The San Francisco Giants finished with an 81-81 record last season and missed out on the playoffs. For a team with high expectations each and every year, it was far from ideal. But, now they look ahead at free agency with money to spend and no shortage of players to target. Aaron Judge remains the top name linked to the Giants and he did a formal visit this week.
While Judge would be the ideal signing for the organization, there are also other options to strengthen their roster with the hope of competing in the National League West in 2023.
Here are 3 sneaky targets for the Giants in MLB free agency.
3. Trea Turner
This shortstop free-agent class is absolutely stacked. Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, Xander Bogaerts, and Carlos Correa will all be looking to secure a bag in the coming months. While many of these shortstops would be logical options for San Francisco, Turner stands out. He’s played his entire career in the National League and is one of the top players at his position in the entire MLB. Last season, Turner hit 21 bombs with the Los Angeles Dodgers, also driving in 100 runs and swiping 27 bags. He’s the ultimate five-tool player who can truly do it all. Yes, long-time SS Brandon Crawford still has a year left on his deal with the Giants, but the franchise cannot pass up the chance to sign a shortstop of the future. Crawford is sure-handed enough to even play second base or third base if need be. The reality is he’s not young anymore and the Giants need to look at their lineup and think about how they can improve in more ways than one. Turner is a fantastic defender with a cannon of an arm and is a true spark plug at the top of any lineup, plus he brings playoff experience to the table. This is a guy San Fran must have their eyes on.
2. Josh Bell
Josh Bell has been one of the better power hitters in the Majors over the last few years. He’s moved around a lot in recent memory, going from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline last season. Although he did struggle with the Padres, Bell is a power threat from both sides of the plate. He’s clubbed 44 homers across the last two seasons. Consistency is an issue as of late, but a fresh start with the Giants could be worthy for Bell. He’s hitting .262 in his career and averaging 16 long balls. Bell might not be a great defender at first base, but he’s a reliable bat who has also played in the NL for years.
1. Aaron Judge
This is by no means sneaky, but it has to be included. Judge is the Giants’ top priority and for good reason. The Yankees slugger is coming off a historic campaign where he slugged 62 home runs in the Bronx en route to being named AL MVP. New York ultimately won the American League East and there is no question that Judge was the main factor behind their success. The Giants aren’t the only ones chasing Judge, either. The Yanks are obviously looking to retain him while the Mets and Dodgers are also interested. The truth is Judge can be a franchise-changing player for San Francisco. He is the type of talent that can single-handedly win ball games because of his bat. Judge grew up a fan of the organization as he grew up just down the road. They can afford his contract demands. There would be a whole different energy around the Giants if he came to the Bay Area.