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Jakob Junis would like the Giants to return to free agency for the 2023 MLB season

By on September 4, 2022 0

When Jakob Junis signed a one-year contract with the Giants in March, he told reporters he was “very, very happy” to be back in San Francisco.

Six months later, little has changed in Junis’ mind. On the contrary, he fell more in love with the city and the Giants.

The future 30-year-old has a year left on refereeing, which means the Giants can offer him a contract this offseason or not, making him a free agent.

If Junis succeeds, he won’t go anywhere.

“If the Giants wanted to keep me, they could offer me a contract and I could be here for another year,” Junis told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Therese Viñal on “Summer Sunday” over the weekend. “If not, I’ll become a free agent. But hopefully I’ll be here again next year. I love it here and would love to stay.”

A 29th-round draft pick by Kansas City in 2011, Junis spent part of the previous five seasons with the Royals. His best years were 2017 and 2018, his first two seasons in the big leagues.

But like many pitchers in recent years, Junis understood something while pitching for the Giants.

In what is shaping up to be the best year of his MLB career, Junis has a 4.05 ERA in 18 appearances with the Giants this season (15 starts). His incoming FIP on Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies was a career high 3.83.

The Giants have signed Logan Webb, Alex Wood, Alex Cobb and Anthony DeSclafani for the 2023 season, but Carlos Rodón can opt out of his contract. The Giants should therefore be looking for starting pitchers this winter.

And with injuries being a natural part of the game, Junis’ value to the Giants as a deep starter is immense.

“I love it here,” Junis told Viñal. “First of all, I love the city. I think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in America. The weather, my god. You can’t beat the weather. Throwing in this weather is amazing. And then just the team, it’s a historic franchise. Like you said, a lot of good players have come through here. Buster [Posey], Tim Lincecum, those guys who won the World Series. There have been three World Series wins in the last 10 to 12 years.

“There’s a lot of history and tradition here. Just to be a part of this franchise, I got the chance to do that this year. Like I said, I’d love to come back and play here for as long as possible. from top to bottom, the staff, the players, everyone was so welcoming when I arrived here. It was just great.”

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The Giants front office has a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason, but bringing Junis back should be one of the easiest. He earns $1.75 million this season and shouldn’t cost too much in officiating.

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