This, in my opinion is the biggest need for the Giants. They could “use” another starter. They could “use” another bullpen piece. But they really need a reliable backup center fielder. Austin Jackson was supposed to be that, and that he is not. Stephen Duggar isn’t ready, because if he was, he’d be here.
The defense is there for Duggar, but something has been amiss as he’s amassed 10 errors this year, giving him 12 total in his minor league career in center. His bat has been good, and he does get on base a lot. But Duggar is not ready for a call-up, and the situation isn’t dire enough to potentially bring him up. So what do you do? Keep riding it out with Austin Jackson? Try and move someone else to play their? The best answer is neither.
They absolutely need to look outside of the organization to fill this hole. As much as I love Duggar, and believe in his ability/prospect status, this year is not it. To throw him into the fire in the middle of a summer pennant race is dumb. The Giants need to go get a veteran for that hole. So who is available? Here are a couple names that I think wouldn’t cost a ton, and could do an admirable job filling in at CF:
Both of these guys are in the top five when it comes to Fangraphs dWAR, and have some of the highest DRS and UZR in the league. The metrics back that they’re good outfielders, and would do well as a fourth or fifth outfielder. They’d be better than what the Giants have with Jackson, and it would be quite smart to try and land either. Both players are on teams at the bottom, looking to rebuild, with low payrolls. They could even take back Austin Jackson. and not be in pain for paying him the next two years.
The Giants have to find a way to make moves while staying under the cap. By swapping players with teams who literally don’t care about this year or the next, they can potentially shed some of the salary they’re trying to move. Guys like Gearrin and Jackson fit that small level salary. But if they want a bigger addition, then they’re going to have to convince Pence to accept a move. Which leads me to the next slide.