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San Francisco Giants linked to former NL MVP in MLB free agency

Vincent Frank

It has been noted severaal times since they finished up shop on a .500 season that the San Francisco Giants are going to be free spenders during MLB free agency.

Here’s a team that has been linked to reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge and other big-name players on the open market.

Front office head Farhan Zaidi has made no bones about it. They won’t be outbid by other teams for a player that they want. Whether that means bringing in Judge on what would be the richest contract in franchise history remains to be seen.

What we do know is that San Francisco is looking for two starter-caliber outfielders. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants have checked in on former National League MVP Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo.

The interest in Bellinger is most interesting in that Los Angeles declined to tender him a contract ahead of the deadline last week. He is now available in MLB free agency and has already drawn a ton of interest despite struggling big time from the plate over the past three seasons.

Though, said interest shouldn’t be too surprising. Zaidi was with the Dodgers’ organization when Bellinger found himself coming up through the farm. He has a first-hand understanding of what the two-time All-Star brought to the table prior to his recent struggles. There’s also a major need for the Giants here.

Related: San Francisco Giants in on All-Star outfielder

San Francisco Giants rumors and MLB free agency

san francisco giants interest cody bellinger, mlb free agency
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start with Bellinger. His slash line of .203/.272/.648 has been disastrous since the start of the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. Even then, Bellinger still provides plus-level defensive capabilities from the center field position.

This was a major issue for San Francisco with the likes of Steven Duggar, Mauricio Dubon, Austin Slater and Mike Yastrzemski struggling in that regard last season. The question here is whether the Giants believe Bellinger can return to earlier-career form.

  • Cody Bellinger stats (2019): .305 average, 47 HR, 115 RBI, .1035 OPS

Bellinger’s struggles coincided with him undergoing shoulder surgery back in November of 2020. It remains to be seen if these issues have impacted his bat speed at the plate. But it does not seem to be a coincidence.

As for what type of deal Bellinger is looking for, it seems to be of the multi-year variety. Still only 27, this could potentially be attractice for the San Francisco Giants.

As we noted above, the NL West team is also looking at Brandon Nimmo as a potential option. The 29-year-old outfielder has been a net positive in the outfield over the past two seasons. He’s also coming off a career-best season at the plate in which the former first-round pick hit .274 with 16 homers and 64 RBI whil leading the league with seven triples and posting an .800 OPS.

Signing either of these players wouldn’t preclude San Francisco from adding Judge or other top-end free agents to the mix. They are also being linked to star shortstops Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa in MLB free agency.