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MLB free agency: Giants, Braves, others in on Fernando Abad

MLB free agency: Giants, Braves, others in on Fernando Abad




Clubs are exploring one of the few remaining left-handed arms on the market.

Free agent left-hander Fernando Abad has a few suitors interested in his services, according to a report from SiriusXM's Craig Mish:




One of the better FA LH RP out there is Fernando Abad. Several teams showing interest : Reds, White Sox, Orioles, Giants, Braves & A's among good fits.

— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) January 2, 2018



Abad, 32, appeared in 48 games for the Red Sox in 2017, recording a 3.30 ERA in 43.2 innings. Despite below-average career walk- and strikeout-rates (3.2 BB/9, 7.7 K/9), Abad has a long track record of success as a LOOGY (lefty-one-out-guy).


The eight-year veteran has been able to stay healthy over the past few seasons, making him all the more attractive to potential buyers.


All six clubs that Mish lists as potential fits struggled in 2017—and four of the clubs are actively rebuilding (the Orioles' inability to finalize a trade of Manny Machado or Zach Britton leaves me in a "I'll see it when I'll believe it" stance here).


The Giants' interest in Abad makes a lot of sense. The club lost lefty Will Smith to Tommy John Surgery during 2017 Spring Training, and he won't be ready for Opening Day, which leaves Steve Okert as the lone southpaw in the bullpen.


Okert's first full big-league season was a clunker, as he struggled to a 5.67 ERA in 27 innings (42 appearances) in a LOOGY role—though his 4.38 FIP indicates his numbers might see a bump in the right direction going forward. Abad provides a more consistent, reliable option against lefties for a Giants club trying to compete following a 98-loss season.


As for the remaining clubs, taking a gamble on a short-term reliever has paid off at the Trade Deadline in recent seasons. Relief depth is always in high command come July, and a strong start to Abad's 2018 season could make him an attractive piece for playoff push.


While Abad, whose fastball sits at 92 MPH, isn't going to command a top-100 prospect, he could still help a rebuilding club add some young talent or even a near MLB-ready prospect in a 40-man roster crunch.