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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bengie Returns, Arbitration Begins

In a move that really came out of nowhere, Brian Sabean and the Giants have re-signed Bengie Molina to a one-year, $4.5 million to return to San Francisco for the 2010 season. Molina rejected a better offer from the Mets to return to the Giants, apparently showing who he thinks has the better chance to win in 2010.

Earlier in the offseason, Brian Sabean made it clear that the Giants wouldn't be entertaining the idea of bringing Molina back, which made me really scratch my head when I heard the news. I thought KNBR must had made a mistake, but it wasn't the case. With the way the market has shaped up, and the wacky contracts that have been given out to mediocre catchers (2 year deals to guys like Pudge Rodriguez and Jason Kendal), plans obviously changed. The catching market wasn't very lucrative to begin with, and the only other starting catcher options outside of Molina were Rod Barajas and Yorvit Torrealba. Molina is knows the Giants pitching staff inside and out, and will provide more offensively than both Torrealba and Barajas, and I think those were the two factors that ultimately pushed Sabean's hand. Molina was the best option left on the market as far as catchers go, and will enable the Giants to ease Buster Posey into mix rather than throwing him into the fire. Although I was really excited to see Buster Posey get significant playing time early in the 2010 season, I certainly see the logic in bringing Molina back. They obviously feel Posey isn't ready to handle the full load, and judging by what he showed at the end of '09, he really isn't. I don't love this signing by any stretch, but like the others this offseason, I can't really complain about the terms of it. All things considered, the Giants are a stronger team than they were at the beginning of the day, and that's the most important thing.

The Giants also have begun arbitration cases with their eligible players. Sabean did avoid arbitration with Jonathan Sanchez by signing him to a $2.1 million deal for 2010, which I think is a very fair deal for both parties. Now Sabean can turn his focus to Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson. Lincecum's party submitted a figure in the neighborhood of $13 million while the Giants countered with $8 million. I'm actually a little surprised the Giants didn't offer at least $10 million, but I think Lincecum will still end up getting closer to the $13 million he requested than what the Giants offered. It looks like he's going to indeed break the arbitration record of $10 million set by Ryan Howard. I think the Giants should just give him the $13 million and keep "The Franchise" happy cause he's worth about double that to the Giants anyway. The Giants and Brian Wilson were much closer in their case. Wilson submitted a $4.85 million request and the Giants submitted an even $4 million. I'd guess the Giants will go ahead and give him $4.5 or so for next season. And with these moves, it looks like the Giants' offseason work could be winding up. They've finally got the catching question answered, and unless they have a right-fielder or a number five starter fall into their lap in the next couple weeks, I think they're pretty much done, outside of possibly adding another reliever to the mix.

Coming Soon: Be on the lookout for GBB's 2010 Giants Top-20 prospect list!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 11:48 PM, Anonymous DerricK Killion said…

    I'm a huge "Big Money" Bengie Molina fan and am stoked on his return. Now the Giants can start Posey in AAA and let him get some more experience. Also, now Bengie doesn't need to cleanup. The Giants lineup is definitely now better than it was before the move, I think at least.

  • At 8:12 AM, Blogger Anthony said…

    What does our potential lineup look like now that we brought Bengie back?

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  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger troyerruss said…

    this is how i see bochy doing our lineup to start the year:
    Nate or Bowker

    personaly I'd like to move Nate into leadoff role as hes only one with any speed at all there and would also like to drop Rent-a-wreck off a cliff and get Uribe in there everday at SS but we all know none of that will ever happen


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