Giants

Mac Williamson elects to become a free agent after clearing waivers

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USATSI

Mac Williamson elects to become a free agent after clearing waivers

BALTIMORE -- Mac Williamson didn't have a choice the last time the Giants designated him for assignment. This time he did, and he decided to become a free agent.

Williamson cleared waivers for the second time in just over two months and elected free agency, so he can pick from the 29 other teams as he looks for a fresh start and another chance to establish himself as a big leaguer. He previously had cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento, working his way back up to the big leagues for a brief audition. 

[RELATED: Pomeranz dud caps awful months for Giants starters]

Williamson had just six hits in 51 at-bats before getting DFA'd last Saturday to clear a spot for Mike Yastrzemski, the latest to get a chance to win the left field job. The 28-year-old has spent his entire career with the Giants, batting .207 with 14 homers in parts of five seasons. 

A third-round pick in 2012, Williamson never quite put it together in the big leagues. He got two real chances with the Giants, but a concussion wrecked a promising 2018 season and his Triple-A hot streak didn't carry over this season. If Williamson is to make it in the big leagues, it will now be elsewhere. 

CC Sabathia wanted to play for Giants, and it almost happened twice

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USATSI

CC Sabathia wanted to play for Giants, and it almost happened twice

CC Sabathia is an East Bay guy, but he almost ended up on the other side of the Bay Bridge.

Growing up in Vallejo, Sabathia was an A's fan. But as he was getting closer to the draft process, he grew more and more fond of the Giants.

"I grew up an A’s fan, but for some reason in high school, I had it in my head the Giants were going to draft me,” Sabathia told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. “So I always wanted to pitch for the Giants after that. I never really got any letters or any kind of looks from the A’s, so after about the 10th grade, it was always the Giants."

As it turned out, San Francisco passed on Sabathia in favor of another local prospect, Woodside's Tony Torcato.

Think the Giants regret that one?

San Francisco had a second chance to put Sabathia in a Giants uniform when he became a free agent in 2008, and they almost pulled it off, if not for the deep-pocketed Yankees.

"We were close to negotiating terms,” Sabathia said of the contract talks with the Giants. “It would’ve been cool, yeah, but this is the best thing for me, to be able to come to New York, have a chance to win every year. Being in the pinstripes is a lot of fun. It’s my dad’s dream, so I’m glad I got a chance to live it out."

[RELATED: Sabathia hosts Boys & Girls club kids at A's-Yankees game]

Sabathia would go on to win a World Series with the Bronx Bombers in 2009. A year later, San Francisco won the first of its three consecutive even-year world championships.

So, clearly, things worked out just fine for both sides separately. But it does make you wonder what they could have accomplished together.

Carl Yastrzemski knows it'll be 'emotional' to see Mike play at Fenway

Carl Yastrzemski knows it'll be 'emotional' to see Mike play at Fenway

It took some time -- longer than he would have liked -- but Mike Yastrzemski finally is making a name for himself at the big league level. 

Yastrzemski spent six seasons in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system before the Giants traded for him in March. Since donning the SF orange and black, he has helped transform the Giants' outfield from one of the worst in baseball into one of the team's strengths

In 74 games for the Giants, Yastrzemski is hitting .259 with 17 home runs, 47 RBI and an .890 OPS. His emergence with the Giants has made one person, in particular, very proud: His grandfather, Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski. 

“You know, the main thing is, he’s a great kid,” Carl Yastrzemski told The Athletic's Steve Buckley. “He’s worked hard. He always thought he was going to make it and I’m very, very happy for him.”

The younger Yaz helped the Giants go on a torrid run from the middle of June through the end of July, putting them in the thick of the NL wild-card race. While the Giants have fallen back to Earth in August, they still will visit the Red Sox at Fenway Park next month with something to play for. 

Watching his grandson patrol the same outfield he did for the final time 36 years ago will be a special moment for Carl Yastrzemski. 

“To see him come play at Fenway ... that’ll be something,” Yaz told Buckley. “And me ... playing here for 23 years, and then see my grandson come in and play here. It’ll be emotional, yes.

“I know how hard he worked, and to see him there, and having them announce the name Yastrzemski, I feel great because of him, how much he wanted it.”

Mike's father, Carl Yastrzemski Jr. died in 2004 after complications from hip surgery. Mike's success, in Carl's eyes, has a lot to do with how much his father worked with and helped him at a young age.

“His father saw me play,” Carl Yastrzemski said. “And his father was here for my 3,000th hit and my 400th home run. And to emulate his success — my grandson has to owe it all to his father. He spent a lot of time with him, working with him and stuff like that. When they would do things as far as baseball and working out, I kind of stood in the background. His father did the most with him.”

[RELATED:  Yaz has seen power surge in first season with Giants]

There will be a lot of Yastrzemskis on hand at Fenway Park on Sept. 17-19 to watch Mike take the field on the hallowed grounds his legendary grandfather famously called home for 23 seasons. 

Mike made some tweaks to his swing in the offseason, and it's paid dividends. One part of his game, in particular, stands out to Yaz. 

“He’s got good power to all fields,” Carl said of Mike. “The more often you use the whole field, it’s better as far as people trying to defense you. You don’t want to pull and pull and pull. With that shift they use now it’s pretty hard to get a base hit. The only thing I’ve mentioned to him is that you have good power to all fields, so use all fields.”