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San Francisco Giants: Former OF Gorkys Hernandez elects free agency

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 19: Gorkys Hernandez #7 of the San Francisco Giants hits a sacrifice fly to drive in a run in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 19, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 19: Gorkys Hernandez #7 of the San Francisco Giants hits a sacrifice fly to drive in a run in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 19, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Giants will once again be looking to add some low-cost minor league depth this offseason. A reunion with outfielder Gorkys Hernandez could make sense.

One of the first decisions Farhan Zaidi made in his role as San Francisco Giants team president last offseason was to non-tender outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

The 32-year-old saw significant playing time during the 2018 season, hitting .234/.285/.391 with 16 doubles and 15 home runs in 451 plate appearances.

He also provided above-average defense in left field (239.2 INN, 5 DRS, 14.2 UZR/150) while grading out slightly below-average in center field (678.2 INN, -2 DRS, -6.7 UZR/150), no doubt due in part to spacious Oracle Park.

All of that was worth 0.5 WAR, and with a $1.6 million projected arbitration salary, the Giants decided to cut ties.

He signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox in December with a $1 million base salary at the MLB level, and he spent the bulk of the season at Triple-A, where he hit .219/.319/.377 with 14 doubles, 16 home runs and 20 steals in 123 games.

The Red Sox added him to the active roster in September and he made it into 20 games, hitting .143/.218/.245 with one double and two triples in 57 plate appearances.

However, he was outrighted off the 40-man roster earlier this month and he elected free agency.

Another minor league deal likely awaits this winter, and if he’s willing to spend the bulk of another season in the minors, Hernandez could be useful minor league depth for the San Francisco Giants as a known commodity.

The team cast a wide net in its search for low-cost minor league talent last offseason, so bringing Hernandez back as a non-roster invitee to spring training would not be a surprising move.

Next. A way-too-early 2020 Opening Day roster prediction

With money to spend and an eye on building toward the future, the San Francisco Giants could be in the market to make some significant moves this offseason. That won’t stop them from continuing to make under-the-radar pickups at the minor league level, though, and a reunion with Gorkys Hernandez could be worth considering.

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