SF Giants Under The Radar Targets
3. Jay Bruce
Another familiar face to SF Giants, most famous for his towering home runs with the Cincinnati Reds, Jay Bruce is a wily veteran who could provide a little pop for the Giants.
In his last few seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Bruce has not been exceptional. In 2019, which he spent both with the Seattle Mariners and the Phillies, he hit .216/.261/.523 with 26 home runs and 59 RBI. In 2020, he hit .198/.252/.469 with 6 home runs and 14 RBI in 32 games.
Entering a season in which he will be 34 years old, it is obvious that Bruce is not the hitter that he once was. That does not mean he could not help the Giants out though. Having a powerful lefty that can come off the bench late in the game is a valuable asset, especially after we saw how much different right field at Oracle Park played last year.
Traditionally, it has been difficult for the Giants to attract left-handed free agents to play in Oracle Park for half the year, but Zaidi believes that the pitcher-friendly park has become less of a hindrance for free agents after many players experienced career years with the team in 2020.
Bruce has always had severe platoon splits, and that was still the case over the last two seasons. In 2020, he posted a .821 OPS against righties. Once a solid everyday right fielder, he is more fringe at the position now, especially if he had to play at Oracle Park. However, he has been consistently above-average in left field and solid at first base, something that cannot be said for Adams.
Ultimately, the SF Giants could sign any one of these three free-agent left-handed power hitters with virtually no risk. Given some of their struggles in 2020 and lack of exceptional defensive versatility, they may not even command MLB deals on the open market. They would be making a low-risk acquisition who in a best-case scenario would help the Giants win games in 2021 and in a worst-case scenario could be cut after Spring Training.