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Sunday, January 03, 2010

What Will the Giants Do Next?

With the signings of Mark DeRosa and Juan Uribe over the last week or so, the Giants have made their first adds of the winter, but there are still plenty of area's of need on the roster, and just about a month and a half left before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

I didn't love the DeRosa signing, by any stretch, but one positive about it is the flexibility he brings to the ballclub, which will allow Sabean to pursue another infielder if he wants, or turn his focus to the outfield. As far as the infield is concerned, there is still one guy out there waiting to be signed, a guy who I see as a solid fit with the Giants and that guy is Adam LaRoche. He's a real middle of the order type hitter, not these Bengie Molina's and Aaron Rowand's the Giants have been forced to use the last few years. LaRoche would provide the Giants with power at first base that they haven't had since Will Clark, or those first couple of years with J.T. Snow. The good thing about the LaRoche situation, is that he doesn't have a bunch of teams knocking down his door, as most of perennial contenders are all set at first base. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, the Seattle Mariners are the only other team besides the Giants who have made an offer to LaRoche, so he is looking like a very realistic possibility for SF. If LaRoche ends up signing elsewhere, and the Marlins don't lower their demands for Dan Uggla, then Sabean could shift focus to the outfield, where there still plenty of options as well.

We haven't discussed the Giants outfield options as much recently, with most of the free agent focus centering around corner infielders, but there are still certainly some guys out there that could help upgrade the offense in San Francisco. Jermaine Dye and Johnny Damon are the two bigger names that have been linked to the Giants lately, although Damon is a Scott Boras client, and Sabean likes to avoid dealing with Boras when he can. Damon would make some sense in that he could leadoff for this team and definitely help in upgrading the offense, but his defense in left field would leave a lot to be desired. His range and actual fielding abilities are fine, but his arm is about as bad as any outfielder's in the game today, one that makes Barry Bonds' look like a cannon. With that kind of arm, it's tough to keep runners on second base from scoring on base hits to left field. So, I think I'd try and avoid adding Damon if I were a national league GM. I just can't see him playing in the outfield 2 or 3 years down the line.

Dye may be a little more attractive to the Giants because of the likelihood that he'll take a 1-year deal and would provide 30 home-run potential to a lineup that sorely needs it. If he didn't hit just .190 with just 7 homers after the all-star break last season, he probably would have been a top-10 free agent in this class, but his struggles last August and September have caused a bunch of concern around the league. That said, I really believe that Dye is going to come into 2010 focused on proving last year to be a fluke rather than a sign of serious decline, and he's going to have a good year. He's going to be playing on a 1-year deal, most likely, and I think whatever team signs him will get one heckuva value. He may not be a 30 hr/100 RBI guy any longer, but I would expect a line of .275-25-90. A 1 year, $8 million deal with a team option would be reasonable if you ask me. I'd rather have Xavier Nady, but Nady's another Boras client, and a guy who will probably want a 3-year deal. I don't think the Giants are enamored enough with any free agents from this class to offer anyone a 3 year deal, and if they do offer it to someone, it should be Adam LaRoche... The other two guys who I'd take a look at as maybe platoon possibilities are Jonny Gomes and Rick Ankiel. Both have power and can play each corner outfield spot, with Ankiel able to play center as well. Gomes would be a nice right-handed platoon partner for Nate Schierholtz in right-field, and Ankiel could spell Rowand in center, and possibly share left field with Eugenio Velez.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Giants Fanatic said…

    Put me on the Laroche bandwagon too. I think he's good for 25 homers anywhere he plays. He's got that true left-handed power. 3 years is fine with me.

  • At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    zqxk l / pn 61

  • At 4:45 PM, Blogger King of Cali said…

    I'm still hoping for Beltre or Tejada to sign. Even an Uggla trade. I don't want Dye or Damon. They are both past their prime and are on the decline. Tejada is past his too, but he can still hit for AVG.

    ~King of Cali
    All The Latest SF Giants Rumors

  • At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    LaRoche is the best alternative of those you have mentioned. Not really excited about Damon, and not sure if Dye has much left. Gomes and Ankiel are better than anybody the Giants had in the outfield last year.

  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Dan Toreck said…

    So the majority of fans seem to like LaRoche with SF. My question is why does everyone see this but their GM doesn't? Still don't know why he signed Derosa over LaRoche to begin with anyway.

  • At 7:57 AM, Blogger Joshua said…

    Laroche! He would be a great GIANT! Fill the hole at 1B and in the 3rd spot in the lineup. He is young and has two seaons with 25 and 80+ RIB's. I agree with the first common on this page. Three years would be great for Laroche!

  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    LaRoche has actually had 5 straight years of 20+ hr and 78+ RBI. In his last 4 seasons, he's averaged .278-26-86/.845. Very good considering he was playing in Pittsburgh (big ballpark, horrid lineup) and Atlanta (pitchers ballpark). There is just a lot to like about LaRoche, and he makes perfect sense for SF.

  • At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    I read that Beltre could sign with Boston for 1 year... Way lower than the supposed 4 years and 40 million he was seeking earlier in the off-season. Beltre on a 1 year deal wouldn't be half bad.

  • At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    so much for LaRoche


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