Five things Giants fans can look forward to in 2021


The final week of 2020 brought one last reason for Giants fans to groan.As if trying to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers isn’t enough, the Giants now also find themselves in a division with what might be the second-best team in the big leagues. The San Diego Padres were a threat in 2020 and went out and added a pair of aces to a group that looks poised to contend for World Series titles the next couple of years, at the very least.The Giants have been out of the postseason for four consecutive seasons, and it's hard right now to predict that run will end in 2021. The front office has been more active than most over the past two months and still sees plenty of ways to add before pitchers and catchers report, but as we head into 2021, it's looking like another year of waiting.There are still plenty of reasons for Giants fans to be excited about the upcoming year, though. First and foremost, it won't be 2020.Here are five more things Giants fans can look forward to as the calendar turns.

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The Giants do tearful goodbyes better than anyone, but the official end of an era will be tough to handle, even if you ignore the fact that they still don't know if fans will be back in the seats next summer. 

Nine years after they first won a title together, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford all will be starters, but all three homegrown infielders also are likely looking at free agency for the first time. Crawford and Belt's extensions are up after 2021 and the Giants are almost certain to decline the $22 million option they hold on Posey for 2022.

Belt is coming off his best season but will be 33 next year. Crawford, who turns 34 in January, had a bounceback year, but Marco Luciano is on the way and the upcoming free agent shortstop class could be the best in MLB history. Posey, 34 in March, has Joey Bart and Patrick Bailey coming up behind him. 

It's possible that one, two or even all three are back in 2022 on one-year deals to help the transition to the next generation, but nobody can know at this point.

So enjoy one more year with three of the best players in franchise history. It's unlikely you'll ever see a homegrown group accomplish so much again. 


Look, if the Giants still are sitting here next offseason handing out one-year deals to starting pitchers and accruing depth, everyone should absolutely, 100 percent rip them. It would be fully deserved.

But right now you can't really blame them for sticking to the plan. Farhan Zaidi inherited a team that lost 98 games in 2017, had a $200 million payroll and a bottom-five farm system. He has been patiently building the roster while also waiting for the books to clear, and guess what? We're nine months from that happening.

The Giants have only one guaranteed salary -- Evan Longoria -- in 2022 and none beyond that, with more than $100 million in salary coming off after the 2021 year.

The timing is perfect, too. The next free agent class includes Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Max Scherzer, Freddie Freeman, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and many more.

The Giants should finally be in on some huge names, and given the financial issues around the rest of the game, there should be a clear expectation that they add a couple of superstars to their next core. The hot stove season will be fun again.


There are few things more exciting than the debut of a top prospect, but the stands were empty when Joey Bart had his long-anticipated first at-bat for the Giants.

The Giants have long had a policy of flying family members in for a rookie's first game, often paying to keep them in town for a week or two if necessary, but guys like Caleb Baragar and Chadwick Tromp didn't get that experience. 

The hope is that 2021 brings fans back to the ballpark, or at least allows for large enough numbers that mom and dad can be there cheering when a lifelong dream is accomplished, and the Giants could have a lot of those moments next season. 

Heliot Ramos should get a look at some point, and Sean Hjelle and Tristan Beck are expected to be rotation options late in the year. Relievers can make the leap faster than anyone, so there's a chance fans are watching the radar gun for triple digits when Camilo Doval, Gregory Santos or Kervin Castro debut. 

Perhaps there's a surprise or two from further down the system. Even Bart's return should be a big deal, and the former No. 2 overall pick still has that first homer in his sights. It'll be a lot more memorable if fans are in the seats. 


The most important aspect of the 2021 season for the Giants will be taking place far from the cameras. Their future will be decided in large part by how good their top prospects end up being, and whether any of them take the leap from potential starter to potential superstar. 

Marco Luciano has the best shot, and it wouldn't surprise anyone if he's one of the game's top three prospects by this time next year. Hunter Bishop hasn't had a chance to play much pro ball yet, but he has the tools to be a franchise-altering talent. Luis Matos has one of the prettiest right-handed swings you'll see, and there are people within the organization who believe he's their biggest hidden gem.

The Giants at some point need to develop an ace or two, and left-handers Seth Corry and Kyle Harrison stand out as potential options. 

It's unlikely that any of those players sees a big league clubhouse in 2021, but their development should be closely watched by fans. The Giants need a couple of young players to take the leap, and they have a lot of candidates. 


Somewhere in the depths of Oracle Park, there are dozens of boxes containing Johnny Cueto gnomes and Buster Posey funko pops, whatever those are. The 60-game season without fans caused all promotions and special events to be pushed back, but the Giants are still planning to run it back with the most important team in franchise history. 

The 2010 reunion will take place at some point, although the Giants want a packed house when Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Cody Ross, Pat Burrell and the rest are brought back, so they might have to wait until late in the season to celebrate that team. 

Will Clark's No. 22 was supposed to be retired on July 11 but the Giants pushed that back to 2021, as well. Team officials still don't even know if spring training will start on time, so it's too early for them to fully announce plans, but whenever they're allowed to, they're going all-out to celebrate the (11-year) anniversary of the first title. 

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