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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giants Sign Miguel Tejada to Replace Uribe

Well, the Giants' front office are keeping Giants reporters (and us bloggers) occupied here early in the winter, as they made their counter-move to the Dodgers' signing of Juan Uribe within 36 hours of hearing news that the infielder wouldn't be returning to San Francisco in 2011.

I haven't yet had a chance to talk to anyone close enough to the team yet to verify, but something tells me the Giants had Tejada in mind all along as a backup plan to Uribe. Otherwise, I don't see how they could have acted so quickly. My suggestion in the previous post was to wait out the market and see what happens with arbitration eligible shortstops (J.J. Hardy, Yunel Escobar and Jason Bartlett were a few guys who may have been available via trade, or non-tender free agency), but they already had a plan. In the end, it's going to be Miguel Tejada who will be manning shortstop for your 2011 San Francisco Giants, as the Giants got him on a 1 year, $6.5 million deal. I know said I cringed at the idea of Tejada starting at shortstop for the Giants, but after looking at his deal, and really comparing him both offensively and defensively to Uribe over the last few seasons, it doesn't seem like such a bad signing after all. Maybe they catch lightning in a bottle again like they did with Huff last year and Tejada returns to that .313/14/86/.795 line he put up with Houston in 2009. Last year, Tejada's average dipped down to a career low .269 (20 points higher than Uribe in '10), but he still managed to hit 16 homers and drive in 71 runs, so when comparing his numbers to Uribe's, they really aren't far off. Miggy probably won't hit as many dingers, but will carry an average 20-30 points higher than Uribes, and bring roughly the same defense and may end up driving in more runs as he's more productive with runners on base. Uribe is slighly better defensively, as he's younger and may have a little more range and stronger arm, but I don't think the defensive fallout will be that noticeable. If the opportunity presents itself for Sabean to get a better option at shortstop (who knows, maybe he swipes Jose Reyes from the Mets, who are shopping him, or gets Hardy from the Twins) there's a chance Tejada ends up as a super-utility guy like Uribe was in 2009 as he brings the same versatility as Uribe.

Again, Tejada is what he is, a veteran on the decline who's best years are behind him, but he's still got some positive traits he can bring to a club. 2 years ago, I would have screamed at Sabes for this deal, but I do see some logic in this one. Look at how all Sabes 1-year deals turned out last season (Uribe, Huff and Burrell (in-season signing in May)). It's those 2+ year deals with the veterans where he's getting in trouble, and since he got Miggy without having to commit 2 or more years, I have to call that a win in itself. Tejada is going to be a nice clubhouse presence like Renteria and Uribe were, and he should be just about as productive, at about 1/2 the price the Giants paid the Uribe/Renteria duo in 2010 (roughly 12.5 million between them). Now, that said, I don't think Sabean is done adding to this infield and may find another guy more defense-worthy for shortstop. Right now, the backup to Uribe would be either Mike Fontenot or Emmanuel Burris, and neither of those guys are necessarily defensive wizards at short. Like I said in the last post, and since they've now singed Tejada, it wouldn't surprise me to see this move followed with the signing of a guy (Cesar Izturis?) to be that defensive caddy at short. Either way, with the winter meetings just 1 short week away, baseball hot stove is about to pick up, and the Giants now get to put their primary focus into finding a corner outfielder with some punch to take Burrell's spot. I think Adam Dunn would be choice under the right terms, but then read his agent was seeking deals starting at 4/$60M, which is probably 2 years and about $30 million more than the Giants would go.

I just hope that in the offseason after their first World Series win in San Francisco history, they're able to lure in somebody a little bigger than just Miguel Tejada. The two guys I see as perfect fits for this yard who are available but would come at a price are obviously Carl Crawford, but also Jose Reyes, who may cost them Jonathan Sanchez and Brandon Belt in a trade with New York, but if healthy, could hit 40 triples per-year at AT&T.
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14 Comments:

  • At 11:40 PM, Blogger Erik said…

    Dunn? Please no. How about someone with a full set of baseball tools? I'd really like to see the Giants pursue and land Jayson Werth for a longer contract. Werth would be a great fit for the team but is almost certainly going to get a huge contract and with Zito's ridiculous contract already weighing the team down they may not be able to make the offer to land him.

     
  • At 12:11 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I'm mixed on Werth. He's a nice player, and would fit nicely into a corner OF spot here, but I heard rumors of his contract demands, and I don't think he'll work. Plus, the Giants were already burned once by a player with Citizens Bank Park-inflated stats and I don't think they need another. Could be wrong, but I completely see Werth as being the next Aaron Rowand.

    I was thinking Dunn under the terms that he singed with in Washington (2 YR/$28M tops, with possible 3rd year option), but at $15 mill per and 3+ years, then, like I said in the post, in lesser words, hell no!

    I still think the Giants should target that all around, speedster with some punch, like Crawford or Reyes who could put their full abilites on display at this park and hit atop the Giants order for years to come... It would be nice, but highly unlikely! Imagine the lineup though if the Giants got Crawford for LF right now though:

    Crawford LF
    Sanchez 2B
    Huff 1B
    Posey C
    Ross RF
    Tejada SS
    Sandoval 3B
    Torres CF

    9th Man: Mark DeRosa IF/OF

    With the pitching staff intact, easily favorites again in the West and maybe the whole National League for that matter. I know, wishful thinking, but certainly possible, and plausible if fricken Barry Zito would have been a FA after '05 rather than that winter of '06 when the Giants' brass feared the post-Bonds era and felt the need to add another marquee name, regardless of the fact that the organizational strength was the young arms they had on the rise (Lincecum/Cain/Sanchez).

