Reason Marcus Semien Fits With The SF Giants:
1. Spelling/Replacing Brandon Crawford
Even if Crawford has regained some of his old form, his contract is set to expire after next season. Signing Semien would give the Giants a chance to get familiar with a potential long-term replacement for the franchise cornerstone. Until then, Semien could still help Crawford excel.
Crawford made 48 plate appearances in games after a day off this season. That’s when he did the vast majority of his damage. Crawford hit 40% of his extra-base hits on the season in games following at least one day off and managed a robust .292/.354/.622 triple-slash line.
Few seasons will feature more randomness than 2020, but it’s a trend worth watching. At his age, it might make sense to give Crawford more days off to help him stay fresh and healthy for as much of the season as possible. Since the 2021 schedule will likely return to 162-games, the Giants need another trustworthy option at shortstop.
Dubón looked like he could be that guy heading into 2020 but now seems entrenched as the team’s everyday centerfielder. Semien would be an alternative to Crawford that would respectably fill his spot in the lineup and defensively.
Furthermore, Crawford’s platoon splits have always been a concern for the Giants. Over the past two seasons, his OPS is over 114 points higher against right-handed pitchers than lefties. Semien, who bats right-handed, has a career OPS 90 points higher against lefties than righties.
Against southpaws, Semien could easily shift to shortstop, and Solano could slide in at second base. For the first time in Crawford’s career, he would have an opportunity to rest and sit against tough matchups while not feeling like the team was playing an inferior player because of it.
If Marcus Semien finds a quiet free-agent market, the SF Giants have the money to outbid everyone else while offering him an opportunity to prove his versatility and grow his value. For the Giants, Semien would give the team the flexibility to move an asset like Solano or have their deepest infield in recent history.