Programming note: The Giants will introduce Brandon Crawford on his new six-year contract in a press conference at 12:30pm on Wednesday. Watch it on CSN Bay Area and streaming live on CSNBayArea.com right here.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Crawford grew up dreaming about playing shortstop for the Giants. On Tuesday, the organization made sure the Bay Area native will get to do it for years to come.
Crawford and the Giants reached a six-year, $75 million deal that will keep the All-Star in San Francisco through his prime. The deal buys out the final two arbitration years and the first four years of free agency for Crawford, who won a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger last week.
Crawford, 28, was arbitration-eligible for the first time last season and made $3.175 million. The Giants have made a habit of locking up their own stars, and last spring the two sides briefly talked about an extension. Those talks never got all that serious, and Crawford went out and bolstered his case with a career year.
In his fourth full big league season, Crawford hit a career-high .256 with a .783 OPS that bested his previous high by 70 points. He more than doubled his previous high in homers, hitting 21, and also set highs in doubles (33), runs (65) and RBI (84). He became the first Giants shortstop in 110 years to lead the team in homers and the first in 42 years to lead major league shortstops in RBI.
That made Crawford an easy choice as the National League Silver Slugger Award winner at shortstop. Crawford also took a step up defensively and won his first Gold Glove Award. It all added up to 4.7 Wins Above Replacement, making Crawford the leader among MLB shortstops.
“Brandon is an exceptionally talented baseball player who has earned this through his hard work, dedication and competitive spirit,” general manager Bobby Evans said in a statement. “He took great strides both offensively and defensively last season, winning his first-ever Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. This is a great day for Brandon and his family, for the Giants and for our fans.”
An extension became an offseason priority for the front office, and talks picked up earlier this month, before Crawford was named the best offensive and defensive shortstop in the National League.
Crawford, who was born in Mountain View and starred at Pleasanton’s Foothill High, is one of the most popular Giants. No player takes more time to sign autographs than the starting shortstop, and Crawford is a fixture in the team’s marketing campaigns. He already has two titles with the Giants, and now will get the opportunity to chase a few more.