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Since taking over as the Giants’ president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi has signed three free-agent pitchers to one-year contracts, including lefty Drew Pomeranz on Wednesday.
Zaidi hasn’t filled any outfield holes yet but said after the Pomeranz deal was consummated that he remains optimistic about his options. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in three weeks, and the Giants have one projected starting outfielder, Steven Duggar.
“As long as we feel there are good options out there by trade or free agency, the actual pulling of the trigger becomes a little bit less relevant as long as you feel you have some good leads, which I think we do,” Zaidi said. “You don’t want to get in a situation of urgency or even panic.”
One of the initial goals was to find a couple of starters, and Zaidi signed Pomeranz and re-signed Derek Holland. The other free-agent signing was ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte.
Zaidi said the logjam of unsigned elite free agents has caused a trickle-down effect, helping to create a sluggish market that might not break open for mid-range players until outfielder Bryce Harper, infielder Manny Machado and pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel sign. Still, Zaidi said he anticipates a steady flow of deals before training camps open.
“I think it’s fair to say there’s still some teams and free agents out there waiting for some other domino to fall before moving forward,” Zaidi said.
The new boss was asked, given how other teams haven’t yet snagged those dominoes, if the Giants could pursue a player who previously wasn’t considered realistic.
He didn’t rule it out.
“As the market evolves, there might be guys that you had questioned or doubted the feasibility at one point that you circle back around on,” Zaidi said. “It’s our job and responsibility to keep tabs on all parts of the market, and we’re continuing to do that. I think things could change. Your target list evolves over the course of the offseason.”
Zaidi said Pomeranz, 30, will be in the rotation mix along with Madison Bumgarner, Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez, Holland and Jeff Samardzija, who’s continuing his throwing program in the wake of shoulder problems; Zaidi admitted the right-hander’s durability is uncertain.
In 2017 with Boston, Pomeranz won 17 games, posted a 3.32 ERA and struck out 174 batters in a career-high 32 starts. But last year, he had a 6.08 ERA in just 74 innings, twice going on the disabled list with a left forearm flexor strain and left biceps tendinitis.
Pomeranz said the Red Sox used a “relaxed approach” with pitchers in spring training hoping to keep them healthy at the end of the season. It didn’t work well for Pomeranz, who didn’t push himself as usual, got hurt early and felt he was “playing catch up to get back to normal.”
“It’s something I’ve taken to heart this year,” he said. “I started throwing earlier and working harder.”
Pomeranz pitched for the A’s in 2014 and 2015 — he broke his right hand punching a chair on his way to the clubhouse after a bad outing — and last pitched in the National League with the 2016 Padres. In 2010, the Indians made him the fifth overall draft pick, and he was traded to Colorado in 2011.
To create room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Mike Gerber, who was claimed from the Tigers last month, was designated for assignment.
Briefly: Kyle Haines has replaced David Bell as minor-league director. Last year, Haines was an assistant for Bell, now the Reds’ manager.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Giants-sign-lefty-pitcher-Drew-Pomeranz-13555847.php.