Per Jeff Passan of ESPN, The San Francisco Giants have agreed to a contract with former St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks for 4 years, $44 million. This is a hefty price to pay in length and overall value for a low-inning usage reliever who has struggled to remain consistent for most of his career. But it is being reported that the Giants will use Hicks as a starter instead of as a reliever.
Hicks was determined to be a starter when he was in St. Louis, which did not go as planned. His short-lived stint being a starter ended with a 0-4 record with a 5.47 ERA over eight starts. He would return to the bullpen and went back to his career benchmarks. But after the 2023 season collapse of the Cardinals, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays who were needing assistants to shut down opponents in late-game situations. Hicks thrived in Toronto, where he pitched 24 innings with a 2.63 ERA and held a 1.083 WHIP. His strikeout numbers were down, but his walk rate was the lowest of his career.
The Giants are taking the chance of Hicks' high potential of velocity with movement, and hoping to convert him into a reliable starter. The entire industry was expecting Hicks to be paid as a true shutdown setup man or closer, but instead secures a long-term commitment to become a starter which is his career aspiration.
Many believed a reunion was in the works for the Cardinals to find the final piece for the backend of their bullpen. But instead, Cardinals fans will be watching from a distance wishing Giants fans the best of luck.