Giants: Three free-agent infielders to avoid this offseason
By Dzintars Grinfelds
While the San Francisco Giants could look to add to improve their infield options this offseason, there are a few free agents they should steer clear of this winter.
After previously exploring free-agent pitchers and outfielders that the San Francisco Giants should steer clear of this offseason, the only remaining category is infielders.
This one is a bit trickier than the previous two.
Unlike the pitching staff and the outfield, where the team has young and unproven talent that would be bolstered by the addition of a veteran free agent, the Giants are more or less set across the infield.
While the “young and unproven” tag certainly applies to 25-year-old second baseman Mauricio Dubon, he impressed in his September audition and the team seems ready to give him a shot at an everyday role.
So if the Giants are going to make a real splash in the free agency pool of infielders, it will have to come in one of two ways. Either they find a way to trade first baseman Brandon Belt, shortstop Brandon Crawford, or third baseman Evan Longoria to clear a spot, or they target a utility player who can produce in a semi-regular role while giving those players a day off.
Moving Belt has proven difficult, even when he’s been at his best, and Crawford has been consistently mediocre over the past three seasons with an uninspiring line of .245/.311/.383 and an average of 13 home runs.
Longoria enjoyed a nice bounce-back season after a disappointing first year with the Giants, hitting .254/.325/.437 with 20 home runs and 69 RBI in 508 plate appearances. However, it’s would be hard to imagine his offensive numbers going much higher than that, especially after he turned 34 years old in October.
All of that is just to say, it would take some maneuvering for the Giants to bring in a more productive bat on the infield. But, there is a chance the front office tries to make a deal, especially since the free-agent pool includes some quality infielders.
That said, there are a few free agents that may fit what the Giants will be looking for this offseason, but the team should avoid.