Longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford believes he was not wanted back

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Brandon Vallance/GettyImages

Longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford officially signed with the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this week. He discussed the departure with Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic (subscription required) where he stated that he was not wanted back by Farhan Zaidi.

Longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford believes he was not wanted back

Crawford said of his departure, “The bottom line is I was not wanted back by the one person whose (opinion) matters." Of course, the one person he is referring to is the team president of baseball operations.

The 13-year veteran also expressed frustration with Gabe Kapler's lack of communication. He said that he would often sit on the bench for several days in a row without any type of communication from the Giants manager. The Giants parted ways with Kapler before the final series of the season.

In his year-end press conference, Zaidi admitted that it would be a "challenging fit" in bringing back Crawford. Even as the Giants had a need for a left-handed-hitting middle infielder, they did not waver from that stance.

Saying that it was a challenging fit left the door slightly ajar for a reunion. And, in Baggarly's piece, Crawford did give the Giants an opportunity to counter the Cardinals' deal. However, the front office was only intent on offering a non-roster deal. It was a similar deal that Nick Ahmed signed earlier this week.

Perhaps, the Giants should have been more firm in their stance of wantint to officially turn the page. The fact that they left the door open did create some hope that a deal could be worked out. At the end of the day, it feels like it was best for the Giants to move on.

The left-handed bat is coming off of a subpar season in which he slashed .194/.273/.314 (63 OPS+) with seven home runs, 38 RBI, and 31 plate appearances. It was the second straight season in which Crawford's offensive production was well below average. In fairness, it was a frustrating season for him as well given that he had multiple stints on the injured list.

The four-time Gold Glove winner is still a capable glove. Though, the defensive metrics were mixed as he was worth -13 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +6 Outs Above Average (OAA) at shortstop last season.

The Giants are committed to giving Marco Luciano a chance to be their everyday shortstop in 2024. Perhaps, it would not be fair to him to bring back Crawford given the long shadow that he unintentionally casts.

Obviously, this decision will strike a chord with the fan base as the 37-year-old has only ever appeared in a Giants uniform. This was never going to be an easy decision and the Giants could have arguably handled it better. Whether he is in San Francisco or St. Louis, there is no doubt that a lot of Giants fans will be pulling for Crawford to succeed this season.