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Monday, December 22, 2008

Giants Quiet Down For Holidays

Over the first month and a half of the off-season, the Giants have been one of the busier teams in baseball signing 3 major league free agent players and being very active amongst other free agent and trade discussions. However, they haven't made a news breaking move since signing Edgar Renteria a few weeks back and they probably will stay relatively quiet until after Christmas. They did make a move that may have gone slightly under the radar though by signing minor league free agent Jesus Guzman. The Giants nabbed the 24-year old third basemen in hopes that he could figure it out in the upper levels with their organization. The youngster hit .305 with 25 home runs and 112 RBI in high A ball with Oakland in 2007, then went on to lead the Texas league (AA) in hitting last season batting at a .364 clip with 14 home runs and 76 RBI. What is a little worrisome though is that he hasn't really done much (59 at-bats) above Double-A. He has carried his success from '08 into the Winter though as well as he and Pablo Sandoval have been tearing up the Venezuelan league. They both share the league lead for home runs (12) and are 1-2 in average, but Guzman has an amazing 63 RBI in only 215 at-bats (compared to Sandoval's 33) . Yeah, it's only a winter league, but the kid looks like he's really starting to put it together with the stick. His only rough stretch over the last 2 season's came when the A's tried him out for a few weeks in Sacramento (AAA affiliate) after he tore up the Texas League, but he hit only .237 in 59 at-bats. Still, the Giants have to be somewhat enthused that they got their hands on a minor league batting champ who's young with upside (has averaged a .323 avg, 21 hr's, and 100 RBI over the past 2 seasons) while giving up absolutely nothing. I haven't ever seen Guzman take one swing, as I've been scouring the Internet on video of him but there just isn't much. However, judging by his stats, and scouting reports, he has patience and power, the two things the Giants need to improve on the most. Since he hasn't really done anything above AA, he'll have outplay some people in order to make the opening day roster, but it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up on it. The big knock on him is his defense, where he is supposedly average at best. So that is something to keep an eye on (the Giants aren't going to subject their young pitching to poor infield defense). Since it doesn't look like Sabean's actively trying to add to the infield (there are options), I'd say Guzman starts out in Fresno but will be seen in the orange and black early on in 2009. A great spring though (or at least one in which he outplays the likes of Ishikawa and Bowker), and no other additions to the infield, could land him a roster spot or if things stay the same, the starting gig at third base even.

Other than the Guzman addition, there really hasn't been much to talk about regarding the Giants. They still do remain in the hunt for Randy Johnson but it doesn't seem like it's as sure of thing as it seemed during the winter meetings. The latest from Johnson's agent is of course the usual "my client has strong interest from a few different teams" and we "aren't rushing to make a decision". To me it sounds like he's waiting for something better to come along and if he really wanted to be a Giant, he would have signed by now. If the Giants don't end up with the Big Ugly/Unit, they may turn their attention elsewhere. Randy Wolf has been linked to the Giants a few times in past years and they'd seem like a decent match-up, although I would not give Wolf anymore than 2 years on a deal. I think the best case scenario for the Giants here would be to get Johnson signed to a deal, maybe even add on an option year if it gets the deal done. I could see RJ being an effective pitcher for 2 more seasons. The only question some have about him pitching here is the icey cold April and Septmeber nights and RJ's tender back, which may cause him issues.

*The Giants Baseball Blog would love to wish all our readers and all Giants fans a happy holiday's. We will not be posting again (baring breaking team news) until after Christmas. Thanks for visiting our blog and join us again after Christmas to get ready for the 2009 season.*
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7 Comments:

  • At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Wilbur Billy said…

    Unit can still dominate. I'd sign him, he'd be better than anyone outside of Cain and Lincecum that they have.

     
  • At 2:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Holidays Giants Blog and Giants Fans. I look forward to hopefully a successful 2009 season. At least we still get to watch Cain and Lincecum. It would be cool to get to be able to watch "The Big Unit" Randy Johnson too. Merry Christmas all!!!

     
  • At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Jerry Ryan (A's Fan) said…

    I'm an A's fan and I'm upset they let Guzman get away. He seems like a Billy Beane type with his high obp, but I guess they just couldn't stand the defense. He was overmatched in Sac last August to start with, but then came on strong with a couple of bombs and ended with 9 RBI actually in about half a month. He's going to be 25 next season though so he aint no spring chicken. It's put up or shut up time for him.

     
  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger rxmeister said…

    Guzman didn't do that well when promoted to AAA, so I look for him to spend the whole year at Fresno in 2009. The Giants are talking to Ty Wigginton, and I expect to see either Ty or someone like Joe Crede playing third in 2009. If the Giants can't sign Randy Johnson, I think I would prefer taking a shot at someone like Brad Penny. If healthy, he's a front of the rotation type starter probably available at back of the rotation type money.

     
  • At 12:37 AM, Blogger Trevor said…

    I'd rather look into someone like Oliver Perez just because Penny is about as sure of thing as Lowry is at pitching this coming season. It's not real clear when exactly he'll be healthy and that's not what the Giants need.

     
  • At 12:47 AM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Also, Guzman had only 59 at-bats so it's tough to really tell what he'll do. He's matching Sandoval or bettering him in almost all offensive categories in this Dominican Winter League and Sandoval was pretty darn good up here last season. Not saying Guzman is going to be great, just saying he's certainly worth taking a risk on. Also, I've mentioned both Crede and Wigginton here many of times and both make a lot of sense for this team under the right circumstances (1 or 2 year deals and Crede must pass physical and prove healthy). I'd rather have Wigg out of the two though. Very versatile and has been a rock solid .280, 20 hr-70 RBI guy over the last 3 years as he's kinda been a late bloomer and he's not too old (31).

     
  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger rxmeister said…

    the problem with Wigginton is that I read he's asking for Casey Blake type money. (3yrs 17 million) Now while I would agree that he's as good as Blake and younger, just because the Dodgers are stupid it doesn't mean the Giants should be stupid as well. It's not my money, but if they pay him too much for too many years, they're going to have to keep him there to justify the contract, and all we probably need over there is a one year temporary solution. (until Pedro Feliz is a free agent again!!)

     

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