 million and can earn another $2.5 million in incentives. Trevor Gott was DFA’d to clear a roster spot.
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) February 21, 2021
The Giants acquired Gott in a trade with the Washington Nationals right before Spring Training 2019, sending cash to the Nats in the process. He had a strong debut season for San Francisco that year, with a 4.44 ERA, a 3.12 FIP, and 57 strikeouts to 17 walks in 52.2 innings, making him good for 1.0 fWAR.
That earned him a shot at the closer role in 2020, and you all know what happened there. After a strong start to the year, Gott fell apart in the most painful way in August, giving up 11 earned runs over 1.1 innings in three games, blowing three leads in the process, and only avoiding having three blown saves on his resume due to the silly save rules that determined one of the blown leads was too big of a lead to qualify as a blown save. He was later placed on the Injured List.
The Giants still had faith in Gott as, to the surprise of many fans, they tendered him a contract in the offseason, settling on $700,000 before the arbitration process. He remained on the roster, and I expected him to have a good shot at making the Opening Day squad.
But no more. Except, maybe?
Gott’s DFA says very little about the team’s evaluation of him. It’s not like he showed up to Spring Training, threw a bad pitch, and got sent packing. It’s solely a move forced by the addition of a better and more important player in Sanchez.
Which means that if Gott clears waivers, it’s safe to assume the Giants would like to keep him around, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said as much.
Zaidi suggested there’s hope Trevor Gott clears waivers. “There’s been a lot of activity in the reliever market here lately. … If we’re able to keep Trevor in the organization, we have some things that we’re hoping we can work with him on to get him back on track.”
— Mark W. Sanchez (@MarkWSanchez) February 21, 2021
Given Gott’s disastrous 2020, there’s a pretty decent chance he’ll clear waivers. Assuming last year didn’t tarnish his opinion about the organization, he’d likely welcome a chance to stick around.
Maybe we’ve seen the last of Gott. But I kind of doubt it.