3 pending free agents the SF Giants need to let walk, 1 they need to keep

The Giants need to shake things up with their roster once the season comes to an end.
Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants
Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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The SF Giants need to move on from Joc Pederson

It certainly raised a few eyebrows when the Giants gave Joc Pederson the qualifying offer last offseason, but it is also hard to blame them. While Joc has been maddeningly inconsistent in his career, he was coming off a season in 2022 where he posted an .874 OPS with 23 homers and made the All-Star team with the Giants. Almost $20 million for one season of work is not a small amount of money, but Pederson has the upside to make that move a worthy gamble.

Unfortunately, Joc hasn't quite lived up to that billing this season. A .243/.353/.422 slash line with 12 homers in 357 plate appearances isn't terrible, but also not worth paying a premium for. There is a danger with letting Joc go, though, as he is a tremendous clubhouse presence and is also the type of guy that could just go off next year. If he wants to return to the Giants on a cheaper deal as a platoon bat, that would probably be fine. However, if he wants a longer term deal for real money, the Giants need to pass.

Farewell, Brandon Crawford

These decisions always hurt because Brandon Crawford was so good for so long for the Giants. From 2011-2021, Crawford won four Gold Gloves, made three All-Star teams, and put up an average stat line of .255/.322/.405 while being one of the best defensive shortstops in the league. Unfortunately, the combination of injuries and Father Time has not been kind the last couple of seasons.

After putting up the worst OPS of his career since his rookie season in 2022, Crawford has been an offensive liability in 2023 with a .200/.274/.320 line in 282 plate appearances. Fortunately, it does seem like there is a way for Crawford to exit the organization with some dignity as it is seeming more and more likely that Crawford could just end up retiring after this season. It would be a fitting end to a great career that he retires a Giant, but it does seem clear regardless that he should not be on the roster in 2024 regardless of his decision.