Remaining Free Agents That Could Entice San Francisco Giants

By John Shea
Michael Young
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants are supposedly finished upgrading their roster for the 2014 season but could potentially snag a leftover free agent on the open market in an effort to improve bench production.

The Giants’ only remaining pressing need is on the bench, which lacks substantial depth. At the moment, San Francisco’s cast of late inning replacements and twice-a-week starters include utility-man Joaquin Arias, second baseman Tony Abreu, backup catcher Hector Sanchez and outfielder Gregor Blanco.

The Giants could tremendously increase the viability of their bench by adding a player like veteran Michael Young, who can play multiple positions. Young would supply the Giants with pop off the bench. He’s posted a career .300 batting average with 2,375 hits. Young also owns a .979 fielding percentage across four infield positions in 14 big league seasons.

San Francisco would greatly improve their ability to hit in clutch situations by adding Young, who’s recorded a stellar .311 career batting average with two outs and runners-in-scoring-position. The Giants struggled on a massive level to produce runs in similar situations last season making it paramount to acquire a player capable of propelling the offense in the clutch.

Jeff Baker is another player that has the ability to increase the Giants’ bench production. The 32-year-old utility-man has bounced around over the past four seasons, playing for four different teams. He recorded respectable numbers last season, posting a .279 batting average and a .905 OPS with 11 home runs in 154 official at-bats. Baker would be a solid bat off the bench in replacement situations.

Other low risk options include outfielder Chris Dickerson, who has played sparingly throughout six big league seasons. Dickerson owns a career .262 batting average in 708 plate appearances. He doesn’t have a ton of pop but has posted a respectable .406 career slugging percentage. Dickerson’s best season happened in 2009 when he recorded a .275 batting average with 31 runs scored and 11 stolen bases in 255 at-bats.

Placido Polanco is another potential low risk pickup. The 38-year-old veteran has played at multiple spots on the diamond throughout his career, but has primarily manned one position since 2011. He owns a career .297 batting average in 16 big league seasons and still sustains the ability to play nearly everyday. Polanco could be a decent role player for the Giants. He posted a .617 OPS in 118 games last season while playing third base.

The Giants have already shored up their most pressing needs this offseason, solidifying their starting rotation and adding a power-threat in left field. A lack of depth on the bench ignited the Giants’ disastrous 2013 season, though. If the Giants remain content with their current crop of bench players, they could be headed toward another dismal season if substantial injuries occur.

John Shea is a San Francisco Giants writer for Follow him on Twitter @shea_prosports. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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