Despite the reliever market being the only aspect of free agency that has seen a lot of movement this winter, former Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Tony Watson is still available as pitchers and catchers across the league are already reporting to Spring Training.
Watson is the best southpaw still available and is coming off a solid season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Dodgers despite getting off to a slow start.
In 47 appearances with Pittsburgh, Watson saved 10 games and yielded a 3.66 ERA, 4.70 FIP and 1.52 WHIP in 46.2 innings. His early-season struggles caused him to lose the closer role that he earned in 2016 after the Pirates traded Mark Melancon.
After being traded to the Dodgers at last year’s non-waiver deadline, Watson found a lot more success. In 20 innings of work to close out the season, he pitched to a 2.70 ERA, 3.86 FIP and 1.05 WHIP.
Those are numbers that many teams will value as a late-inning reliever, and it appears a variety of teams, including the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox are showing interest in the 32-year-old, via Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
Free agent relief pitcher Tony Watson is now receiving interest from the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox, a source close to the situation has informed FanRag Sports. However, there are other clubs still in the mix for Watson’s services as well.
The Dodgers essentially acquired Watson’s replacement, Scott Alexander, in a three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals this offseason. He joins a bullpen that also features lefty Tony Cingrani.
Thus, a reunion between the Dodgers and Watson has not, and does not, appear likely. Seeing him sign with the rival Giants would be a bit tough, as they have made some upgrades this offseason in the form of former All-Stars Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen.
Former bullpen mate of Watson’s, Kenley Jansen, is not worried about the improvements that other teams have made, however, as he still views the Dodgers as the favorite in the National League.