KEY ADDITIONS: Tommy La Stella, Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, Matt Wisler, Nick Tropeano, Curt Casali
KEY SUBTRACTIONS: Jeff Samardzija, Drew Smyly, Tony Watson, Tyler Anderson, Daniel Robertson, Sam Coonrod
I don’t know what to think about the 2021 Giants.
They still have a few hangers-on from their three World Series teams of the 2010s: Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford.
They have a bunch of veterans who have seen better years, including Evan Longoria.
They have some guys who you think are up-and-comers, but who are nearly 30, like Alex Dickerson and Mike Yastrzemski. Incidentally, the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski has put up two solid years for the Giants after not being much of a prospect for a long time. Even at 30 he could still put up several solid seasons, maybe an updated version of Ryan Ludwick.
All of this, more or less (Posey opted out of the 2020 season), produced basically a .500 record (29-31) in 2020 and the Giants missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker.
Pitching was once their strength and helped lead them to those three World Series. But now, they have Johnny Cueto — and he’s certainly not the guy he was in 2016 — and a few question marks. Kevin Gausman was pretty good last year, but he’s not the guy you’d think of as a No. 2 starter, and neither are Anthony DeSclafani or Alex Wood, both reclamation projects who are next in line.
The Giants bullpen contains one pitcher — Tyler Rogers — who had any saves for them last year, and he had three. At the moment, no one on their depth chart is listed as closer. They’ll have to figure that out during spring training, I suppose.
The Giants recently signed Scott Kazmir, a guy who I’d have liked the Cubs to take a chance on a while back, to a minor-league deal. He hasn’t pitched in MLB since 2016 and one of his teammates his rookie year in Tampa was Fred McGriff.
I would have liked Tommy La Stella back on the Cubs, but I wouldn’t have paid him what the Giants did (three years, $18.75 million). Good for Tommy, I wish him well, except when he faces the Cubs.
In the end, does it matter? As I have noted in earlier articles about NL West teams, the Giants, Diamondbacks and Rockies are going to be fighting it out for third place in this division that will be dominated by the Dodgers and Padres.
But the Giants still do have that gem of a stadium next to San Francisco Bay. Worth the trip.
The Cubs and Giants are scheduled to face each other seven times in 2021:
June 3-4-5-6 at Oracle Park
September 10-11-12 at Wrigley Field