     
  • At 1:48 AM, Anonymous giantsrainman said…

    The Giants are out of money as they are now at $95M before they pay any of their 8 arbitration eligible players that are likely to get another $20M combined.

    The only moves I see the Giants as being able to pursue now would be moves like the following two:

    Non-tendor Mike Fontenot and use the savings to re-sign Edgar Renteria to a cheap 1 year deal.

    Trade Aaron Rowand to the Philles and get enough savings out of this to re-sign Pat Burrell to a cheap 1 year deal.

     
  • At 2:56 AM, Anonymous Giants Fanatic said…

    So the Giants now have Pablo at 3rd, Uribe at short, Sanchez at 2nd and Huff at 1st. Sanchez is good and Huff was better than expected, but that left-side could be brutal... Then again, it's not like it was much different last year over there on D. Renteria was no spring chicken and Uribe isn't Pablo big, but he's not skinny or very quick. I actually think Tejada is quicker just doesn't have as strong of arm.

     
  • At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Giants Fanatic said…

    *Tejada at short obviously not Uribe. Lame type but it's late where I'm at, going on 3AM in Palmdale!

     
  • At 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You all make interesting scenarios.

    My 2 cents on the conversation:

    -Werth is a big product of Citizens, he wasn't great in Philly. Would stay away if I were Giants, as he'd probably lose 10 HR Per. Maybe not as bad as Rowand, but not as good as he is in Philly

    Dunn would be cool if he'd take a 1-2 year like your suggesting, but not going to happen cause this market sucks so darn bad.

    I don't think Sabes is done, and I think Bow-Tie would extend payroll in the right situation, not saying Carl Crawford could be coming to town, but I think Sabes has something else up his sleeve as far as LF. What about someone like Corey Hart.. Giants were going after him supposedly at the deadline, maybe they can get him w/o parting with Sanchez... Would you guys do Sanchez for Hart straight up?

     
  • At 2:50 PM, Blogger Noah said…

    Someone remind me why Dunn at 4/60 is such a horrible, horrible idea again? He's just 31 years old and has a career .900 OPS with 40 HR and 100 RBI. Sluggers like him do not come along that often.

    Stick him in left field, Burrell didn't cause any major disasters, I doubt Dunn would either.

     
  • At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    I agree 100% with Noah!

    I think if Sabes can convince him to do 3 years/$50M... That would be great... But 4 years i think is 1 too many.. Still, to get his power in here, I may do it. I mean, if he's one thing, it's damn consistent.

     
  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Putting money/contract issues aside, look at the potential lineup with Dunn:

    CF Torres
    2B Sanchez
    1B Huff
    C Posey
    LF Dunn
    SS Tejada
    RF Ross
    3B Sandoval

    Again, with DeRosa in the do-it-all role and insurance for Sanchez and Sandoval...Would be the best offensive Giants team since 2002, by far IMO! Not too speedy on the base paths or not the greatest defensive unit, but neither was the 2010 unit that won the Series'!

     
  • At 7:02 PM, Anonymous giantsrainman said…

    The Giants have no money left to spend on the likes of Adam Dunn. Why is this so hard for so many to understand?

     
  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I don't think it's happening Rainman.. I don't even think Dunn would come here if the Giants did get into the running, just because the ballpark is so tough on lefty power hitters, even though lefties with enough pop seem to do OK... I was simply pointing out how dominant a lineup they could have if they could somehow get it done.

    If only they would have signed Rowand to a 3 yr rather than a 5 yr. It sure would be nice to be out from under that one at least by now.. Of course the Zito disaster is-what-it-is, but 5 years for a CF in his 30's coming off of a career year, and because of that, they won't be able to pursue another big free agent during the Zito/Rowand era. They could handle one of them, but both together are really handicapping this club from doing anything more than the Miguel Tejada's and Pat Burrell's in Free Agency.

     
  • At 7:23 PM, Blogger Noah said…

    I was thinking of that exact lineup, Trevor, on the ride home from work today, except with Ross and Sandoval swapped. 2 switchies and almost perfect L/R balance 1 through 8.

    Imagine how many weapons the Giants would have if Belt proves he's ready for the bigs at spring training, Sandoval returns to 2009 fitness and form and we keep Burrell on the bench as a PH and occasional spot starter.

    Am I out of line for thinking Dunn at $15 a year looks like a good deal? After Pujols, he's arguably the best slugger in the NL. I know it's unlikely but, man...c'mon, Neukom, break out the checkbook!

    Probably dreaming, I know...

    P.S. Hank Schulman's twitter said Pablo Sandoval lost over 10 lbs. in November. Keep it up Panda!

     
  • At 7:28 PM, Blogger Noah said…

    The Giants front office is going to get a healthy windfall in terms of new season ticket sales and TV deals. I don't know if it's enough to make Bill Neukom think about signing a big bat but we already know he said payroll would rise.

    But I agree, Zito and Rowand's contracts are straightjackets.

     
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