Crawford preps for position change with Correa now a Giant


Brandon Crawford won't be the Giants' 2023 Opening Day shortstop.

That much was clear when the Giants agreed to a 13-year, $350 million contract with free agent shortstop Carlos Correa on Tuesday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic.

And Crawford acknowledged his upcoming position change to The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly on Thursday.

"With the signing of a player as good as Carlos, our team definitely got much better," Crawford told Baggarly via text message. “He’s been one of the better players in the league for years, and it’s obviously exciting to get a player of his caliber to San Francisco. That being said, he is a shortstop and since the signing the other day, I’ve been told that that’s where he’ll stay, so that puts me in a much different situation than I’ve ever been faced with in professional baseball.

“So, the rest of this off-season, spring training, and during the season, I will be working my hardest to be the best I can be at a different position and help us get back to the postseason.”

Crawford, who has started 1,443 games at shortstop while appearing in 1,525 total games at the position and 1,561 overall games, wouldn't divulge to Baggarly whether he will move to third base or second base next season. The 25-year-old has never appeared at another position in his MLB career. He briefly played second base and third base in the Arizona Fall League in 2009 and made two starts at third base for the San Jose Giants in 2010. Since then, it has been nothing but shortstop for Crawford.

Crawford has started the last 11 Opening Days at shortstop for the Giants, which is a franchise record, and is the longest streak among active shortstops.

Unfortunately for the four-time Gold Glove winner, that will all end on March 30 when the Giants open the 2023 season against the Yankees in New York. Correa will be standing at shortstop at Yankee Stadium and Crawford will either be on his right or left.

As vital as Crawford has been to the Giants since his MLB debut in 2011, Correa is the new face of the franchise. The reported 13-year contract contains no opt-outs and has a full no-trade clause. So barring something unforeseen, the 28-year-old will be anchored at shortstop until the end of the 2035 season.

RELATED: Crawford becomes five Giant in SF-era to play in 1,500 games

Moving off shortstop is a hard pill to swallow for Crawford, or any other elite player at the position. But he has one year remaining on his contract and the front office has to do what's best for the future of the franchise.

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