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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giants' Brass Gets Back to Work

The Giants have only been World Series Champs for a little over a week, but the front office has already gotten back into work mode and have plenty of big decisions looming.

Brian Sabean and Co. have a handful of players, many of which were very key in their championship run this year, who are set for free agency, or due hefty raises in arbitration, they now need to focus on. None bigger than the red-thong totting first basemen that really took to this team and carried it on his back all year long, Aubrey Huff. Also facing unsure futures are shortstops Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria and left fielder Pat Burrell. Then there is postseason hero Cody Ross, who's in for a hefty raise on his $4.5 million paycheck in 2010, probably upwards of $7-8 million in '11. I'd like to see the Giants just ink him to a 2 year deal and get it done with. He's got the versatility to play all over the outfield and we've seen what he does in the clutch, he's a keeper. Also do for hefty raises in 2010 will be Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla and Andres Torres. As far as the potential free agents go, I think Huff returning on a 2-year deal in the neighborhood of $12-15 million sounds pretty reasonable. I also think the Giants will really push to bring back Juan Uribe, and he's a fan favorite here and really likes it here, so I have a good feeling about that happening as well. Uribe very well could end up the Giants starting shortstop on opening day 2011 if that is indeed the case. As much as we all love Renteria for what he did in the playoffs, he's just no longer cut out to play shortstop 150 times a summer. If he took a part-time, bench/mentor job kinda like Omar Vizquel is doing in Chicago, then he definitely could have some value, it's just a question of whether or not he'd want to do that.

The Giants also have a big piece returning to their infield/outfield mix next year that they have to keep in mind as well. Mark DeRosa should be back to %100, and will likely be as hungry as ever in a contract year and after missing out on the majority of a championship season. I know many Giants fans weren't too thrilled with what he did up until his injury, but I'm telling you, I think this guy is in for a big 2011. My guess right now is the Giants let Burrell walk, let DeRosa take over in left, keep Torres in center and Ross in right with Schierholtz, and the very expensive Aaron Rowand as your 4th and 5th guys. Again, this is way early and all, but I think that could be a realistic, financially stable move. If DeRosa comes back to his career norm of 18-20 hr, .275 avg and 85 RBI, then the Giants would actually be getting an improvement over Burrell in the lineup and the field. The outfield market this winter isn't too deep, with Carl Crawford (who's well out of the Giants price range) and Jayson Werth (who's a Boras client, and really not much better than Cody Ross at about double cost). The Giants just don't have a whole lot of places to stick players right now if they do want to try keep their 2010 team intact and possibly add offense to it.

The one guy who's now available again, who always intrigues me because of the power and the willingness to take 1-2 year deal, is Adam Dunn. Yes, he's not a defensive player, but neither was Burrell, and we made it through a postseason with him out there. If they were to upgrade, just imagine adding Dunn to this lineup, that's if of course he'd come here. In that crazy scenario, they could put DeRosa back into his super-sub role that he's been so good at, allowing DeRosa to do what Uribe has done the last few years here. What makes that idea even more ideal is that DeRosa has the flexibility to play the outfield as well. Boch has no problems finding at bats for hitters who are hitting, so I know he'd figure out a way to get DeRosa his 500 ab's, even as a super-sub. Then you throw Dunn in between Torres, Sanchez, Posey, Huff, Ross, Sandoval and Uribe and now your talking some thump. Very similar to the lineup the Giants won the Series with, except Dunn is much, much more dangerous than Burrell and would really change the dynamic of the Giants lineup. Not married to the idea, as I've heard some un-pleasant things about Dunn's attitude in the past, but things like that don't tend to show up in San Francisco. Again, it's early in the offseason, so our brainstorming on the making of the 2011 Giants are still in the early stages. The great part about it this year though, is we get to talk about what they need to repeat and carry a dynasty, rather than what they need to win the measly old NL West. Giants fans expectations have risen, and the Giants' brass know it!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:10 PM, Blogger Schruender said…

    First off I have not offered my congrats on the championship, so congrats.

    My only input in all of this discussion is to be careful with the fan favorite concept. As a Red Sox fan, I honestly think the Red Sox brass signed Mike Lowell to a high paying 3 year deal after the 2007 World Series because the fans really really liked him.

    All those players were part of something special, but the core is Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and Posey. They're all back, so the Giants need to make sure they don't sign another Rowand or Zito contract first and foremost. Given the alternatives to Huff (Pena, Dunn, DLee, or trades for even bigger names) they wouldn't have to overpay. The same can be said of the other players you have mentioned.

    It's harder to act when an attachment is built up like this - even for Sabean. If dynasty is what the front office wants though, they will have to act with their heads.

  • At 10:32 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Schruender, great to hear from you again, don't be a stranger, always appreciate your input...

    Yes, Cain, Lince, Posey, MadBum and Sandoval (crossing my fingers that he's more the player he was in '08-'09 than in '10) are the future, but they need a supporting cast. Hopefully a few more surface in 2011 like Brandon Belt and Thomas Neal.

    I think the some of the positive in bringing Huff and Uribe back is that they'll take that short term deal, at least that seems to be the consensus, and likely go for that hometown discount.. In this 1st base market at least, do you see another team knocking Huff's door down? I really don't. Also, you can't compare Huff to Lowell, cause Lowell was strictly a third basemen, whereas Huff can move around a bit (granted he's not great in the field) but he gives a manager options so he's not stuck somewhere if he starts to struggle.

    Now, that said, I'd hate to see them go all World Series happy and return the same exact team, but a huge part of this postseason run was their team chemistry (believe it or not) and Uribe and Huff were not only right in the center of that chemistry, they weren't half bad on the field... However, the Giants need a slugger, the kind that can hit 30+ a year and if that means that he takes Huff or Uribe's spot, then so beit. In this market, I just don't see that happening though... When it's all said and done, I think the 2011 Giants could end up looking a lot like the 2010 Giants with a possible lineup change in one of the corner OF spots or at Short (if Uribe walks).

    Also, like I said in the post, the only way I think about bringing Dunn in would be under a 1 year deal with an option or something, but nothing over 2 years and only if the money were right.

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