As the Giants canvas the market for center field upgrade options, the team has “shown interest” in Billy Hamilton of the Reds, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). The 27-year-old projects to earn an even $5MM in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility.
It’s no secret that the Giants are looking to add a center fielder. And it’s clear that defensive capability is a significant consideration, given that Denard Span is being moved to the corner in large part due to his inability to cover sufficient swaths of the spacious grassland of AT&T Park.
Hamilton would no doubt help in that regard, as he’s one of the game’s premier defenders — and has been ever since becoming regular in 2014. The fleet-footed Hamilton is also one of the very most valuable players in baseball on the basepaths. Trouble is, he has a tough time getting there, with a .298 lifetime on-base percentage.
Unsurprisingly, Hamilton is likely just one of several possibilities at this stage. Morosi recently connected San Francisco to Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox, who’d be a more appealing all-around option if he’s made available.
No doubt the Giants are looking into others as well, with trade talks and the open market both offering possibilities. Lorenzo Cain is the top free agent available, though he’ll require a significant outlay to acquire. Other names on the open market that could conceivably factor into the Giants’ thinking (some of them as potential fourth-outfield options) include Jarrod Dyson, Carlos Gomez, Austin Jackson, Jon Jay, and Cameron Maybin.