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Monday, November 14, 2011

Giants Facing Key Personel Decisions

The Giants took care of one of their big up coming arbitration cases by dealing Jonathon Sanchez to the Royals rather than sinking upwards of $8 million into him for 2012. However, they still have a few big decisions to make with players who were huge during their 2010 Championship run.

One of the big names who won't be facing arbitration, but someone the Giants must make a decision on is Cody Ross. It's no secret that Ross was a major disappointment in 2011 after winning NLCS MVP in 2010, but a lot of his slow start can be attributed to injury. Then after the Carlos Beltran trade, he seemed to become the odd man out. Still though, Sabean and Co. need to determine whether or not they'll give Ross the two-year deal he's seeking (likely for $7 mill per year). Right now, the only guy assured to be in the Giants 2012 starting outfield is Melky Cabrera, so they will definitely be exploring their options over the next couple months. Another key outfielder they need to make a decision on is Andres Torres. Now, Torres doesn't have the track record that Ross does, so he won't cost nearly as much as Cody as he hits arbitration, but he's still going to command roughly $4 million or so. If I were to bet on which one has the better chance at returning I'd say Torres hands down. He's a better defender than Ross and has that speed that could play well late in ballgames, even if he doesn't have a regular spot in the starting lineup. I feel that if they do bring Ross back, it will have to be as a starter somewhere, and I really want to see this team upgrade their whole outfield if possible. Cabrera was a nice start, and I think Torres is a perfect 4th/5th outfielder, but they still have at least two spots they need to lockdown.

Other prominent arbitration eligibles include Jeff Keppinger, Mike Fontenot, Nate Schierholtz, Sergio Romo and Santiago Cassilla. I don't think there is any doubt that Schierholtz, Romo and Cassilla will return, likely on 2-year contracts rather than going through arbitration. The question I'm wondering about is what they plan to do with Keppinger. He was a very solid player for this team after coming over from Houston in July, and with his versatility, I think he's got to be a priority for Sabean. Keppinger's return would make Fontenot expendable, as they both play the same positions, and I would definitely go with Kepp out of the two. Not only does Keppinger have a stronger bat, he can play the corner positions in the infield and could provide this club with the presence Mark DeRosa was supposed to. Not to mention, Freddy Sanchez is still very much a question mark heading into spring 2012. It's still uncertain as to whether or not he can make the strong accurate throws from up the middle and from 2nd base on double plays. He had major surgery on his shoulder and did it late in the season rather than right after the injury happened, which will likely cause him to take it easy yet again next spring. It would be very reassuring to have a solid vet like Keppinger on the roster as insurance.... The two big names to hit arbitration this year are Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Vogelsong. Both players solidified their spots on this team in 2011 and should receive multi-year deals before 2012.

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  • At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Jeremiah312 said…

    I'd like to have Cody and Torres back, just not as starters. I guess they can only have 2 backup outfielders though, so where would that leave Brandon Belt and Nate the Great? Is Burrell still on the team too?

  • At 7:11 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Burrell is likely going to retire.

    I don't think they have room for both Ross and Torres if they do indeed plan on having Belt and Schierholtz on the MLB roster in April, which is probably the case seeing that Belt and Nate will cost a fraction of what Torres and Ross will. Still, I expect to have one of those two back, just probably not as starters.

    Read a few places today that the Giants could go after Grady Sizemore and/or Endy Chavez, each of whom would immediately take up another outfield spot.


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