SF Giants 2022 Opening Day Shortstop
1. A superstar free agent
We have known for some time now that the 2022 free-agent class was going to include an embarrassment of riches at the shortstop position. The following shortstops are set to hit free agency after this season: Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, and Marcus Semien are all set to hit the open market.
Hmm, I wonder if the Giants would be any better with one of those guys on the team. That is an insane amount of talent, and landing any one of those guys would be a huge splash for the Giants and would bring them closer to realistically contending with the Padres and the Dodgers. All of those players are in their late twenties or early thirties. That means they are going to command lucrative multi-year deals.
While Lindor and Correa seem likely to sign extensions with their current teams, Seager, Baez, and Story are a few of the bigger names that have a very good chance of reaching free agency. Even if they miss out on those elite players, Semien’s history in the Bay Area would make him an obvious fallback candidate. That tells you all you need to know about next year’s crop of shortstops, the player that finished 3rd in 2019 AL MVP voting currently slots as a fallback option.
Given San Francisco’s obvious payroll flexibility, there’s no reason they could not identify their favorite player from that list, and offer them whatever deal necessary to get a deal done. Giants fans have had their hearts broken in free agency far too much too get anything more than cautiously optimistic about this crop of free agents. But, frankly, unless Luciano has an unprecedented 2020 season, fans have reason to be upset with management if they do not come away with a big-name shortstop next offseason.
In sum, the shortstop situation for the SF Giants is still very much in the air after 2021. They may decide to promote from within, or they could cough up a pretty penny on an outside hire in the form of a big-time free agent who would certainly create some buzz around the team heading into 2022 and beyond.