There has not been much news this offseason about SF Giants legend Brandon Crawford until Sunday. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required), there are a few teams interested in Crawford, but he could decide to hang up his spikes "if the right opportunity does not arise."
MLB insider: SF Giants legend could retire "if the right opportunity does not arise"
Rosenthal did not identify which teams might be interested in the veteran shortstop, but he did report that a reunion with the Giants seems unlikely. The Giants are motivated to give Marco Luciano a shot to prove that he can be the everyday shortstop in 2024.
The middle infield prospect has frequently been regarded as one of the better prospects in baseball. He received his first promotion to the Giants in 2023 and posted a .641 OPS in 45 plate appearances while making some loud contact. Luciano looked competent at shortstop, but in a very small sample, it is tough to project.
On the other hand, Crawford is coming off of a down season in which he slashed .194/.273/.314 (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 defensive metrics on the the 37-year-old shortstop were mixed in 2023. He posted -14 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +6 Outs Above Average (OAA). Depending on the metric you use, he was either a well below-average fielder or an above-average glove.
In addition to his declining numbers last year, Crawford had several stints on the injured list, limiting him to only 93 games. For years, he was one of the more durable players in baseball. In his 13-year career, he has appeared in at least 140 games in nine different seasons. That type of reliability is hard to replace or replicate.
Despite a poor season last year, Crawford is one of the more decorated active players in baseball. He has four Gold Gloves at shortstop, three All-Star appearances, two World Series titles, and one top-5 MVP finish (2021). The longtime Giants shortstop has experienced success on the baseball field that few can replicate.
Crawford's agent hinted at his desire to play in 2024. This was not surprising to hear given that Crawford would like to end his career on a more positive note. It would be hard to see him in a different uniform, but if that does end up happening, he will always have a full fanbase behind him in San Francisco.