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SF Giants let starting pitcher Tyler Anderson go, agree to terms with six players, cut four more

A year after many Giants fans were left stunned and frustrated when the team announced it was parting ways with 2019 Willie Mac Award winner Kevin Pillar, this offseason’s non-tender deadline was comparatively anticlimactic.

Despite the lack of major moves, the Giants were still active as the team announced Wednesday it agreed to terms with six arbitration-eligible players, tendered contracts to two more and cut five players from the 40-man roster.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris didn’t make any decisions that will lead to a social media uproar, but they did non-tender left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson, which is a mild surprise for a team looking to fortify its rotation this winter.

The six players who agreed to pre-arbitration deals for the 2021 season were outfielder Alex Dickerson, reliever Jarlín García, outfielder Austin Slater, outfielder Darin Ruf, reliever Wandy Peralta and reliever Trevor Gott. The Giants also tendered contracts to infielder Donovan Solano and reliever Reyes Moronta and will have until January 15 to come to agreements on 2021 salaries.

If no agreement has been reached by that point, the team and players will submit salary figures and an arbitration panel would determine each player’s salary for the upcoming season.

Aside from non-tendering Anderson, the Giants parted ways with utility player Daniel Robertson and three pre-arbitration players: Catcher Chadwick Tromp and right-handed relievers Rico García and Melvin Adon.

Anderson was the biggest surprise of the group that was non-tendered as he posted a 4.37 ERA in 13 appearances, including 11 starts in 2020. The lefty was expected to earn between $2.4-$4.3 million in 2021 per MLB Trade Rumors projections.

Twelve months after a non-tender deadline that left a major impression on fans, the decision to move on from Pillar is still viewed as one of the most controversial moves Zaidi has made since joining the organization in November, 2018. The push to free up opportunities in the outfield allowed new manager Gabe Kapler to experiment with a less experienced group that ultimately featured several of the Giants’ top performers in 2020.

Mike Yastrzemski built upon a successful rookie season and finished eighth in National League MVP voting, establishing himself as the Giants’ premier offensive threat.

Rookie Mauricio Dubón was expected to move around the diamond as a utility player, but eventually took to a role as the everyday center fielder and is perceived by some in the organization as a potential dark horse candidate to eventually win a Gold Glove if he continues improving his flyball reads.

In left field, Dickerson and Ruf formed a successful platoon that provided much-needed power in the lineup after veteran free agent signee Hunter Pence was cut following a 5-for-52 start to the season.

The decisions made Wednesday provide the Giants’ front office with more clarity moving forward in an offseason in which the top priorities include finding upgrades for the starting rotation, adding a veteran arm or two to the bullpen and acquiring a versatile left-handed hitter.

After Wednesday’s transactions, the Giants have 35 players on their 40-man roster.

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