It's a homecoming for Reed High alum Jake McGee after he agreed Tuesday to a two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants, the team he grew up watching.
The 34-year-old pitcher was born in San Jose, Calif., and grew up in Sparks, both short drives to the Giants' home ballpark in San Francisco.
“I watched the Giants a lot,” McGee told Nevada Sports Net on Wednesday. “We’d go to the Giants' games here and there, so to be able to sign with the Giants the other day is very fortunate, and it’s the hometown team.”
The left-hander is one of the few relief pitchers to get a multi-year deal this offseason. His agreement, which was first reported by FanSided's Robert Murray, is worth $7 million over two years, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
McGee is coming off a World Series championship with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now on the other side of the NL West rivalry, McGee said he looks forward to being in the opposing dugout this season.
“I think it'll still feel like a rivalry, even be on the other side,” McGee said. “I think it's a great opportunity for me to be with the Giants and then last year with the Dodgers. But I think at the end of the day, you think of it as a game at a time and you go and do your job.”
McGee, who was released by the Colorado Rockies last spring training before signing a minimum-salary deal with the Dodgers, pitched to a 2.66 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 20.1 innings last regular season. He appeared in four playoff games, posting a 3.37 ERA. McGee said he felt comfortable with the Giants because of the coaching staff and executives.
“I talked to Gabe Kapler and a lot of the coaching staff, like even their bullpen coach (Craig Albernaz), who I played with four or five years in the minor leagues," McGee said. "Just the relationship there, even the general manager (Farhan Zaidi) was from the Dodgers, and I knew him a little bit, too. So it kind of all worked out well with the relationships. And they know what I've done in the past.”
McGee said he wants to help turn around the Giants, who are coming off four losing seasons, regardless of his role. In 546 career big-league games, McGee has a 3.59 ERA with 45 saves, although he's never been his team's primary closer, a role he could earn in San Francisco.
“Just help them win games," McGee said of his goal. "If that's pitching later in the game, if it's closing games, just to be able to help them win games day-to-day.”
"The Giants, I think their bullpen's a little younger, so it’ll be good to mentor some of those guys and just kind of be a part of that group and help build the bullpen a little more. And I played with (Evan) Longoria (in Tampa Bay), and then (Brandon) Crawford and (Buster) Posey a little bit, so I kind of know who those guys are already, and it's always good to get better relationship with everyone.”