Giants’ GM Bobby Evans confirmed that the club has plans to pick up Matt Moore‘s $9 option for 2018, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. It hasn’t been Moore’s finest season — a league-high 5.39 ERA will testify to that, among other markers — but Shaikin points out that the Giants aren’t positioning themselves for a rebuild anytime soon. They still plan to compete with the same veteran core in 2018, and as long as Moore can handle the 150+ inning workload without breaking down, he has a place on the pitching staff for the foreseeable future.
Moore, 28, appeared to have some difficulty transitioning to his first full season in the National League. His 14 losses and 100 earned runs are career-worst marks, and while his 5.39 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.7 SO/9 aren’t personal lows, they don’t inspire a lot of confidence, either. (Granted, none of the Giants’ starters carry a sub-4.00 ERA except for Madison Bumgarner, who only started seeing regular starts in the second half after missing significant time with a shoulder injury.)
Even taking Moore’s recent struggles into account, it’s not all bad news for the Giants going forward. Without the onus to rebuild, they’re not about to start jettisoning pitching depth, especially when other relatively young, relatively healthy, relatively productive arms on the market come at a much steeper price. If Moore tanks in 2018, the club has a $1 million buyout on his contract, and if he surges back to 2013-like peaks, it’ll only cost $10 million to retain him for another season.