Giants plan to pick up Matt Moore’s option for 2018

Giants general manager Bobby Evans told the Los Angeles Times the organization plans to exercise left-hander Matt Moore‘s option for 2018.

The news comes in the form of a one-sentence affirmation from Evans in an article written by Bill Shaikin. Moore will make $9 million next season, up from $7 million this season.

CLARIFICATION The original headline for this story stated the Giants had exercised their 2018 for Matt Moore. The headline has been changed to reflect that the Giants reportedly plan to exercise the option, though it has not yet taken place.

The Giants picking up Moore’s option seemed less of a foregone conclusion that it may have been on Opening Day, or especially after his eight-inning, 10-strikeout performance in Game 4 of the 2016 National League division series. The lefty leads the National League in earned runs allowed (100) and shares the league lead in losses (14) with Jeff Samardzija and San Diego’s Clayton Richard. His 5.39 earned run average is the worst in the NL entering Saturday.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy demurred when asked if picking up the option could lift Moore’s spirits in the waning days of a difficult season, but didn’t deny the plan to pick up Moore’s option. Bochy said he’s glad to have Moore back:

“I don’t know if he needed that confidence builder, but I’m sure it’s always good for a player to get that news and know that a club wants him.”

Bochy added that in spite of the season Moore has had, he’s looked more like “the Matt that we know.” Moore has a 3.76 ERA in seven games (six starts) from Aug. 13 to Sep. 13.

Moore could also see some improvement in 2018 if the Giants can improve their defense, especially in the outfield. The Giants have featured at least two players in their mid-30s for much of the season, with Denard Span dead last in baseball with minus-28 defensive runs saved, a metric calculated by The Fielding Bible that measures how many runs a player saves or costs his team defensively relative to the average fielder. Hunter Pence is at negative-six DRS, his worst mark since 2013.

Bochy agreed that his club’s defense needs improvement:

“I think (improved defense) will affect the whole pitching staff … pitching and defense goes hand-in-hand and that’s what we got to get back to.”

Moore is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies.