Mark Melancon, one of several prized relief pitchers on this year’s free-agent market, is already generating interest as the offseason wheeling and dealing begins to heat up. 

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Latest on Free-Agent Interest in Melancon

Thursday, Nov. 10

Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reported Thursday the San Francisco Giants have already met with the closer’s representatives, along with those for Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.

Melancon is a well-traveled pitcher despite enjoying consistent success since breaking into the major leagues with the New York Yankees in 2009. He’s posted a 2.60 ERA and 1.04 WHIP across a career that’s included stops with five teams across eight years.

His numbers were even better this past season, which he split between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals after a midseason trade. In all, he racked up 47 saves with just four blown opportunities while finishing with a microscopic 1.64 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.

The 31-year-old reliever finished the year in Washington, and the Nats are reportedly interested in keeping him in the fold. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported in late October the Nationals are expected to “go hard” in the sweepstakes.

Melancon isn’t going to rush into a decision, though. Patrick Reddington of SB Nation’s Federal Baseball passed along comments the Colorado native made about free agency during an October appearance on MLB Network Radio:

I’ve been home for like four days and I’m starting to work out next week, so I’m just doing the same thing I’ve done. Obviously it’s going to be a little bit different. It’s kind of—you’ve been trying to get to this point for a long time and I’m excited for it, but until those offers are on the table and the decisions need to be made, I can’t really do a whole lot.

So I’m just waiting for those times and we’ll go from there. It will be a family decision and it will be fun.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ interest in Melancon and his fellow closers doesn’t come as the least bit of a surprise. The team struggled in the late innings throughout the 2016 campaign, as illustrated by a league-high 30 blown saves, according to

Getting a reliable asset like Melancon for the high-leverage situations would take a lot of pressure off the likes of Hunter Strickland and Will Smith. The bullpen as a whole isn’t bad, but it needs a lockdown option for the back end.

San Francisco is going to face a lot of competition for those marquee free agents, though. Both the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians showcased the increasing value of relievers who can go multiple innings in keys spots during their journey to the World Series.


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