The San Francisco Giants are embarking on an offseason with an agenda that is largely shrouded in mystery for us fans. The club has a new leader in the front office, Farhan Zaidi, who recently explained, “Everything has to be on the table” this offseason – yes, that means considering a Madison Bumgarner trade.
Zaidi will have the tall task of trying to either bring energy and reload an aging, expensive, and stagnating roster on the fly or embarking on a full, lengthy rebuild in front of thousands of spoiled (yes, we are) San Francisco Giants fans. We have no clue which way he’ll lean.
The infield is essentially locked in going into next year with the starters already in place, if they don’t get traded of course. That leaves the outfield as the primary way the Giants can upgrade the lineup.
During the 2018 season, center field was a position that was in flux for the team. Denard Span was traded away before the season began, which led to an opening for newcomer Austin Jackson who looked poised to bring a competent set of skills to AT&T’s vast outfield. Well, that didn’t work out – Jackson was traded away to the Rangers in early July.
Ex-Giant Gregor Blanco was also brought in, and he served with Gorkys Hernandez as depth options in center. Meanwhile, rookie Steven Duggar impressed in a quarter-season sample with plus baserunning and defensive ability and a developing bat.
Going into next season, Duggar and Gorkys remain as the two most capable options to man the position. In fact, Duggar likely has the lead to start based on his potential and the Giants desperate need to get younger.
Gorkys had an impressive first half at the plate (.277/.324/.454) but was abysmal in the second half (.162/.220/.286). That, coupled with his sub-par bat makes him essentially expendable at this point in his career.
Since left field and right field are open too, the Giants can explore a wide variety of free agents center fielders to either push Duggar over, start next to him, or serve behind him. Here are three potential options, ranked from least to most expensive.