SF Giants: 5 cheap potential shortstop depth targets
By Marc Delucchi
Less than a week before Opening Day, SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi revealed the organization is contemplating adding depth at shortstop in the coming days. With a plethora of options at first base, in the outfield, and bullpen, Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris should have plenty of intriguing upper minor-league options of their own to offer in return. Of course, they could also target even lower hanging fruit that would only cost the team cash or a player to be named later.
The Giants’ front-office prioritized adding relief pitching depth and opted against adding any experienced shortstops aside from Arismendy Alcántara this offseason. Now, they will likely have to make a late-spring trade to find an additional piece. Here are five of the better players that could be available for a low price.
5 Cheap Potential SF Giants Shortstop Targets
5. C.J. Chatham (Philadelphia Phillies)
Easily the least proven player on this list, C.J. Chatham was the Boston Red Sox second-round pick in the 2016 MLB draft out of Florida Atlantic. Chatham has always combined strong bat speed with the defensive potential to stick at shortstop. He’s consistently avoided strikeouts and has the all-fields approach that should sustain a high batting average. However, an aggressive approach limits his power and on-base potential.
A series of severe injuries have stalled Chatham’s development. Most notably, a shoulder injury has raised questions about his defensive future at shortstop. Given the Giants’ aggressive defensive alignments, though, Chatham probably has the instincts to handle shortstop for manager Gabe Kapler. An above-average defender at second base as well, Chatham has a good shot at becoming a big-league utilityman.
Never excelling at any minor-league level, Chatham has posted a .800 OPS above rookie-ball. However, from 2018-2019, he posted an OPS between .735-.760 at High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. If the Giants are looking for depth, Chatham seems like a high-floor option worth considering.
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski did send cash or a PTBNL to Boston to acquire Chatham. They also have Didi Gregorios and Jean Segura already on the big-league roster, with Bryson Stott, Luis Garcia, Nick Maton, and Arquímedes Gamboa in their farm system. Chatham seems like an obvious trade chip, especially if Philly is eyeing some upper minor-league outfield depth. The Giants might be able to intrigue them with someone like Luis Alexander Basabe.