The SF Giants held four team options for 2022 and exercised three of them. Wilmer Flores, José Álvarez, and Jay Jackson will be returning next season after the Giants picked up each of their options. It was previously reported that Johnny Cueto's option would be declined, so he becomes a free agent.
SF Giants exercise options on Wilmer Flores, José Álvarez, and Jay Jackson
Flores and Álvarez were consistent contributors in 2021, so it was not surprising to see the Giants exercise their options for $3.5 million and $1.5 million, respectively. Perhaps, the most surprising news is that Jackson had a team option negotiated into his contract. The financial details of his option are not yet known.
The hard-throwing right was reeled in on a minor-league pact last offseason after spending four of the last five seasons overseas. Jackson posted a 3.74 ERA, 4.05 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 11.6 K/9, and a 2.33 SO/W ratio across 21.2 innings. Control has plagued Jackson for much of his career but he is able to offset it by recording strikeouts at such a high frequency.
Jackson will join Álvarez in the Giants bullpen for a second straight season. The Giants signed Álvarez late in the offseason last year to a one-year, $1.05 million deal and that proved to be a bargain. The 32-year-old registered a 2.37 ERA across 64.2 innings while being one of the key, high-leverage lefties out of the bullpen.
Álvarez was not only one of the better relievers, but he proved to be a tough out at the plate. He coaxed two walks in four plate appearances in 2021, which is not his primary role but it is always fun to see a relief pitcher hit.
Lastly, Flores will return next season as well. The right-handed bat has been one of the more consistent hitters in the Giants lineup over the past two seasons. In 2021, he slashed .262/.335/.447 (111 OPS+) with 18 home runs, 53 RBI, and 57 runs scored while being worth 1.7 WAR in 436 plate appearances.
The 30-year-old has experience all around the infield and he looked much more capable of handling second base and third base last season than he did in 2020. The Giants will continue to leverage that versatility as a way to keep Flores' bat in the lineup.
The offseason is just getting underway but the Giants have decided to retain some key depth players. The primary focus for the offseason will be rebuilding the starting rotation and the front office can begin to focus on this now that the options have officially been exercised.