Giants sign Jose Alvarez, veteran southpaw, to one-year contract

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Alex Pavlovic
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Giants fortify bullpen, sign veteran southpaw Alvarez originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Earlier this week, potential closer Jake McGee said he couldn't remember being in a camp with so many left-handed relievers. On Saturday, the Giants added another one. 

They announced a one-year, $1.15 million deal with veteran Jose Alvarez, who pitched well for Gabe Kapler in 2019 with the Philadelphia Phillies, a season when bullpen issues contributed to him losing his job and ultimately ending up in San Francisco. The deal includes a club option for 2022 that would pay Alvarez $1.5 million, along with a $100,000 buyout if the option is not exercised. 

Alvarez pitched just 6 1/3 innings last season before getting struck by a line drive and allowed one run in those eight appearances. In 2019, he had a 3.36 ERA in 67 appearances for Kapler's Phillies. Alvarez's best big league season came in 2018 with the Los Angeles Angels, when he had a 2.71 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 76 appearances. That was one of five consecutive seasons with at least 64 appearances for the Angels and Phillies. 

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The Giants would not seem to have an obvious need at the big league level, but they have worked all offseason to build depth at the majors and in Triple-A with the thinking that teams will need more pitching than ever coming off a shortened season. Alvarez seemingly joins McGee as left-handed locks in the bullpen. Jarlin Garcia also would be a top option, although he hasn't appeared yet this spring. The Giants also have Caleb Baragar, Sam Selman, Wandy Peralta and Conner Menez on the 40-man roster. 

To clear room on the roster, the Giants designated right-hander Jordan Humphreys for assignment, who promptly was claimed by the San Diego Padres. The Giants originally had lost the right-handed starter to the Cleveland Indians on a waiver claim last November but claimed him earlier this spring when the Indians let him go. 

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