Void in Left Field Not So Much a Void for San Francisco
The San Francisco Giants essentially went into the winter with two big items at the top of their wishlist: a closer along with a leftfielder who could play on an everyday basis. The premise of thinking for the leftfielder was to allow both Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker to develop into everyday players and either play at Triple-A Sacremento or compete for a spot on the bench.
However, the question is: do the Giants really have a void out in leftfield and do they have what it would take to land a leftfielder? To answer that, you have to examine the stats for both Williamson and Parker along with possible trade options available on the market.
Williamson, 26-years old, hits from the right side and played in 54 games at the big league level last season. During that span, he hit: .223/.315/.411 with a .726 OPS, 6 home runs, 15 RBI, and 35 strikeouts. Down in Triple-A last season, Williamson did a bit better slugging: .269/.314/.495 with a .809 OPS, 11 home runs, 42 RBI, and 53 strikeouts.
On the other side of the coin, Parker, 27-years old, provides the Giants with a left-handed hitter and played in 63 games last season. In 127 at bats, Parker slugged: .236/.358/.394 with a .751 OPS, 5 home runs, 14 RBI, and 44 strikeouts. Last year in 53 games at Triple-A, Parker hit: .273/.365/.582 with a .947 OPS, 16 home runs, 35 RBI, and 66 strikeouts.
Essentially, both Williamson and Parker seem to be on the same level at the plate, but Parker does provide a little bit more pop in a fairly balanced lineup.
When it comes to the trade market, San Francisco likely wouldn't have enough pieces to meet the asking price of teams that possess a leftfield bat and most likely don't have enough room in their payroll to take on another piece. After all, after acquiring Mark Melancon, Giants ownership said they were likely done adding to the payroll and were content with Williamson and Parker playing in leftfield.
With that being said, if the Giants do decide to look outside of the organization for a leftfield bat, there are a few options, but the asking price would likely be high. For one, San Francisco could look across the bay and inquire about Khris Davis of the Oakland Athletics. Davis would provide the Giants with another right-handed bat, but would also give them a big offensive boost after having a stellar 2016. Another option for San Francisco is also Ryan Braun who has been connected to the team in the past. Braun wouldn't hit free agency until 2021 and does have a nice bat, but does come with a lot of controversy and is still owed $76 million dollars over the remainder of his contract.
If those two options don't float the Giants boat, then they could always turn to the Mets, who have a very crowded outfield at the moment, and inquire about the 35-year old, Curtis Granderson, who has been rumored to be on the trade market. While Granderson has spent a majority of his career in centerfield, he does possess the ability to play in leftfield and would give the Giants another veteran within the clubhouse.
While there are certainly some intriguing names on the trade market that would likely be available if the Giants met the asking price, the Giants might be better suited to stick to internal options and give Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker the opportunity to make the 25-man roster. After all, both are young and upcoming players and deserve the chance to turn into everyday leftfielders sooner than later so why not give them that chance now? Let both of them develop and worse comes to worse, if San Francisco is in contention at the trade deadline, then go out and get an extra piece. If not, then play the season out with Williamson and Parker and evaluate what the best course of action would be come next offseason.