The San Francisco Giants are not one player away from competing for a championship. But, with less than a month to go before Spring Training, the team certainly needs some difference makers to compete.
Marwin Gonzalez, the versatile former Houston Astro, would fill more holes in the Giants lineup than anything Harper or Machado could provide.
The biggest weakness for the Giants is their outfield. The team is looking for experienced players to play both left and right field.
Gonzalez has played 157 major league games in left field and 190 games as a professional and could start for the orange and black there opening day. He has only played four career games in right field, but they were at the major league level.
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The Giants also need a right handed bat to play second base. Joe Panik, the team’s current second baseman is left handed, as is their shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt. The only outfielder that seems to be a sure thing to play is Steven Duggar, who is also left handed, and their two switch hitters, Pablo Sandoval and Alen Hanson, are much better from the left side.
Needless to say, right handed bats are a need, and Gonzalez can not only fill that role with his addition, but he can play second base. Across all levels, he has played second base more than any other position. He has played 286 games overall at second, including 110 games at the major league level.
He has also played first base, third base, shortstop and center field. Gonzalez could be a platoon for Belt, Crawford and even Duggar if the Giants want to have a right handed bat at any of those positions.
The fact that Gonzalez can move around the infield and outfield like this makes him the most valuable player available on the free agent market.
While Harper or Machado would give the Giants much needed thump in the middle of their order, Gonzalez would provide much more depth and versatility and ultimately help the entire lineup more.
Allowing the Giants and manager Bruce Bochy to mix and match in so many ways will allow players to get needed rest over the course of 162 games in 180 days.