Zaidi reveals Giants' offseason approach for vets like Joc, Yaz originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
As the Giants have fallen short of expectations this season, it’s abundantly clear that there could be some changes to the roster next year.
There are important decisions to be made with two players in particular: pending free agent Joc Pederson and fellow outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, who will be entering his second arbitration-eligible season.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi discussed the team’s future plans for Pederson and Yastrzemski during an interview with KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” Thursday, where he provided some insight into his offseason approach.
“We still have some goals that we want to reach this year. We want to get to the point of having a winning record,” Zaidi said. “Are you just supposed to release or put on waivers every veteran player when you fall a little bit out of it?”
It’s clear Zaidi believes there are still key pieces in San Francisco that can help get the team back to its winning ways in 2023. For starters, the Giants would “love” to have Pederson back next season, Zaidi said.
“We’ve talked some to his representatives, I’ve talked to Joc about it,” Zaidi said. “He’s from here, he’s played well, he was an All-Star for us. And we’ve got two and a half homestands left, our fans, we’ve got people coming to games to watch Joc Pederson swinging the bat.
“We’d just love to have him back, and we’d love to see him finish the season strong in our uniform and hopefully he can be back next year.”
Pederson grew up a Giants fan in Palo Alto and has made the most of his first year playing in the Bay after signing a one-year, $6 million contract in March. He’s slashing .263/.339/.513 this season with 20 home runs, and, as Zaidi mentioned, he earned a starting spot on the National League All-Star team this summer.
Like Pederson, Yastrzemski also is on a one-year contract with the Giants after avoiding arbitration in March with a $3.7 million deal. He remains under team control through 2025, and Zaidi implied he’ll be tendered a contract in arbitration this winter and contribute to the 2023 season in a central role.
“As for Yaz … it’s just been a down season for him. He’s been frustrated,” Zaidi said. “And last year the batting average wasn’t there, but he still hit 25 homers, so you still had offensive production in a certain way.
“He’s still a guy who brings a ton of intangibles to the playing table. He’s a great defensive player, and yeah, I think we view him as part of this team going forward and I know he’s going to be as motivated as anybody to come back strong next year.”
Yastrzemski is slashing .203/.303/.361 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI this season. It’s a far cry from his breakout 2020 campaign, which saw him record a .297 batting average, or even last season, trailing only Brandon Belt (another tough decision looming for the Giants) for the team lead in home runs.
Still, the 32-year-old remains a valuable asset with his glove, and it’s evident Zaidi and the Giants believe he can bounce back offensively.
However, If the team wants to make a run at a World Series title next season, there are some things that need to change.
But it appears as if Giants fans can count on Pederson and Yastrzemski remaining mainstays in the outfield should Zaidi’s plan work out.