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SF Giants: Five New Free-Agent Targets To Watch

Mike Leake during his tenure with the SF Giants. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Mike Leake during his tenure with the SF Giants. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Kolten Wong
The St. Louis Cardinals declined the team option on second baseman Kolten Wong, and he could be an interesting addition to the SF Giants infielder group. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

SF Giants New Free-Agent Targets: 2B Kolten Wong

The St. Louis Cardinals declined a $12.5 million club option forcing second baseman, Kolten Wong, to enter free agency. While he remains a solid everyday second baseman, the Cardinals are confident they can either resign him at a lower price or sign someone else of close to an equivalent value.

His fit on the SF Giants would be a bit complicated, given their glut of infielders, but his gold glove resume would separate him from the team’s current options at second.

Wong’s bat never developed as well as many scouts expected when he was drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Hawaii. Still, he’s rarely wavered far from his career .261/.333/.384 triple-slash line over his eight-year career. Most importantly, he’s consistently produced value defensively.

Even with the lowest slugging percentage of his career in the shortened 60-game season, Wong still produced around 3 WAR when paced over a 162-game season, almost entirely from his glove. His arm lacks the strength to be consistently a viable option at shortstop or third base, and that will always limit his opportunities, but the Cardinals did experiment with the outfield in the past.

While Wong struggled mightily during his brief trial in the outfield, the Giants coaching staff showed the ability to help career shortstop Mauricio Dubón become an above-average defensive outfielder this season. If Wong isn’t able to find a full-time job or is intrigued by increasing his positional versatility, he could be an ideal platoon option at second base and in centerfield.

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