Richie Martin, SS, Oakland Athletics
The San Francisco Giants are lacking some depth at the middle infield spots. Alen Hanson is nice, but can’t quite play short-stop consistently. They don’t need a crazy consistent short-stop, but the ability to have a right hander step in for Crawford every now and then, AND play solid defense would be beneficial.
According to MLBPipeline’s report on Martin, he was always glove first and didn’t really have the bat come around until this season. In AA last year, Martin hit .300 with an .807 OPS, with 43 XBH and 25 stolen bases. MLBPipeline has his glove and arm grades at a 60, which is well above average. A strong defensive backup that has speed and a knack for gap-to-gap hitting? Sounds good to me!
Martin was a first round pick by the A’s in 2015, the year after Zaidi left. So there isn’t that connection there. However, why should we be shocked if Zaidi was to raid one of his former employers given that he knows how they evaluate talent and such.
I’ve always thought the Giants needed to employ 7 infielders with the limitations to some of the backups. Hanson is a nice “jack of all trades” piece, but his glove leaves a bit to be desired, and his bat doesn’t provide much of a different approach when he backs up Crawford. Hence, Martin could make some sense for them in this case.
And now, for raiding another former employer of Zaidi, our second option.