Ben Margot/Associated Press
The Giants have eight potential starters, but they don't have five reliable ones.
Between Madison Bumgarner, Chris Heston, Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jake Peavy, the Giants have a plethora of players who could start. However, not all of these players have proved to be reliable.
Lincecum, Hudson, Cain and Peavy have all been on the disabled list. Cain and Peavy have done well since returning, but whether they can keep up their consistent pace and stay healthy remains to be seen. Peavy tailed off in the playoffs last year, and Cain hasn't pitched well for a full season since 2012.
Only Bumgarner and Heston have consistently performed well, and an up-and-down Vogelsong's numbers look decent. The Giants rotation could benefit from someone to help out in the short term and, perhaps more importantly, in the long term.
With Hudson, Lincecum and Vogelsong on the verge of becoming free agents, the Giants need someone to stabilize their rotation for the next few years.
Jon Niese could fill that role.
He has a 3.90 ERA this season and has consistently performed around that level throughout his career. He has posted a sub-4.00 ERA every year since 2012. He's not a star, but the Giants just need consistency right now.
Moving to AT&T Park could help Niese even more and allow him to thrive as a middle-of-the-rotation workhorse. He could fill this role for two years, as his contract doesn't expire until the end of 2016. With two years on the team, Niese could also be swayed to stay in San Francisco like many trade acquisitions do.
Niese isn't a high-profile name, so he wouldn't cost a lot. However, like Peavy last year, he could pay dividends as an under-the-radar acquisition.