Longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford had been relatively silent about his future plans since the 2023 season came to a close. However, Crawford's agent told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that the 13-year veteran hopes to play in 2024.
Longtime SF Giants shortstop deciding whether to play in 2024
Nevertheless, Crawford is coming off of a disappointing 2023 campaign in which he registered a .194/.273/.314 line (63 OPS+) with seven home runs, 38 RBI, and 31 runs in 320 plate appearances. This included an 8.8 percent walk rate, 25.3 percent strikeout rate, and a .120 ISO. The strikeout rate was the highest of his career, whereas the ISO was comfortably below his career .146 ISO.
Crawford still played a capable shortstop as he was worth +6 Outs Above Average (OAA) according to Baseball Savant. Though, he was worth -14 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), so that paints a bleaker picture of his defense.
Still, he has played nearly every inning of his career at shortstop and that is not experience that anyone can easily replicate. He may not be a Gold Glove-caliber defender at this stage of his career, but he is only two years removed from winning his fourth Gold Glove award.
Crawford's disappointing 2023 season was not how he wanted to go out and he plans to pursue potential opportunities. However, a reunion with the Giants does not appear to be on the table yet as Farhan Zaidi indicated that it would be a challenging fit for the 36-year-old to return. Circumstances could change as the offseason progresses, but the Giants plan to give top infield prospect Marco Luciano a chance to be the starting shortstop next season.
Interestingly, the Giants could be in the market for middle infield depth, but likely someone who can play multiple infield positions. That may not be Crawford and it would not be right to pigeonhole him in that type of role.
More than likely, if Crawford does play in 2024, it will be with a different team. That would be an odd sight, especially after seeing Brandon Belt play for the Toronto Blue Jays this past season. Hopefully, Crawford can find a team that offers him a role that he desires and he proves that he still has something left in the tank.