MLB Rumors: Jordan Hicks and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms on a four year, $44 million deal, per reports. Interestingly, according to Jeff Passan, the Giants plan on using Hicks as a starter, rather than a reliever.
Hicks, 27, is one of the hardest throwing pitchers in baseball, hitting the coveted 100th percentile in fastball velocity in 2023, per Statcast, which had his average fastball velocity at 100.1 mph. Despite the heat he throws, Hicks has historically not been a huge strikeout guy, though he had a career high 28.4% K rate in 2023. Instead, he’s someone who generates a ton of ground balls, with a 60.4% ground ball rate for his career.
Hicks had spent his entire career with the Cardinals before being traded at the 2023 deadline to the Toronto Blue Jays for Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse, two names that sound made up. He missed much of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, opted out of the 2020 COVID season, and then missed most of the 2021 season due to elbow inflammation.
Hicks started eight games for the Cardinals in 2022, but was mostly used out of the bullpen, ultimately putting up a 4.84 ERA and 4.17 FIP. He had a quality 2023 campaign, however, with a 3.29 ERA and 3.22 FIP in 65 appearances, and was considered one of the better relievers available in free agency.
There had been talk that the Rangers had interest in Hicks, both at the trade deadline last year and earlier in the offseason, though that would presumably have been as a reliever.