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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Uribe Re-Signs, LaRoche Declines

The Giants officially re-signed the super-utility guy that came up so big for them in 2009, Juan Uribe, to a one-year deal, $3.25 million deal. Just a few hours later, it was made public that free agent first basemen Adam LaRoche declined the Giants contract offer of 2 years and $17 million.

We'll start with Uribe. Now, don't get me wrong, Juan Uribe looked like starting material in August and September of last season when he hit .312 with 11 HR with 31 RBI and a .991 OPS in just 154 at-bats. If the Giants didn't have Fred Sanchez, or weren't paying Edgar Renteria upwards of $10 million in 2010, I'd be all for playing Uribe at short or second on a full-time basis, but with the way this team is being constructed, I don't like Uribe as the everyday third basemen. As a matter of fact, he'd be option #3 behind Pablo Sandoval and Mark DeRosa. I like the idea of playing DeRosa in left field, which appears to be in the plans, but I think Sandoval brings more value to third base for the Giants than Uribe does. Juan Uribe isn't quite as good as the 2-month stretch that he finished the season off with, but what that did show is what he's capable of when he gets hot. Bochy should let Uribe's play dictate how often he plays and where he starts. If Uribe is swinging the bat like he did in August and September then by all means, he needs to be in the lineup more often then not, but I don't like the idea of Uribe being handed the third base job, based solely on what he did in 150 at-bats at the end of last year.

I was a little bit surprised and kind of bummed when I saw that Adam LaRoche declined the Giants latest contract offer of 2 years and $17 million. It doesn't appear that Sabean is willing to go beyond three years with anyone in this free agent class, but money and years weren't likely the only reason LaRoche declined. It's no secret that AT&T Park isn't the most hitter friendly park in baseball, and is especially tough on left-handed power hitters like LaRoche. I do think LaRoche has the type of pop that would do fine in this yard though, as he's had success hitting here in the past and has always been able to put up around 25 homers a year while playing in pitchers ballparks. I believe Sabean's going to move on, but I would like to see the Giants continue to monitor the LaRoche situation though, as the only other team who's as interested in him were the Seattle Mariners, who just Casey Kotchman. Something tells me he'll end up taking less money annually than the Giants offered, but will probably get his third year from somebody. I'd be surprised if anyone gives him more than 3 years and $20 million though, as there just doesn't seem to be too active of a market for first basemen this winter.

Since LaRoche seems to be drifting out of the Giants reach, Xavier Nady (pending a physical of course) would now be my target as far as free agent power bats go. Nady's not a premium player, and not quite as consistent as LaRoche, but he's still a guy who really figured out NL pitching befre being dealt to New York back in '08. He hit .330 with 13 bombs and 57 RBI in the first half for Pittsburgh that year. I think he's a sure thing for 25 HR and 90+ RBI with a .285+ batting average, and that would be a great add to the Giants outfield. They could also revisit the Dan Uggla trade talks, but I see him staying in Florida with the demands they supposedly have for him. If the Giants have interest in Nady, then a contract similar to the one they gave Mark DeRosa would be fair in my mind, but I don't know what Scott Boras has in mind for Nady, and with the Giants focusing on a left-handed bat. Nady may not even be in their sites, but on a 1 or 2 year deal, I think he'd be a nice addition to the lineup. I just don't see any other outfielders that are all-around players who'd impact the Giants lineup, and Nady or possibly Jonny Damon or Jermaine Dye are the only guys who may fit that mold, and Nady would be my choice out of those 3. Johnny Damon's left-handed bat fits along with what the Giants want to add, but he'd actually be a liability on defense, and would probably cost more than Nady anyway. I sincerely thought Adam LaRoche would be a Giants eventually, but now it's really any ones guess as to who the next signing will be for the San Francisco Giants.

Free Agent Pitchers: With the Giants primary focus surrounding offense, we haven't discussed many of the pitchers that are still looking for places to play in 2010, and there are a surprising number of quality arms still available. If the Giants want to add a fifth starter to allow Madison Bumgarner to start in Fresno and get a little more seasoning, there are some intriguing options. Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn and Pedro Martinez are a few big name pitchers available. Sheets and Bedard are coming off injuries, so they're question marks. Pedro Martinez could fill the role of Randy Johnson, possibly starting the year in the rotation, then moving to the pen in the second half to ease his workload and allow Madison Bumgarner a rotation spot. As far as the relievers go, I'd love to see the Giants add one more quality arm to their returning group, and there are a few guys who fit that. Kiko Calero ( 1.95 era, 69 k's, .180 BAA in 60 IP), Kevin Greg (Top-8 NL Closer in '07-'08), Russ Springer and Chad Bradford would all be worth a look.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 4:17 PM, Blogger Schruender said…

    It might not be easy for Pedro to accept the bullpen since he hasn't been there since the early 1990s with the Dodgers.

    What in the world is LaRoche thinking? Vlad Guerrero is about to get $7 million for one year and he's turning down 2 for more money per year?

  • At 6:00 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    I like Nady too, but Sabean looks like he does not want to deal with Boras people especially after getting hosed in the Zito fiasco.Damon is not the answer anyway, and Posednik is not exciting either. What about Ankiel?

  • At 7:59 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I like Ankiel too hitnrun, I've posted about him a few times recently if you scroll down to past posts.... He can play all over the outfield and hits for pop and has a cannon arm. He could share left with DeRosa and center with Rowand. He's a Boras client though as well.... I'm not high on Podsednik either, as I see him as Dave Roberts #2 and we all know how well that worked the first time around.

  • At 6:17 AM, Anonymous ECUmedford said…

    It seems to me that if Madison really did drop velocity at the end of the season last year, why not start him in SF at the beginning of the year and use him while he is fresh?

  • At 11:00 AM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Thanks Trevor, I saw your comments about Ankiel and Gomes. Unless they sweeten the deal for LaRoche, how does Sabean expect to find a decent bat without dealing with a Boras client, since Boras has his hooks into so many players? Sabean really needs to be replaced by someone like Billy Beane. Sabean's best days, much like Renteria, Roberts and Rowand, are behind him.

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