The San Francisco Giants have "checked in" with free-agent outfielders Cody Bellinger and Brandon Nimmo, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser.
Slusser added the Giants are hopeful of landing American League Most Valuable Player Aaron Judge and broadly want to add two outfielders, a middle infielder and a starting pitcher this offseason.
Getting Bellinger or Nimmo would give San Francisco a lefty-heavy outfield. The team avoided arbitration and re-signed Mike Yastrzemski, while Joc Pederson accepted the one-year, $19.7 million qualifying offer.
Bellinger and Nimmo each carry a level of risk. The former is a shell of the player who won National League MVP in 2019, while the latter has logged 100-plus appearances just twice in six full seasons—excluding the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.
Bellinger has the higher upside and would go some way toward improving what was a terrible defensive outfield in the Bay Area. Still, there's no getting past his .193/.256/.355 slash line from the past two seasons.
Nimmo is coming off a year in which he hit 16 home runs, finished with a .353 wOBA and had a career-low strikeout rate (17.2 percent), per FanGraphs. When healthy, he has been a steady performer, though staying on the field has been a problem.
What happens with Judge might guide the Giants' decision as to how best to continue addressing the outfield.
If the team signs Judge, then it would mitigate the risk of signing Bellinger. If it loses out, then taking the safer route in Nimmo would be advisable. Mitch Haniger, whom The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported is a target for San Francisco, would fall into the second category as well.