SF Giants Gifts: Mike Yastrzemski Extension
Mike Yastrzemski was unequivocally the star of the Giants season. Acquired by the Giants in a minor trade last Spring, Yastrzemski has unexpectedly emerged as one of the best outfielders in baseball. Since debuting in 2019, he has slashed .281/.357/.535 line with 31 home runs in 636 plate appearances.
However, since Yastrzemski did not reach the big leagues until he was in his late twenties, he is not slated to hit free agency until he is well into his mid-thirties. While that works out great for the Giants, nothing stops them from giving him an extension to enable him to get a bit more of what he deserves while providing the organization with more cost certainty going forward.
SF Giants Gifts: Johnny Cueto Command
As players like Gausman and Drew Smyly had effective 2020 campaigns in the Giants rotation, it was incumbent ace Johnny Cueto who took a massive step back. After missing much of the 2018 and 2019 seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery, Cueto made 12 starts and finished with the worst ERA of his career (5.40). Now entering the final season of his six-year, $120 million deal with the Giants, it’s hard to know what to expect from the soon-to-be 35-year-old righty.
While it may be easy to write the veteran off next season, there were some reasons to remain cautiously optimistic about his 2021. Cueto has never had overpowering stuff; instead, finding success with a unique ability to throw off a hitter’s timing to accentuate elite command. In fact, Cueto’s pitch arsenal by velocity and movement were almost identical to their levels in 2016, when he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Just over a year removed from surgery, Cueto appears to have regained his pre-injury repertoire. Maybe in 2022, he can regain some of his previous command.