Free agency is just getting underway, and while spending is expected to be limited this offseason, the SF Giants could be an appealing destination for several free agents with local ties.
With the offseason underway, the SF Giants will be looking to fill their roster needs while keeping an eye on potential upgrades elsewhere. Heading into free agency, their most obvious needs include a left-handed bat, starting pitching depth, and veteran relievers, With that being said, the Giants may be able to take advantage of players with ties to the Bay Area.
The Giants do not seem inclined to get into a bidding war for free agents at the top of the market. Given their tendency to value draft picks and prospects, it’s hard to imagine them targetting players that received qualifying offers either. Still, there are a handful of players with local ties who may want to return home that happen to fill an important need.
While a number of players could be willling to take a hometown discount, or even a reduced role, to come to the city by the Bay. There are four obvious targets that would have a clear fit on a Giants roster in 2020 and/or beyond. Now, the question is, does the front office feel the same way?
SF Giants Local Fit: Marcus Semien
Our own Marc Delucchi is a fan of Marcus Semien and already outlined why he thought the longtime Oakland A’s shortstop was a perfect fit on the Giants roster. I will admit that I’m not quite as high on his fit in San Francisco, but I do think a move could make sense.
In eight seasons, the right-handed bat has slashed a .254/.332/.425 line (105 OPS+) with 115 home runs and 380 RBI. Semien’s career has consisted of hovering around league-average as a hitter while having one season where he was an MVP candidate in 2019. In that year, he posted a 139 OPS+ with 33 home runs and 92 RBI.
He followed that campaign with a much more Semien-like season. In 236 plate appearances, the 30-year-old posted a .223/.305/.374 line (91 OPS+) with seven home runs and 23 RBI.
This is what you should expect if the Giants were to kick the tires on the Berekely native. That MVP-like season seems like an outlier thus far, but he certainly has the potential to become that player once again. However, he may be seeking a multi-year deal, so the inconsistent production is the risk you take with Semien.
In the field, it is easier to envision a long-term fit. Semien has spent the majority of his career at shortstop, but he has experience at second base and third base as well. Given that Brandon Crawford is entering the final year of his six-year, $75 million contract, San Francisco may want to start thinking about who will take over at shortstop in 2022.
Semien could move all around the diamond in 2021, then slide into shortstop in the following year.