Did the SF Giants miss out on perfect fit?

By Greg Angilly
Chris or Kris?
Chris or Kris? / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The SF Giants made starting pitching the top priority when the offseason began and, to their credit, they have rebuilt the rotation by bringing back Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood as well as reeling in Alex Cobb on a two-year pact. Did their focus on the rotation prevent them from bringing in a perfect addition to the lineup?

Did the SF Giants miss out on perfect fit?

That is the million-dollar question as the Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed super-utility player Chris Taylor to a four-year, $64 million pact. Given that he can move seamlessly between the infield and outfield, he would be an ideal fit for just about every team but it is especially true for the Giants given how much the front office appreciates versatility.

Giants fans are no stranger to Taylor as he has tormented left-handed pitching over the last six seasons in a Dodgers uniform. The Giants were said to be in the market for a right-handed-hitting outfield and Taylor checks off that box as well as plenty of others.

The right-handed bat had a career year at the plate, registering a .254/.344/.438 line (110 OPS+) with 20 home runs, 73 RBI, and 92 runs scored while being worth 2.6 WAR across 582 plate appearances. The RBI and runs output represented career-highs for the eight-year veteran.

In addition to this, the 31-year-old earned a National League All-Star nod for the first time in his career. With that being said, Taylor did cool off at the end of the 2021 campaign as he posted a .666 OPS in the final month of the year.

Those struggles continued in the NLDS against the Giants. Taylor registered just two hits in 14 at-bats but the Dodgers managed to find a way to advance to the NLCS where his bat woke up. He collected 10 hits, including three home runs and 9 RBI, in 21 at-bats in a series that went six games against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves won that series but not for a lack of production from Taylor.

The Giants' lineup does need help from the right side after the surprising retirement of Buster Posey. There is no doubt that they have a void in the lineup that will be tough to fill but a player such as Taylor would have been a nice addition.

As currently constructed, the Giants have Darin Ruf, Austin Slater, and Mauricio Dubón penciled in as the three, right-handed-hitting outfielders. Taylor would have been a substantial upgrade, especially considering that he can play the infield as well.

It is all a moot point now that Taylor has agreed to a new deal with the Dodgers. Of course, there is still one right-handed, versatile bat still on the market: Kris Bryant.

Bryant finished the 2021 season with the Giants while playing several positions in both the infield and outfield. It bears mentioning that he had some defensive miscues at several positions but his bat continued to produce. In the final two months of the season, the 29-year-old slashed .262/.344/.444 (113 OPS+) with seven home runs, 22 RBI, and 28 runs scored in a Giants uniform.

He is still a free agent and will be one of the most coveted bats when a new CBA is ratified. The Giants will target a versatile bat from the right side and will have plenty of money to spend, so both parties could be interested in a reunion.

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