Entering contract year, Crawford desires to retire with Giants


Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford would like to finish off his MLB career the same way he started it: Wearing the Orange and Black.

“Growing up a Giants fan, I’m a Bay Area guy. I don’t want to go anywhere else,” Crawford told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Bonta Hill and Festus Ezeli on “Warriors Postgame Live” on Saturday night. “It’s the reason I signed an extension here a couple of years ago.

“I would love to retire as a Giant."

The 36-year-old is entering his 13th MLB season on the final year of the $32 million contract extension he signed in August 2021.

Crawford inked that extension toward the end of his best career offensive season in which he mashed a career-high 24 homers, logged an .895 OPS and finished fourth in National League MVP voting.

Last season, however, his play declined. Crawford struggled with a knee injury that resulted in two trips to the injured list. He batted .231/.308/.344 with nine homers and didn’t display the same Gold Glove-caliber defense at shortstop until September when he finally defeated the injury bug.

"In August and September, defensively I was a lot better,” Crawford told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic on Friday. “I was actually just talking about this yesterday with Justin Viele and one of our analysts -- my hitting numbers were also better, whether or not the traditional average, homers and RBIs were up.

"My barrel rate was better, my hard-hit percentage was better. I think [the injury] definitely played a major part in some of the struggles from last year on both sides of the ball."

One consistency in Crawford’s career was the sight of Brandon Belt manning first base across the diamond. The two infielders both debuted in the big leagues in 2011 and were core pieces of the Giants’ World Series titles in 2012 and 2014.

Belt, however, won’t be wrapping up his career with the Giants. The first baseman signed a one-year deal worth $9.3 million with the Toronto Blue Jays in January.

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"I'm happy for him,” Crawford said to Pavlovic. “He's going to a playoff team from last year that has a lot of really good players around him. He told me that it's going to be mostly a DH role for him, so hopefully that kind of keeps his knee healthy, and we know what he can do when that knee is healthy from the offensive and defensive side.”

Crawford hasn't decided what his plans will be following this season when his contract expires. Whatever is ahead, he aims to finish off his career in San Francisco, where he is set to make his 12th straight start at shortstop on Opening Day.

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