In one of the best free agent markets for relief pitchers in recent memory, closer Mark Melancon has reached agreement on a new contract with the Giants pending a physical, per Buster Olney. Joel Sherman reports that the deal is for four years and $62 million.
Melancon put up a 1.64 ERA in 75 games in 2016 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals, with 47 saves, 65 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 71⅓ innings.
His 98 saves since the start of 2015 are the most in baseball.
Melancon, who turns 32 in March, has been one of the most durable relief pitchers in baseball, averaging 74 games pitched over the last four seasons, putting up a 1.80 ERA and 2.25 FIP during that span (2013-16). That 1.80 ERA is the best in baseball the last four seasons among all pitchers with at least 200 innings.
Acquired on July 30 from the Pirates, just before the non-waiver trade deadline, Melanco excelled for the Nationals down the stretch. He pitched in four of the five games in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and pitched 4⅓ scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one save.
Because he switched teams midseason, Melancon was ineligible to receive a qualifying offer from the Nationals, meaning San Francisco won’t have to forfeit a draft pick for signing him.
In parts of eight major league seasons with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Pirates, and Nationals, Melancon has a 2.60 ERA in 444 games, with 168 saves, 407 strikeouts and 101 walks in 404 innings.