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San Francisco Giants 2018 Free Agency Preview: Three Center Fielders to Target

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 22: A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Los Angeles Angels during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Angels 5-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 22: A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Los Angeles Angels during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Angels 5-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
DETROIT, MI – JULY 29: Rajai Davis #26 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring against the Detroit Tigers on a single by Edwin Encarnacion during the eight inning at Comerica Park on July 29, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Yeah, the center fielder group in this year’s free agency is not so strong. The 38-year-old Davis would represent an option for a veteran’s minimum contract or Spring Training invite, not anything more for the San Francisco Giants.

Last year, in a part-time role with the Cleveland Indians, Davis posted just a .559 OPS. Which is, uh, not very good. However, he did steal 21 bases and played solid defense in the outfield (mostly in center field).

His speed and defense would be the reasons the Giants would bring him on. He would paradoxically make the team more athletic and even older at the same time, so take that for what you will.

Honestly, giving a roster spot to a player like Davis could be a minimal, yet potentially fruitful risk to take this offseason. The Giants leader in stolen bases last year was Andrew McCutchen, who had 13 and finished the season with the New York Yankees. That can be improved upon.

Defensively, the veterans of the Giants outfield struggled pretty mightily to handle AT&T’s vast terrain. Davis would then represent an option with the range necessary to flag down balls more effectively than McCutchen, Jackson, Blanco, or Hunter Pence could do.

Signing Davis would basically mean having a true speed threat on the bench, which could make Bruce Bochy‘s life easier when close games enter the late innings. His right-handed bat could be some form of minimal insurance for Duggar if he struggles against lefties or he could play alongside Duggar if the Giants want to make their outfield defense shine.

His potential role on the 2019 Giants would basically be somewhere between last year’s Gregor Blanco and Gorkys Hernandez. In either case, eh.

Projected Contract: One Year/Veterans Minimum

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