Shortly after it was reported that the San Francisco Giants had avoided arbitration with both Mike Yastrzemski and Darin Ruf (the former on a $3.7 million deal, the latter with an extension that goes through his final two years of arbitration, with a team option for his first year of free agency), the team announced that the had also agreed to terms with catcher Curt Casali and right-handed pitcher Dominic Leone.
Additionally, the #SFGiants have agreed to terms with C Curt Casali, RHP Dominic Leone and OF Mike Yastrzemski on one-year contracts for the 2022 season to avoid arbitration. pic.twitter.com/q0PW5kdR5H— SFGiants (@SFGiants) March 23, 2022
The team also announced the details of the deals: $2.6 million for Casali, and $2.25 million for Leone.
The Giants signed both players prior to the 2021 season, and each had a good year, but will likely be relied on even more heavily in 2022. Casali was Buster Posey’s backup last season, and after a rough start to the year rebounded to hit .210/.313/.350 which, combined with his defense, made him worth 0.5 fWAR. With Posey retiring in the offseason, Casali will share catching duties with Joey Bart, though it’s unclear whether Bart will be the starter and Casali again the backup, or if it will be a more even split. It will likely be a fluid situation.
Leone had the best season of his career, sporting a 1.51 ERA and 3.08 FIP, while appearing in 57 games. He struck out 50 batters in 53.2 innings, walked 22, and was worth 0.9 WAR. The Giants figure to have one of the best bullpens in the Majors this year, and Leone will be a critical part of it.
With those signings, the Giants will not go into arbitration with any of their eight eligible players. In addition to Casali, Leone, Yastrzemski, and Ruf, San Francisco greed to deals with left-handed pitcher Jarlin García ($1.725 million), outfielder Austin Slater ($1.85 million), and right-handed pitcher John Brebba ($837,500), all prior to the lockout. Outfielder Alex Dickerson was non-tendered, and has since signed with Atlanta.
While announcing the signings on Tuesday, the Giants revealed that Ruf will make $15,000 donations to the Giants Community Fund in 2022 and 2023, and a $17,500 donation in 2024.