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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giants Showing Interest in Uggla, Damon

It's been a couple of weeks since the start of free agency filing, and the Giants apparently are wasting no time making contact with potential help for their ball-club. The team is apparently interested in free agent Johnny Damon, and have had talks with the Marlins about a potential Dan Uggla trade.

The Giants have been interested in Uggla, it seems, for the better part of the last two years. The Marlins are always looking for ways to cut payroll if they can, and Uggla is entering the expensive phase of his career. He's got 2 more years of arbitration left and then will be a free agent after the 2011 season. The Giants desperately want and need his power, but they'd need to do some shifting in the infield if they were indeed going to make a major play for Uggla. Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that Uggla doesn't want to change positions if he's dealt, which means the Giants would have to move Freddy Sanchez to the hot-corner, while placing Pablo Sandoval over at first full-time. Although, I would have my questions about how that infield set-up would play defensively. Uggla isn't a very mobile second basemen, and Edgar Renteria is declining quickly, so they'd lack range up the middle. I think Sanchez would be OK at third base, he's played there for long stretches of time at few different points in his career and handled it well. I also think Sandoval would be a fine first basemen full-time, although he doesn't have ideal size for the position. I also wonder what the Marlins would want for Uggla. I think the Giants may be able to start a package around Jonathan Sanchez, but the Marlins would probably want a young positional prospect as well, possibly Emmanuel Burris. We'll definitely keep our eye on the Giants/Marlins discussions over the next few weeks to see if anything becomes serious.

On the Johnny Damon front, I haven't seen too much out there that links him to San Francisco, but KNBR did report over the week that the Giants have interest and plan to speak with Damon's agent. The Damon report kind of had me scratching my head a little bit. I don't know why the Giants would want to spend big dollars on a 36 year-old outfielder who hits left-handed and doesn't posses the type of power they're seeking. Don't get me wrong, Damon is a fine player, and would definitely help any team that he lands on, but if this Giants team is planning on spending big money on an outfielder, why not just go all the way and get Matt Holliday? So take the Damon rumor with a grain of salt, because I'm hoping Sabean won't continue to make the same mistakes. In this free agent market, the only outfielder the Giants should be considering giving multi-years to is Matt Holliday. Jason Bay was really struggling for Pittsburgh before being dealt to Boston, and I just don't think he'd be a good fit back in the NL in the spacious AT&T Park. Holliday knows this division all to well, and no, I don't think a dropped line drive in the NLCS vs. the Dodgers last month should detour the Giants from pursuing the .318 lifetime hitter who's averaged 30 homers and 110 RBI over the last 4 seasons and hasn't even had his 30th birthday yet.

Note: Angel Villalona has had his US Visa taken away by Domincan Republic officials and won't be allowed to join the Giants even if he does avoid prison. This situation continues to look worse and worse for the 19 year-old, but we'll keep an eye on it and relay any new info as it comes.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:41 AM, Blogger DProfessor said…

    First of all, no to Johnny Damon. It is preferable to try John Bowker in LF than go with Dave Roberts--The Sequel.

    Dan Uggla is the most attractive trade candidate and power addition for the Giants. If it means parting with Emmanuel Burriss--- who would thrive under a youth-oriented organization---is part of the price, it would be well-worth it.

    I understand Uggla's agent is making noise about Uggla wanting to stay at 2B, but the reality is that he is less like to hurt the team on defense in LF.

    Uggla in LF would leave the door open to acquiring Nick Johnson, who despite his injury history, would be a tremendous upgrade over Travis Ishikawa.

    In order to keep Nick Johnson fresh and injury-free, he would have to be limited to, say, 100 games, with a right-handed platoon partner filling in the other 62 games. Jesus Guzman and Ryan Garko would fit the bill. Of those two, Garko is the proven hitter, whereas Guzman remains an enigma.

  • At 7:20 PM, Anonymous campanari said…

    Jonathan Sanchez plus, for two years of Uggla? This leaves a hole in the rotation which might cost us as many games as Uggla's bat would add. Much better in the field, better as to run production, and way cheaper (dollars + personnel), I think, wd. be Cameron. If the past is predictive, N. Johnson is about half a win better than Ishigarko, a difference that is hardly "a tremendous upgrade."

  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I think the Giants would rather find a power bat for third and move Sandoval to first than focus on Nick Johnson, but if they fail to find one to their liking, then Johnson would certainly make some sense. He may only hit 10 home runs a year playing half his games in this yard, but he'd make up for that with 40+ doubles, a .300+ average and that amazing %OBP. All this if he stays healthy, of course, which is no given with him. So no, Johnson wouldn't be a bad back-up plan, but there are definitely some players available that I'd rather see the Giants put their attention on.

  • At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Bryce said…

    I really liked the BJ Upton idea you wrote about last month! Upton fits what the Giants are trying to do, young, fast with power potential and the versatility to play multiple positions. I'd go after him!

  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger DProfessor said…

    Per the last Sabean interview, it looks like he threw cold water on potential trades.

    Translation: The Marlins want Cain or Bumgarner for Uggla.

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