Brandon Crawford ready to bring more championships to Giants
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) When Brandon Crawford's agent called him to say his new deal with the San Francisco Giants had been completed, the shortstop was in the middle of a workout in the AT&T Park weight room. That's where San Francisco general manager Bobby Evans came to congratulate his player on a contract that keeps him here for another six years.
''He wasn't at the Bentley dealership. He wasn't at the Prada store. He was in the weight room pumping iron,'' agent Joel Wolfe said. ''Another work day.''
It's that kind of hard-nosed yet humble drive - even behind the scenes - that gave the Giants so much confidence signing one of their core homegrown players to a $75 million deal. Crawford loves playing right at home in the Bay Area, where he grew up rooting for the Giants, so the full no-trade clause in the contract was a key element to getting this done now.
''I don't think there's anywhere else I'd rather play,'' Crawford said, noting of the no-trade clause, ''that was probably one of the biggest parts of the contract for me to know I'm going to be with the Giants for the next six years. ... To have that sense of security that I'm going to be here and my family's going to be here in the Bay Area was a huge part of that contract.''
He and wife Jalynne have two young daughters and a son on the way.
The Giants consider Crawford a major piece for the future, executive vice president for baseball operations Brian Sabean said.Evans said the window was a short one to strike an agreement before the Giants had to begin focusing on other big offseason plans, such as shoring up their depleted starting rotation. Initial discussions began in the spring but picked up again recently.
Crawford is coming off a career season in which he earned his first All-Star selection, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. The 28-year-old batted .256 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs and already has World Series rings from 2012 and `14.
''This is a very gratifying day to say the least,'' Sabean said. ''Certainly a breakout year to say the least for Craw. The best thing I can say about this young man is he's as good a person off the field as he is on and that makes him a hell of a player. In front of our eyes being homegrown and native born, he's exceeded a lot of expectations but we shouldn't be surprised because of his hard work. We're thrilled, he exemplifies what we're looking for in players.''
Crawford is slated to receive a $1.2 million signing bonus due by Dec. 15 and salaries of $5.8 million next season, $8 million in 2017 and $15 million in each of the final four years.
Crawford chatted with catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday about how they will likely be teammates through 2021, when Posey's $167 million, nine-year deal could expire, depending on a 2022 club option.
''It's always a good day when you sign your shortstop who just made the All-Star team and got the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, nice to have that sense of comfort,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''It's been so cool to watch his growth. He was primed to have a breakout year offensively.''
Evans said the Giants also are in discussions with the representatives for first baseman Brandon Belt about a new contract.
San Francisco had 24 draft picks and prospects in town for a conditioning camp at AT&T Park and during their break they watched Crawford's press conference then took part in a question-and-answer session with the shortstop and Bochy. Evans wanted those future players to see Crawford's ''hunger.''
Before that session, Crawford announced he expects some of them to help him win another World Series, or three. San Francisco missed the playoffs this year after winning three World Series titles in the previous five seasons - 2010, '12 and '14.
''Get up here quick, because I'll be here for the next six years so I plan on at least three World Series rings again because it will be three more even years,'' he said with a smile. ''Get up here and get one of these things.''