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Throughout his very solid career to this point, Jordan Hicks has been mostly a reliever.
He has played in 212 games, and has started just eight and they all came in one season: 2022.
The San Francisco Giants won the Hicks sweepstakes, signing him to a four-year deal according to MLB insider Jeff Passan.
The deal, however, comes with a twist.
“BREAKING: Right-hander Jordan Hicks and the San Francisco Giants are in agreement on a four-year, $44 million contract, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. Hicks, 27, is expected to work as a starter after spending the majority of his career in the bullpen,” Passan tweeted.
BREAKING: Right-hander Jordan Hicks and the San Francisco Giants are in agreement on a four-year, $44 million contract, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. Hicks, 27, is expected to work as a starter after spending the majority of his career in the bullpen.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 12, 2024
That’s right: the Giants will have Hicks returning to the rotation.
His arm has been used to working around one inning at a time for quite some time, so it’ll take him a bit to build stamina and diversify his arsenal.
The transition from reliever to starter is usually much harder than the other way around.
A pitcher often needs three pitches, at a minimum, to keep opposing lineups guessing and honest.
Hicks has a filthy 100-mph sinker to give him a nice foundation.
Perhaps he dials it back a bit to maintain stamina during four or five innings, but it’s still very hard to hit even if it comes at 98 mph.
The idea is not crazy, and it could work under the right circumstances.
Hicks, as a reliever, had a 3.29 ERA in 65.2 innings between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays.
He struck out 81 hitters and earned a lot of ground balls.
Hicks gets a nice payday and a chance to start, and the Giants get a solid pitcher who could be a good starter and a great reliever if things don’t work out.
It’s a fair deal for both sides.
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