San Francisco Giants: Who Will Play Left Field in 2016?

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OF Jason Heyward

October 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a single in the sixth inning against Chicago Cubs in game four of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like only yesterday that we were discussing who the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year would be. Posey stole it away from Heyward, and has three world titles to go with it. But Heyward is still mighty young. Only 26, Heyward has yet to find the superstar in him that has long been talked about since he homered in his first professional game.

Acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals last season, there was the belief among many that the Heyward trade may very well solidify their chances of winning the 2015 World Series. It was convincing, but the move didn’t prove to be enough as the Cardinals exited the playoffs in the National League Divisional Series. With an aging Matt Holliday in left field, it remains to be seen what they will do with him and whether or not they want Heyward.

Certainly, it seems that the Cardinals would want Heyward back after parting ways with Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins to acquire the outfielder. But money sometimes finds a way of talking to players. The Cardinals have money, but they are very cautious about how they spend it — much like the Giants.

Heyward would be a great fit for a Giants outfield that has dealt with inconsistency in centerfield and left field. While the Giants still have Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco, one’s health and one’s consistency may not be enough to help the Giants like they once did. Hunter Pence is already locked up long-term and his departure appears no longer in sight.

Heyward is capable of playing all three outfield positions and is Gold Glove material. And, he’s a player who’s prime is near. While it hasn’t shown up yet, given Heyward’s age and an awaited breakout season, a large contract could be in store for him. This is not like giving a lucrative ten-year contract to a 30-31 year-old and then watching them decline over the life of the deal.

The Giants’ money seems invested in boosting their pitching, but Heyward’s capabilities and age may be too good to pass up. He will have to be lured away from the Cardinals and other teams though, and that will likely take a lot of cash.

Next: Ben Zobrist