Deep Dive: free agent left-handed relievers

Perfect timing: Will Smith saved 37 games for the Giants this year, and has the highest bWAR of any southpaw reliever in this year’s free agent class. (@White_Willy13)


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position

This article delves into the left-handed relief options available this offseason; as in most years, the pickings are slim.


Aaron Bummer clearly was the best left-handed reliever on the White Sox in 2019. However, the rest of the southpaw relievers struggled with control issues, injuries and/or overall ineffectiveness. What lefties are available who could supplant Jace Fry and/or Caleb Frare as the No. 2, or are any worthy of perhaps being the new closer? And is there anyone out there capable of being a fifth starter if injuries or ineffectiveness occur to someone like Reynaldo López? Below is an outline of left-handed free agents in this year’s class.

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Will Smith
San Francisco Giants
2019 bWAR 2.2
Stats 6-0, 34 SV, 2.76 ERA, 65.1 IP, 65.1 IP, 1.03 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 13.2 K/9
Age 30

Aroldis Chapman
New York Yankees
2019 bWAR 1.5
Stats 3-2, 37 SV, 2.21 ERA, 57 IP, 1.11 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 13.4 K/9
Age 32

Seems unlikely, but can opt out of two years, $30 million remaining on contract.

Sean Doolittle
Washington Nationals
2019 bWAR 0.9
Stats 6-5, 29 SV, 4.05 ERA, 60 IP, 1.30 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.9 K/9
Age 33

Doolittle has a $6.5 million club option with $500,000 buyout; it would seem that Washington would pick up that option.

Drew Pomeranz
Milwaukee Brewers
2019 bWAR 0.3
Stats 2-10, 2 SV, 4.85 ERA, 104 IP, 1.43 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, 11.9 K/9
Age 31

Aaron Loup
San Diego Padres
2019 bWAR 0.2
Stats 0-0, 0 SV, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 0.90 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 13.5 K/9
Age 32

The Padres hold a $2 million club option on Loup.

Tony Watson
San Francisco Giants
2019 bWAR 0.2
Stats 2-2, 0 SV, 4.17 ERA, 54 IP, 1.26 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 6.8 K/9
Age 34

Watson has $2.5 million option that he can buy out of for $500,000.

Jake Diekman
Oakland Athletics
2019 bWAR 0.1
Stats 1-7, 0 SV, 4.65 ERA, 62 IP, 1.42 WHIP, 5.7 BB/9, 12.2 K/9
Age 33

Diekman has a $5.75 million mutual option, with a $500,000 buyout.

Tony Sipp
Washington Nationals
2019 bWAR 0.1
Stats 0-1, 0 SV, 4.71 ERA, 21 IP, 1.33 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
Age 36

Tony Cingrani
St. Louis Cardinals
Age 30

Missed entire season due to injury.

Zach Duke
Cincinnati Reds
2019 bWAR 0.0
Stats 3-1, 0 SV, 5.01 ERA, 23.1 IP, 1.67 WHIP, 6.9 BB/9, 6.9 K/9
Age 36

Brian Duensing
Chicago Cubs
Age 37

Didn’t pitch in 2019.

Mike Dunn
Colorado Rockies
2019 bWAR -0.2
Stats 1-0, 0 SV, 7.13 ERA, 17.2 IP, 1.30 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 7.6 K/9
Age 32

Hector Santiago
Chicago White Sox
2019 bWAR -0.4
Stats 1-1, 0 SV, 6.68 ERA, 33.2 IP, 1.90 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 10.7 K/9
Age 32

Jonny Venters
Washington Nationals
2019 bWAR -1.1
Stats 0-1, 1 SV, 12.38 ERA, 8 IP, 2.75 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 13.5 K/9
Age 35


3
Leave a Reply

Join in the Discussion!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
steely3000
Guest
steely3000
Offline

It would be nice to get Will Smith to go along with Will Harris. Tony Cingrani is a South Side boy, so maybe he’d like to join the Sox for next to nothing?

katiesphil
Editor
Active Member
katiesphil
Offline

Seems like he might be open to a MiLB deal to reestablish himself.

akief87
Guest
akief87
Offline

Cingrani is the only player I would want that will be available outside of Smith. Maybe Pomeranz as a swingman. Not bad low-cost options for us.