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Monday, September 24, 2007

Who Is Going to Replace Bonds?

Now that the Giants have made it official that Barry Bonds will not be with the team in 2008, the search begins for his replacement. Obviously the team isn't going to find another Bonds on the free agent market to carry them for next 15 years like they did in winter of 1992, but they are going to have to find another player outside of the organization to help build a lineup around. I don't think Brian Sabean is looking to head to spring training next season with the heart of the order consisting of Randy Winn, Ray Durham and Bengie Molina, so here are just a few options that could be available this winter:

Possible Free Agents:

Tori Hunter: Will likely be the most sought after free agent on the market this winter. His speed and exceptional defense would fit very well at AT&T Park and his right handed power bat would be more ideal for this ballpark than a lefty. He also expressed some interest in San Francisco when he was here for the All-Star game in July. The only problem with him is that he is going to get more money that I think he's worth and the Giants would be willing to go. He's been a solid offensive player but your lineup is not a very good one if Torii Hunter is your best bat.

Andruw Jones: More offensive upside than Hunter and 2 years younger, but that's about it. His defense and range has declined over the last couple years and he's struggling through his worst offensive season since he became a regular in 1998. Due to his subpar offensive year (.220, 26, 93) and declining range on defense, he will come cheaper than Hunter, but isn't as good a player. Still, he's only 30, has the potential to hit 50 home runs a season and despite his declining range, he's still an above average outfielder with a cannon.

Adam Dunn: *potential free-agent: It seems like he would make a lot of sense. He has the type of powerful bat that could actually succeed in AT&T Park's spacious right field. He strikes out a ton, but cut them down this season. He's as sure a bet to hit 40 bombs a year as anybody else in the game and gets on base at a very high rate despite not hitting for a very high average. The most intriguing thing about him though is that he's still just 28 years old and could get even better offensively which would be scary. Remember, the Giants signed Barry Bonds when he was 28 as well. The only downside on him besides the strikeouts is that he's not a great defender.

Alex Rodriguez: A long shot, yes, but what better way to keep the buzz around AT&T Park in the post Barry Bonds era? If you'd consider spending 15-17 million a year on a guy like Andruw Jones, why not go 30 a year on ARod, it would make more sense. He's the best player in the game and will likely be among the best for 7-8 more years. Like Bonds did at his age, he seems to be ascending and getting even better as he gets older. He's also a guy who could keep this ballpark packed for the foreseeable future now that the main draw is moving on. On top of it all, Rodriguez has also expressed a great deal of interest in playing in San Francisco and AT&T Park. Now this would actually be a realistic possibility had the Giants not broken the bank on Barry Zito last winter.

Kosuke Fukodome: The Japanese All-Star will be a free agent and is looking to come to play in the Major Leagues in 2008. The Giants have reportedly expressed some interest. He had his best year hitting .351 with 31 home runs and 104 RBI's in the Japanese league in 2006 and also played for Japan in the World Baseball Classic. MLB Scouts project him to be a high average hitter with gap-to-gap power. In a spacious park like AT&T that could translate to 50 doubles. Will likely come cheaper annually than the other outfielders, but the Giants would need to bid on his negotiating rights. I don't think he has the power the Giants are going to need.

Trade Option:
Manny Ramirez: If the Red Sox want to make a play on ARod, they would likely need to clear some salary and the most logical move would be to deal Ramirez. The Giants explored this option last winter but nothing ever got done. ManRam would not be a likely fit in San Francisco but is not totally out of the question. I'm not sure the Giants have anything the Red Sox would want, but the option a of 3 team deal could be there. I would steer clear of the 35 year old declining Ramirez if I were Sabean but something tells me the Giants name will pop up when he becomes available. If the Giants are serious about rebuilding, they won't even discuss it.
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  • At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, the options are limited this winter. I wouldn't spend big money on anyone besides ARod this year. Maybe Tory Hunter too.

  • At 11:17 PM, Anonymous JBill said…

    I heard Miguel Tejada is going to be available this offseason. He isn't young anymore, but he would instantly be the best hitter on the team if the Giants traded for him. I wonder what it would take to get Carl Crawford?

  • At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Afjumpman08 said…

    Torii Hunter or Andruw Jones would look awesome in black and orange, but I just don't see it happening. If the Giants are willing to cut ties with Bonds who, oh by the way, is still far and away their best offensive player, they appear unwilling to have an outfield consisting of anybody but some mixture of Rajai Davis, Fred Lewis, Nate Scherholz, and possibly Randy Winn. The Giants seem more than content to have their stable of young pitchers define the next era, and they're already on their way to that, with Lincecum, Cain, Lowry, and some other guy that cost only $126 million, not to mention having phenom Brian Wilson close out games. As a Giants fan, it would be awesome if Sabean went out and signed a big name player, but it seems less than likely at this point.

  • At 10:43 AM, Anonymous JuTMSY4 said…

    Replace him...they wanna become the padres...and they may have the staff to do it...

  • At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Romiezzo said…

    HAHA! So true. Good pitchers with a lot of potential, no offense.

    If they think they're gonna do that so that they can make the playoffs though, they better think again.

  • At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Nejoshi said…

    San Francisco sucks, they are way too old right now and signing any one of these players will not fully address their problems on offense. They have a good young pitching staff, but the lineup is just too old for them to compete in the near future.

  • At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Tyrone Briggs said…

    I'm sure the Giants will want to avoid any unwanted future suspicions over their players so they will play it safe and trade for Rick Ankiel. Or perhaps allow Lance Armstrong to fulfill a life long dream....

  • At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Kelsdad said…

    Milton Bradley

  • At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Sasha said…

    No Mike Cameron talk?

  • At 11:10 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Going from Barry Bonds to Mike Cameron probably isn't what the Giants have in mind. They'd be better off sticking with what they have. They say they have nothing big in mind as a replacement... we'll see, I can't imagine them letting Barry go and then staying inactive this winter.


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