According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Ichiro Suzuki remains a possible trade target for the San Francisco Giants, who have already acquired slugger Michael Morse to fill the void in left field. Suzuki’s skill set seemingly began to depreciate last season when he failed to accumulate at least 178 hits for the first time in his career.
Sukuki posted a .262 batting average with 25 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases. He would supply the Giants with speed and defensive reliability off the bench, but at what cost? San Francisco already has a dependable player of that caliber on the roster. Speedy outfielder Gregor Blanco is arguably better than Suzuki at this juncture of their respective careers.
The Giants won’t be willing to give up much in return if they were to acquire Suzuki. Their farm system is relatively decrepit of future big league talent, giving GM Brian Sabean incentive to hold onto the organization’s top to mid-level prospects. San Francisco wouldn’t gain much by adding Suzuki to their roster, especially considering their concrete need on the infield.
The Giants need another utility man to help spare infielders Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval. Free agent Michael Young would be a solid veteran presence off the bench, but hasn’t been linked to the Giants on the rumor mill.
The remainder of the offseason for the Giants is expected to be relatively quiet despite of the notion of the team possibly adding Suzuki. It’s unknown how reasonable the New York Yankees‘ asking price is, although it’s practically definitive that San Francisco won’t surrender prospects that have serious big league potential.
As the countdown to Spring Training begins, the Giants have addressed their most pressing offseason needs. San Francisco still stands a chance to further upgrade their roster before that though. The fact that Suzuki has been linked to the Giants sparks the potential for San Francisco to pull the trigger on another move this offseason.
Sabean previously implied that the Giants will focus their efforts on adding minor league free agents as non-roster invitees instead of increasing team payroll via trade or free agency. However, it wouldn’t be surprising for San Francisco to bolster their bench before the spring. Depth was a crucial area of concern for the Giants last season when they became exposed after suffering several critical injuries to their starting lineup.
Next season figures to boast similar concerns if the Giants stand pat for the remainder of the offseason.