Spring training is underway, but there are still several key free agents remaining on the market. A recent rumor is connecting the SF Giants to a familiar face and star shortstop.
Rumor: SF Giants remain in the mix for star free agent shortstop
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, The Giants along with the Boston Red Sox and a couple of mystery teams are pursuing longtime Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. Rosenthal adds that a decision is expected soon, especially considering that the regular season is just three weeks away.
The Giants know Story well as he has tormented San Francisco's pitching staff since he debuted with the Rockies back in 2016. The right-handed bat put together an impressive rookie campaign in which he slashed .272/.341/.567 (122 OPS+) with 27 home runs, 67 runs, and 72 RBI in only 97 games. Story finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting that season.
He carried that momentum into the ensuing five seasons where he emerged as one of the top shortstops in the league. In total, the 29-year-old shortstop has slashed .272/.340/.471 (112 OPS+) in six seasons in the Rookie uniform.
Colorado issued a qualifying offer to Story in the offseason, which he rejected. This means that if the Giants sign the two-time All-Star, then they will lose a draft pick as a result.
Teams may not been too keen on that idea given that Story is coming off of a season in which he posted an .801 OPS with 24 home runs and 75 RBI in 595 plate appearances. The OPS represented his second-lowest mark in the majors, and the home run output was tied for his lowest in six seasons (excluding 2020).
Nevertheless, Story still has a good enough track record and pedigree that plenty of interest remains. The Giants and the Red Sox would likely ask Story to move off of shortstop given that each team has an incumbent in Brandon Crawford and Xander Bogaerts, respectively.
Since being drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft, Story has some minor league experience around the diamond including second base and third base. That said, he never played a position other than shortstop in a Rockies uniform. The longtime shortstop ranks highly in spring speed, leading prospective teams to believe that he can switch positions with relative ease.
If the rumor holds true, the Giants are one of the finalists for Story. For now, they will have to wait for him to make a decision, but at the very least, that wait should not be long as an announcement should come soon one way or the other.