Brandon Crawford

Source: Ex-Giants star Crawford signing with Cardinals

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Former Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is signing a free-agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals pending a physical, NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic confirmed Monday.

The Athletic's Katie Woo first reported the agreement between Crawford and the Cardinals.

News of Crawford's agreement with the Cardinals broke a few hours after The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported that St. Louis was "believed to have strong interest" in adding the 13-year MLB veteran.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch's Derrick Goold later reported, citing a source, that there is mutual interest between Crawford and the Cardinals.

Crawford finding a new home comes after the Giants signed two-time Gold Glove winner Nick Ahmed to a minor league contract earlier Monday.

The Cardinals likely will use Crawford as a backup shortstop behind presumptive starter Masyn Winn, a 21-year-old top prospect, who finished the 2023 MLB season in St. Louis.

Crawford, who spent all 13 years of his MLB career with the Giants, hinted at a desire to play in 2024. His agent confirmed to The San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea in November that the 37-year-old was open to continuing his career.

With the Giants envisioning Marco Luciano as their shortstop of the future, the franchise gave Crawford a send-off in the 2023 regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They never called it a retirement and he never suggested that was his plan.

Despite Crawford's importance to the Giants since his 2011 MLB debut, the team was ready to move in a different direction with his production steadily declining. Coming off a career year in 2021, he followed it up with disappointing 2022 and 2023 seasons.

But the Cardinals, a veteran-laden team, presented the right opportunity for Crawford, who will don a different jersey for the first time in his MLB career.

It likely will take Giants fans a little bit of time to get used to seeing Crawford in Cardinal red.

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