Manaea Signs with Giants, $25M for Two Years

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Sean Manaea signed a two-year, $25M contract with the San Francisco Giants Sunday evening. The Giants seem to have been in on every big-name player in the 2022 MLB offseason, but so far have missed out on all of them, save for Mitch Haniger–a very good signing, but definitely not enough. However, the Haniger signing is huge, and as Manaea signs on the dotted line, the free agent class is dwindling. The Giants already lost bidding wars for Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom this winter. Furthermore, they came down to the wire as one of the realistic landing spots for Aaron Judge, along with the San Diego Padres, before the New York Yankees eventually landed him. They were also in the mix on Trea Turner, who wanted to head east–even if it meant taking a little less money. As a result, the Giants went right after Manaea.

Manaea’s History in the League

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Manaea broke into the league with the Oakland Athletics in 2016. He had a pretty decent start to his career with an ERA+ of 106 over 144 2/3 innings. He had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2017, however, though his ERA ballooned up to 4.37 (95 ERA+), he did build up his inning count to 158 2/3. Furthermore, he struck out 140 batters, which was up from 124 in his rookie year. With the added inning count, his strikeouts per nine innings was about the same as in his rookie year.  Manaea has never been a huge strikeout guy.
With a pitch arsenal containing a sinker, changeup, slider, and curveball, he is more of a soft-contact kind of pitcher.  His average exit velocity has been stable across his career at 89-90 mph. Manaea had his 2018 campaign shortened by an arthroscopic shoulder surgery on his pitching arm on September 19th. As a result, he missed almost all of the 2019 season. However, when he came back, he was breathing fire. Manaea started five games and threw up a 1.29 ERA (358 ERA+) and struck out 30 in 29 2/3 innings.

Manaea Shows Signs of Greatness

Sean Manaea has thrown a total of three complete-game shutouts in his career, including two in 2021. He pitched well in 2021, though his ERA was 3.91 (105 ERA+), and 194 strikeouts, which was his highest ever, by far. This is not only what vastly improved his trade value going into the final year of his contract with Oakland, but definitely showed what he was capable of doing. The main reason why he only received a two-year deal is that he had a rough year in 2022 after being traded to the San Diego Padres prior to the start of the season.

He never really seemed comfortable in the NL, as his ERA jumped up to 4.96, ERA+ dropped to just 75, and HR/9 was the highest in his career at 1.7. This, in more of a pitcher’s park. The Giants will look for the 2021 Sean Manaea as he returns to his home in the Bay Area.

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Players Mentioned:

Sean Manaea, Mitch Haniger, Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Aaron Judge, Trea Turner

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