MLB San Francisco Giants

5 Realistic Rotation Options for San Francisco Giants

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San Francisco Giants: 5 Realistic Rotation Options

SF Giants
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants have reportedly prioritized adding depth to their starting rotation in an effort to revamp a pitching staff that underachieved in 2013. It's an exhaustive approach to developing a formidable 25-man roster capable of contending, especially considering the lack of front-line talent available on the free agent market, and a desperate need to upgrade an offense that ranked 21st in runs scored last season.

The Giants' front office remains consumed in the notion of building a potential championship-caliber roster through effective starting pitching and stellar defense nonetheless. It would be more practical for the Giants to use available funds to target players that can help produce on offense.

General manager Brian Sabean would rather solidify the back-end of the Giants' rotation though. San Francisco has been rumored to have interest in several free agent pitchers, and certainly need to add at least two pitchers to a staff that already features serious upside in 2014. That said, prioritizing the addition of average pitching talent in a dismal free agent market prompts the legitimate possibility of over-paying.

San Francisco doesn't boast the inability to spend big money, but it's critical for Sabean and co. to appropriately allocate team payroll in order to avoid bad contracts for players that could be in decline.

The following slideshow highlights five realistic rotation options for the Giants:

John Shea is a San Francisco Giants writer for Follow him on Twitter @shea_prosports. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Ryan Vogelsong

Ryan Vogelsong
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fan favorite Ryan Vogelsong is a legitimate options to return, despite having his $6.5 million option turned down earlier this month. Vogelsong struggled to stay healthy in 2013, suffering a nasty hand injury that forced him to spend a majority of the season on the disabled list.

He started just 19 games for the Giants last season, recording a 4-6 mark with an inefficient 5.73 ERA in 103.2 innings pitched. The 36-year-old feel-good story simply wasn't able to rekindle the enormous success he initially experienced upon being granted a permanent spot in the rotation midway through the 2011 season.

However, re-signing Vogelsong would be a logical decision for a variety of reasons. Nobody wants to prove doubters wrong more than Vogelsong. In addition, the fiery right-handed pitcher could be signed at a fraction of the price that most "top-notch" starting pitchers will cost this season.

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4. Ervin Santana

Ervin Santana
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ervin Santana is arguably the most talented free agent pitcher on the market, posting a solid 3.24 ERA with 161 strikeouts in 211 innings pitched last season.

However, Santana is reportedly seeking a monster contract that exceeds $100 million according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The 30-year-old veteran owns a 105-90 career record while starting at least 23 games in every season since 2002. He's a durable right-handed power pitcher that owns a mid-90s fastball.

If the Giants are truly in the market for a big splash to add to their formerly vaunted starting rotation, Santana could be a solid fit.

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3. Tim Hudson

Tim Hudson
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Hudson is an accomplished veteran that ceases to become in decline. The 38-year-old recorded solid numbers in 2013, recording an 8-7 mark with a respectable 3.97 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 21 starts. Hudson would ultimately provide veteran leadership in the clubhouse, a defining characteristic of teams in contention for a championship.

Hudson is coming off a three-year, $28 million deal he signed in 2009. It's unknown whether he's seeking a multi-year contract, although it's likely that he could be signed for roughly $5 million per year.

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2. Chad Gaudin

Chad Gaudin
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The most forgettable rotation member for the Giants in 2013 is Chad Gaudin, who made embarrassing headlines after groping a woman on a gurney at a Las Vegas hospital prior to last season. Gaudin is an affordable option to return in spite of his lewd antics.

The 30-year-old was solid for the Giants in 2013, recording a 3.06 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 30 appearances. His season was ultimately cut short due to injury, thus making him relatively nameless in an offseason where the Giants are in need of rotation depth.

Gaudin signed a deal worth approximately $750,000 before 2013, making him an economical starting pitching candidate for the Giants.

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1. Dan Haren

Dan Haren
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Haren has been up-and-down in 11 seasons as a big-league starting pitcher. He inked a $13 million deal with the Washington Nationals prior to the 2013 season, registering a 10-14 record with a below-average 4.67 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 30 starts.

Haren owns a career 3.74 ERA at AT&T Park, recording 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings in nine starts. He could command a contract that exceeds his net worth. Haren recorded 1.5 wins above replacement (WAR) in 169.2 innings pitched last season. However, the Giants are on a long list of potential suitors, according to Giants beat writer Hank Schulman via Twitter.