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Cardinals To Sign Brandon Crawford



The Cardinals are signing shortstop Brandon Crawford, reports Katie Woo of the Athletic. Earlier today, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle connected the two sides and noted that a deal could come together quickly. The details of the deal, which is pending a physical, are not yet publicly known.

St. Louis has been looking for a veteran infielder who could take on the backup shortstop job. Crawford was perhaps the top unsigned player who could fill that role. It’ll assuredly be a low-cost flier on the 13-year big league veteran, who’ll take on a depth job for the first time in his career. Crawford has been a starting shortstop since debuting with the Giants back in 2011.

The UCLA product had an excellent run over his time in the Bay Area. Crawford helped the Giants to World Series titles in 2012 and ’14. He was one of the sport’s preeminent defensive infielders during the last decade. Crawford won three consecutive Gold Glove awards in 2015-17 and took a step forward with bat in his late-20s. He earned a Silver Slugger in 2015 and turned in average or better offensive production in six of the eight seasons between 2014-21.

Crawford inked a six-year extension over the 2015-16 offseason. That put him on track to reach free agency after the 2021 campaign. Crawford surprisingly turned in the best season of his career that year, hitting .298/.373/.522 en route to a fourth-place finish in NL MVP balloting. The Giants kept him around for another two years at $16MM annually towards the end of that season.

While an understandable decision during Crawford’s resurgent season, the latter extension did not pan out. Crawford’s offensive production plummeted beginning in 2022. He hit .231/.308/.344 two seasons ago. His production fell off further last year. The left-handed hitter put up a personal-worst .194/.273/.314 slash line in 320 trips to the plate. Crawford punched out in more than a quarter of his plate appearances for the first time in his career.

More to come.


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