A San Francisco Giants Swan Song

San Francisco Giants Swan Song
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A San Francisco Giants Swan Song

Swan Song

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle was a British man of many faces. One of his public visages was that of a satirical writer. He wrote a great many things and among them was a philosophical novel called Sartor Resartus. The novel was first published as a serial in Fraser’s Magazine in 1833. It was in the pages of Sartor Resartus that the phrase “swan song” first appeared in the English language.

Does A Swan Sing

Swans aren’t known as the Aretha Franklin of the birding world. In fact they tend to whistle, trumpet, hiss and or snort depending on what they are trying to communicate. Although when it is time to cash in one’s feathers, the swan is said to sing a beautiful song before it dies. This song of great sweetness is a farewell to life and a overture to the great beyond.

A Swan Song in Fog City

San Francisco Giants Face the End of An Era

All good things must come to an end. And while some would argue that the San Francisco Giants‘ good thing came to an end in 2014 there are still a few remaining pieces left from the championship era. The last three remaining parts of the World Series trilogy are entering the final year of their contracts in 2021. Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Buster Posey–the triple B’s–are staring down the microphone and contemplating their possible Giants swan song.

Brandon Belt

2021 sees Belt in the final year of a five-year $72.8 million contract. He is coming off of a successful 2020 campaign. Heading into 2020, Belt’s bat had been on a steady decline, but the shortened season had a positive affect on his stick. His .309 average, .425 on base percentage, and .591 slugging were all career highs, and he finished with a 173 wRC+, which put him, offensively, fifth-best in Major League Baseball. On top of his soaring offense, his defense was as solid as ever. Belt was one of three finalists for the NL Gold Glove award at first base. Also, he was the only Giant nominated for a Gold Glove in 2020. If Belt can carry his offensive momentum into 2021, he just might have to save his sweet song for another day.

Brandon Crawford

Crawford, like Belt, had a comeback season in 2020. Also like Belt, his offensive numbers had been seriously balking. Luckily for Crawford and the Giants over 51 games of the 2020 campaign, he had the highest slugging percentage (.465), OPS (.792), and OPS+ (116) of his career. Also, his .256 average, .326 on-base percentage, and 112 wRC+ were back up to par with his All-Star and Silver Slugger days. Crawford is set to earn $15 million in 2021 and will be a free agent in 2022 along with Belt.

Buster Posey

Posey opted out of the 2020 season due to health concerns for his newly adopted twin baby girls, so he has no numbers for the 2020 season to look back. Therefore, it is uncertain where he stands in the Gabe Kapler/Farhan Zaidi plan. However, looking back at his 2019 offensive numbers, his performance was a bleak, but explainable picture. 2019 was the worst offensive season of Buster’s career. He hit career lows in both average (.257) and OPS (.688). His August 2018 hip surgery is a possible explanation for his ailing bat and a 2019 season in which he never quite looked like the Posey of old. Although his defense remained among the best in the Majors.

Buster will definitely be the starting catcher in 2021, but with top prospect, Joey Bart waiting in the wings this could be his final squat for the Giants. Time, and stats, will tell if the Giants pick up the $22 million team option for 2022. They might write a check for $5 million and say adios to Buster and hello to Mr. Bart.

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

The Triple B’s have been an integral part of the Giants for many years and as their contracts come to a close, their Giants swan song possibly approaches. One thing is for sure, times in the Bay are changing. The question is will Belt, Crawford, and Buster be a part of a Giants team that is much different from those that hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy. It might be time to start warming up those vocal chords for one final farewell to the black and orange.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images