Brandon Crawford Earns Two-Year Extension

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As announced Friday, the San Francisco Giants have handed out a two-year $32M extension to their all-star shortstop Brandon Crawford. Crawford, who has never known a different uniform, will remain with his childhood club through at least the 2023 season. The date marks Crawford’s second extension with the Giants, having received a six-year deal back in 2015 worth $75M. Brandon Crawford had this to say in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area.

“As a kid, I always dreamed about wearing the Giants uniform. I never really thought about playing anywhere else. There are definitely times where it’s hard to believe that I’ve lasted so long here with the Giants. I’m just excited to add a couple more years.”

The writing was on the wall for Crawford following the conclusion of the 2019 season. A 2019 season that ended as arguably the worst of his career. He hit .228 with 11 homers and 59 RBI. The decline of Brandon Crawford was apparent; however, the nosedive he displayed that season put the front office on high alert.

The rumblings amongst fans didn’t begin to manifest until the conclusion of the shortened 2020 season. Brandon Crawford had been forgotten. Fans were trying to decide which of the superstar free agent shortstops they wanted to start the 2022 season with. The narrative wasn’t if the Giants sign a big-name shortstop. It was which big-name was going to dawn the orange and black.

Giants Ink Big-Name Shortstop Brandon Crawford

It appears as though fans got their wish. The Giants signed a two-time World Series Champion and a three-time All-Star and Gold Glover. Not to mention, this guy is a legit MVP candidate this year on the best team in baseball. Have you figured it out yet? It’s the San Francisco Giants franchise leader in games played at the shortstop position, Brandon Crawford.

With all the cards stacked against him, Crawford has put in the time with the Giants coaching staff and completely turned his career around. He is having a career-best year at age 34. You know the expression “turn the page?” Well, that doesn’t apply to Brandon Crawford because he has opened a whole new book. Crawford is currently batting .296 with 69 RBI and 19 homers. And, he is getting it done in more ways than one, sporting a fielding percentage of .982.

Below is a list of offensive categories that Brandon Crawford leads all qualified members of the San Francisco Giants.

  • R (58)
  • H (97)
  • HR (19)
  • RBI (69)
  • TB (177)
  • SB (9)
  • BA (.296)
  • OBP (.364)
  • WAR (4.5)

Looking at the Right now

Was the extension a good move for the Giants? Right now, yes, and there isn’t any need to rack your mind on that. Crawford is having a better season than all of the shortstops pegged as his replacement for next year except, potentially, Carlos Correa. Correa has had a very productive season, and although Crawford’s production might be a little better, it’s not fair to say it has been undeniably better.

  • Corey Seager hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
  • Javier Baez is two strikeouts short of double the amount of Crawford. Baez has 144 punchouts compared to Crawford’s 73. He does have five more homers than Crawford, however.
  • Francisco Lindor is having the worst year of his career.
  • Trevor Story┬áis tied for ninth among shortstops for most errors committed. His numbers are also below career average in BA, OBP, and SLG. He is currently batting .255.

Looking at the Extension Long-Term

The deal makes sense. Brandon Crawford’s services were purchased due to his production. All of the other names that have been mentioned so far have undoubtedly been very productive players throughout their careers. However, when signing a player like that, teams aren’t just paying for their production. They are also paying for their names. The Giants avoided that factor.

On the other hand, how many starting shortstops are older than Brandon Crawford? Here is a hint, it rhymes with zero. Crawford will be 36 years old by the time his new extension plays out. There is a huge risk in assuming that Crawford’s career year will be anything more than just that, a career year.

At the end of the day, Brandon Crawford has been arguably the best player on the best team in baseball this season. The Giants came into this season as long shots to make the postseason. With about six weeks remaining in the MLB season, they have the best record in baseball at 75-41. They also hold a five-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants would not be in this position without their newly extended All-Star, Brandon Crawford.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Brandon Crawford, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story