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The San Francisco Giants don’t need another center-fielder

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 09: Keon Broxton #23 of the Milwaukee Brewers bats against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 15-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 09: Keon Broxton #23 of the Milwaukee Brewers bats against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 15-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The San Francisco Giants have been rumored to still be in the market for another centerfielder. I’m of the opinion that they should avoid it.

Last week, after the San Francisco Giants signed Austin Jackson to their roster for two years, they said something along the lines of “he brings depth to all three outfield positions.”

Then came the reports from Baggarly and others that the Giants are still in the market for another centerfielder.

Now  the Brewers have 343,890,714,309,874,908,173,049,498,710,329,847,132 (roughly 343.8 undecillion) centerfielders that are big league ready, and everyone (including ourselves) are wanting to link the Brewers and Giants together for a centerfielder deal. Here is why that’s a stupid thing to do, and what the Giants should actually do.

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MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects just came out on Saturday night. The lone Giants appearance on there was Heliot Ramos at 63. They traded away number 81, Christian Arroyo, a potential 3B of the future for a cheap cost, in exchange for an aging and expensive Evan Longoria. It’s actually a roster improving move for 2018. But might be a dampener on the future.

The two pieces the Giants could potentially afford financially would be Brett Phillips and Keon Broxton. Both are on controllable MLB minimum salary contracts within years 1-3. That means their price is likely at the league minimum. Broxton has two years left until arbitration, and Phillips has three full years of control left. Both are decent financial fits, but here is why trying to acquire either of them is just dumb.

First off, Keon Broxton is 27 and was drafted in 2009. He just barely has a full year of service time. That’s a long winding development road. Now, I’m totally cool with players who take a while. The problem is he still has massive holes in his swing, and that 20 hr a year power is NOT translating from Miller Park to AT&T (of all places) with that horrendous K-Rate.

They clearly like Duggar or else they would’ve broken the bank for Lorenzo Cain, or sold off a host of prospects for someone like Jackie Bradley Jr. So why on earth would they go get someone like Broxton or Phillips if they didn’t believe in Duggar?

Broxton strikes-out nearly 36% of the time in his 709 career plate appearances. I bristle at the thought of that. Broxton also wasn’t great in 1000 innings in center-field last year. The Brewer’s asking price seems to be somewhat high, which is silly considering he’s a flawed 27 year old with little service time.

So while he would make sense as a right handed platoon for Steven Duggar (if that’s what the Giants are looking for), he has done very little to convince me Gorkys wouldn’t be a better right handed platoon. I’m actually convinced if you threw out Jarrett Parker, and he stayed completely healthy, he’d do the same exact thing as Broxton.

So now we move to Brett Phillips, who is literally an overhyped version of Steven Duggar with a funny laugh. He’s a lefty with speed and a strong arm. Granted his arm strength grades higher than Duggar’s (80 compared to 60). Phillips had a .900+ OPS in the PCL (AAA) last year, but those numbers could be inflated by that 6,631 ballpark elevation in Colorado Springs. That’s the highest elevation of a professional baseball stadium in North America, over a thousand feet higher than Coors Field in Denver.

Phillips actually played well in the bigs and showed out some incredible defense and arm strength when the Giants came to town in 2017. But why get that when you already have Steven Duggar?

The Giants unfortunately have a track record of giving up their stud prospects for proven big-leaguers, which is ironic considering what their core of studs that have now made up the core of the team have done. Since they won the World Series in 2010, they’ve given up big prospects such as: Zack Wheeler, Tommy Jospeh, Phil Bickford and Christian Arroyo for big leaguers. Yes, I know they won two more World Series despite it, but they may have jeopardized their future a bit.

So far, the only one to stick beyond that season was Hunter Pence (Tommy Joseph deal). While the jury is still out on Will Smith (we know what happens with some TJ guys, ask Eric Surkamp), and Evan Longoria (old and somewhat injury prone), the Giants built their core by giving time to prospects they like.

They clearly like Duggar or else they would’ve broken the bank for Lorenzo Cain, or sold off a host of prospects for someone like Jackie Bradley Jr. So why on earth would they go get someone like Broxton or Phillips if they didn’t believe in Duggar?

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I genuinely think the Giants need to stand pat through Spring Training, maybe even to June 1st, in terms of getting another center-fielder. If Duggar doesn’t show he deserves big league time during Spring training, then stick him in AAA, start A-Jax and have Gorkys as your fourth outfielder (Gorkys and Gregor Blanco are statistically inter-changeable, so it’s not all that bad).

If Jackson struggles in the full-time role, two things can happen. You can trade for a CF if you’re that desparate, or Duggar has his stuff remotely figured out by June 1st, then he’s called up to help split full-time responsibilities with Jackson.

The Giants have to stop this trend of trading away promising young/controllable pieces for aging vets that may not be able to do the job for more than a year. Trading away young guys to bring in guys who might not be better than what they already have in the system is complete overkill.

Next: Heliot Ramos comes in at No. 63 ranked prospect

Phillips and Broxton are not sure enough bets in center field to justify bringing them in to feature there, or even split time with someone. If they would give that valuable experience to players within their system, they might just be able to get more out of a system that most outsiders look down upon. So, Bobby Evans, if you’re reading this, DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE WITH THE OUTFIELD.

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