Breaking down Giants who are arbitration-eligible in 2021


Giants insider Alex Pavlovic analyzes 10 guys eligible for arbitration.

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Editor's note: This story originally was published on Oct. 13 but has been updated slightly ahead of Wednesday's non-tender deadline.

It's unclear how many teams have the green light to spend as they normally would this offseason, but Christmas will come early for those that do. Teams have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, and what is usually a rather uneventful day on the calendar has taken on extra importance. 

This is, unfortunately, expected to be a bit of a bloodbath for players. With MLB coming off a season with no fans, front offices are looking for any ways to save money, and the expectation is that some big names might get cut loose as teams aim to avoid arbitration and salary increases. Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs and Gary Sanchez of the Yankees are the types of names we're talking about here, but in San Francisco, there will be far less drama. 

A year after they made waves by non-tendering Kevin Pillar, the Giants have 10 arbitration-eligible players and some interesting decisions to make. But they don't have a surefire starter who is a candidate to get non-tendered. MLB Trade Rumors does a fantastic job of estimating arbitration salaries (this year they gave multiple numbers to account for uncertainty regarding how the process will view a 60-game season) and the site doesn't have a Giant projected at over $4.3 million. 

Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris will be making smaller decisions than some rivals, and then the fun starts. The Giants should see plenty of new options as players are non-tendered elsewhere, and that possibility could lead them to make an extra cut or two of their own to open up roster spots.

Before we get into that, here's a look at the 10 arbitration-eligible Giants, their salary projections, and what the Giants might do:


As long as he's in San Francisco, Giants fans will probably best know Dickerson for his run in July of 2019 that briefly turned the season around and inspired a memorable dugout chant. But Dickerson's second year with the organization was actually better than his first. 

In just about the same number of appearances, Dickerson raised his on-base percentage by 20 points and his slugging by 47 points while hitting 10 homers. If he had enough at-bats to quality for leaderboards, Dickerson's OPS+ of 157 would have ranked eighth in the NL, right between Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

Dickerson made $925,000 last year and is projected to make $2 million to $3.3 million in 2021, depending on how salaries are calculated. That's a wide range, but he's a steal at either number and will once again be in the heart of the lineup. 


Solano, who turns 33 in a couple of weeks, might make nearly as much next season as in the rest of his career combined, and it's very well-earned. Brought back on a one-year, $1.375 million deal last offseason, Solano basically duplicated his 2019 breakout while becoming the everyday second baseman and winning the Silver Slugger Award. He became the first Giants second baseman to win it since Jeff Kent in 2005. 

Donnie Barrels had 215 at-bats in 2019 with a slash line of .330/.360/.456, and in 2020 he had 190 at-bats and slashed .326/.365/.463 while often batting in the heart of the lineup. Solano doesn't bring much home run power and looks uncomfortable anywhere but second, but the man can hit. He can really, really hit. He'll enter next season as the starting second baseman. This one is a no-brainer, with a projected raise to $2.2-3.8 million.


The lefty had a solid year with the Marlins in 2019 but was mysteriously let go, possibly because he was getting into his arb years and that franchise is notoriously cheap. In San Francisco, Garcia gave up one earned run in 19 appearances. He made $588,500 in 2020.

Non-closer relievers don't get huge bumps in arbitration and Garcia is projected to make somewhere just below or above $1 million. It shouldn't be hard for the Giants to reach agreement on a one-year deal and bring him back to a bullpen that also has lefties Caleb Baragar and Sam Selman.  


Ruf would be a no-brainer if the roster still included 28 players, but that 2020 rule change is going away, and the Giants seemingly have just two bench spots to play with. Do they want to spend one on a player who is limited to the corner outfield spots or first base? 

Ruf is a good fit for the Giants' platoon system and is coming off a strong return to MLB. After spending the past three seasons in South Korea he posted a .370 OBP and .517 slugging percentage while playing a passable enough left field that the Giants were able to use him out there often. 

Ruf is projected to earn $1.4-1.9 million next year and it seems worth it for the Giants to commit to him, knowing they can make a move in the spring if the roster crunch becomes an issue. 


He was on the IL the entire season and wasn't called up the final week despite a big need on the big league roster. If healthy, Moronta has a decent shot to be the closer at some point next season, as he has late-innings experience already and certainly has the stuff to handle the ninth. The Giants have said they'll add veteran relievers, but paying for saves is rarely a good idea. Moronta has a 2.66 ERA through his first 132 appearances and seems a good candidate to take a step forward under Andrew Bailey, Brian Bannister and the new assistant pitching coach. Moronta is projected to make $800,000 next year.


This is where you start to weigh an increase in salary with a player's role. Peralta had a 3.29 ERA but 4.22 FIP and it was clear the staff didn't quite trust him in bigger spots. He was warming up when Sam Coonrod blew that save to the Padres the final Friday, but the Giants stuck with the struggling right-hander.

Peralta signed a one-year deal last December, avoiding arbitration, but the Giants have Caleb Baragar, Sam Selman and potentially Garcia in their bullpen already, so they don't have to commit to someone like Peralta early. This might be a spot where they pass on tendering him a contract but try to bring him back on a minor league deal. He's projected to make about $1-1.2 million through arbitration. 


Anderson technically was non-tendered last year, but a day later the Giants signed him to a one-year deal that reportedly paid him $1.775 million, well below the $2.6 million he was due in arbitration. He's projected to earn between $2.4 million and $4.3 million next year. 

This is a fascinating decision for the front office. The Giants brought Kevin Gausman back but lost Drew Smyly, so they still need starting pitching help, particularly from the left side. Anderson was fine as a back-end starter, posting a 4.37 ERA and 4.36 FIP in 11 starts and two relief appearances. But given how many high-upside options are out there and how many pitchers may be surprise non-tenders this week, the Giants may decide to roll the dice and try to add a different option or two later on. 


This might be the most interesting case the Giants have. Gott has good stuff and the new staff liked him, but he had an awful year, allowing 13 earned runs and seven homers in 11 2/3 innings.

He was the closer early on but collapsed over a four-day stretch in August and finished the year on the IL. Gott's first year of arbitration would come with a minimal raise, and the Giants are short on right-handed relievers. If they feel he's fixable, it won't cost much more than the league minimum to bring him back, with Gott projected to get a bump to $700,000 or $1 million. 

But this is another spot where the Giants might find some more intriguing options once the dust settles this week, and they may just prefer to have the open roster spot. They saw last week -- when Aramis Garcia, Chris Shaw and Jordan Humphreys got claimed -- how difficult it will be to sneak younger players through waivers. 


He's exactly the type this regime likes to scoop up and keep as depth, but he's not a great fit on the roster right now. The Giants already have two right-handed hitters -- Solano and Wilmer Flores -- at second base and a platoon option at short in Mauricio Dubon. Jason Vosler got a major league deal, a sign of how seriously the front office is taking the search for left-handed help. 

With rosters being cut down to 26, there's just not much wiggle room. Robertson avoided arbitration last offseason by signing a $1.025 million deal with the Rays. Committing something similar -- plus a roster spot all offseason -- to a player who doesn't have a great path to the opening day roster seems unlikely. 


Arbitration-eligible for the first time, Slater is due $1.1-$1.7 million after a season full of highs and lows. Slater hit .282/.408/.506, finally tapping into more of his natural power. For the second time in three years, though, he finished the season with an elbow injury. Slater was limited to DH duty over the final six weeks but is expected to be 100 percent by spring training. There's no doubt he'll be back, and if he's healthy he should be the leadoff hitter against left-handed pitchers. 

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