SF Giants agree to terms with 2 key players for the 2023 season
Both players were eligible for arbitration and the Giants chose to sign each player ahead of the non-tender deadline on Friday. Alexander was superb in his brief audition with San Francisco at the end of the year.
He signed a minor leaguer deal in May after spending the previous four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The left-handed reliever has proven to be an effective bullpen arm, posting a 3.00 ERA across eight seasons with the Kansas City Royals and the Dodgers.
However, durability has been an issue as he has eclipsed 20 innings pitched just twice since debuting with the Royals in 2015. Given this, it is probably unfair to expect Alexander to pitch more than 40 innings next season.
The veteran reliever registered a 1.04 ERA, 2.88 FIP, 0.75 WHIP, 5.2 K/9, and a 10.0 SO/W ratio in 17.1 frames for the Giants in 2022. The strikeout rate is low but this comes with an exceptional 74 percent ground ball rate, which is not too different than his 70.4 percent career mark.
On the other hand, Yastrzemski is returning after a rough finish to the season. MLB Trade Rumors projected that he was set to earn $5.7 million, but will be earning slightly more than that. The left-handed bat slashed .214/.305/.392 (96 OPS+) with 17 home runs, 57 RBI, and 73 runs in 558 plate appearances. This comes with a 10.9 percent walk rate against a 25.3 percent strikeout rate.
Yastrzemski looked like a potential All-Star candidate as he tallied an .885 OPS through the first two months of the season but he slumped to a .628 OPS after that.
Anyone who watched the Giants' defense in 2022 is already aware that it was horrid, especially in the outfield. Yastzemski was one of the few exceptions as he was worth +2 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +3 Outs Above Average (OAA) in the outfield.
A player who can hit around league average and play above-average defense holds value, so it was not surprising to see the Giants want to keep the 32-year-old outfielder. The Giants now have cost certainty with a couple of their key arbitration-eligible players. They have eight remaining arbitration-eligible players with cases that will likely be settled well before going to arbitration.