Today, the San Francisco Giants won the Mark Melancon sweepstakes, as the Washington Nationals were in the running to land the three time All-Star closer. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Melancon will receive a four-year deal around $62 mil. This contract broke the previous record by $12 mil. Now to be honest, Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman will break that record easily.
Now, Melancon is coming off a season in which he recorded 47 saves, which was the second most in the Major Leagues, as well as a a 1.64 ERA for the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates. He pitched in a league-leading 67 games last season.
Interestingly, He doesn’t flash the extreme velocity and/or strikeout rates like Jansen and Chapman. That is why it is crazy how well he excels in the ninth-inning. In the past four years, Melancon has had a remarkable run by averaging 8.3 K/9 and a 57.4 percent ground-ball rate. His solid performances day and night out have led to 147 saves for Melancon since 2013, including an NL-best 51 in 2015.
This signing is a plus for the Giants, as their bullpen faltered down the stretch, and especially their closer Santiago Casilla, who lost his ninth-inning job.
Lastly, the Giants bullpen might be in for a retooling with Casilla, Lopez, and Romo sitting out in the open market. Now, do not rule those three out on returning, but right now it seems that they will try to acquire one or two more bullpen arms to fill the holes near the back of the bullpen leaving Hunter Strickland, Derek Law, Will Smith, George Kontos and Cory Gearrin in the pen with Steven Okert, Josh Osich, and Chris Heston fighting for a spot in the bullpen.