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SF Giants: 5 cheap potential shortstop depth targets

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Wilfredo Tovar (19) attempts to tag out Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) at second base at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Pirates defeated the Angels 10-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Angels shortstop Wilfredo Tovar (19) attempts to tag out Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte (6) at second base at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Pirates defeated the Angels 10-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Adeinny Hechavarria
Atlanta infielder Adeiny Hechavarria (24) drives in a run with a base hit against the Miami Marlins during the first inning. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

5 Cheap Potential SF Giants Shortstop Targets
3. Adeiny Hechavarría (Chiba Lotte Mariners)

Adeiny Hechavarría is in a unique predicament. He would easily top this list if he were a free-agent or in a competition for a roster spot stateside. His career .641 OPS obviously leaves a lot to be desired, but the nine-year veteran is a proven big-league shortstop that would be just the insurance a team like the Giants should want. The only problem is, he’s currently under contract with the Chiba Lotte Mariners in Nippon Professional Baseball, the top baseball league in Japan.

Unlike professional basketball, where contracts often include player opt-outs for NBA opportunities, Hechavarría is probably locked into his international contract. However, the unique circumstances surrounding professional baseball amidst the COVID-19 pandemic could make him an option. Due to Japan’s current travel restrictions, Hechavarría, and many other players have been unable to join their respective teams in Japan.

Depending on the status of things in Japan. It might not be out of the question for Chiba to let Hechavarría out of his contract, especially if he has interest from a big-league team like the Giants.

5 Cheap Potential SF Giants Shortstop Targets
2. Wilfredo Tovar (New York Mets)

If the Giants are eyeing some upside, Ureña and Chatham would easily move up the list. If Zaidi is just aiming to fill a roster though, someone like Wilfredo Tovar would require an even smaller return in a deal. A 29-year-old signed by the Mets to a minor-league deal this offseason, Tovar has a very similar profile to Ureña, just with more experience and less upside.

Tovar is a career .188/.241/.238 hitter across 110 MLB plate appearances split between cups of coffee in 2013, 2014, and 2019. In the minors, he’s posted a passable .268/.324/.352 triple-slash with an elite 11.0% strikeout rate and below-average 6.6% walk rate. Defensively, he’s moved around the diamond a bit, playing nearly 200 professional games at second base. However, Tovar is an undeniable above-average defensive shortstop. For a Giants team devoid of strong defenders at short aside from Brandon Crawford, he could be the cheap insurance they target.

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