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Monday, December 12, 2011

Giants' Facing Key Non-Tender Decisions

Checking in from not so sunny Southern California here, and instead of out surfing, I'm catching up on the non-tender buzz because the weather is that bad and the water is that flat.

Instead of sitting out on a surfboard doing my best Kelly Slater impression, I've instead been drawn to the curiosity of the non-tender sit going down in baseball tonight. Obviously, if your following the offseason closely, you know that tonight at midnight eastern time is the deadline for teams to offer their arbitration eligible players contracts for the 2012 season. N0t only the potential free agents that will hit the market, but more importantly just who will still be on the Giants roster come tomorrow morning. The big battle that every one's talking about is tendering either Jeff Keppinger or Mike Fontetnot to become one of the Giants 2 likely backup infielders. Between the two, Fontenot brings better defense and is the more versatile player, but Keppinger has him beat at the plate, hands down. That said, I don't think I'd tender either a contract if I were Sabean. Keppinger, with his track record, could command nearly $4 million, and I could see better options than Keppinger hitting the market after tonight. The Giants have plenty of other arbitration eligible players, but none in danger of losing their job. The one possibility being Manny Burris. Boch and Sabes have been talking him up, but that could be an attempt to build his value. I really can't see him and Crawford holding down short in 2012.

As far as some potential non-tenders that the Giants could look at, I mentioned Ryan Theriot back in November, and still see him superior to Fontenot with the bat if the Giants are looking for a tougher out off the bench. There are a ton of players up for arbitration who won't likely be let go by their respective squads, but there are always those few surprise candidates.

As for possible utility infielders that could be let go are Boston's Jed Lowrie and although a lot less likely, Miami's Emilio Bonifacio. I'd even consider a trade for either, though I'm not sure how Bonifacio's defense would handle playing most his time at shortstop. He'd be a tremendous insurance policy for Freddy Sanchez though, I'll tell you that much. Lowrie's a nice player too, and could actually be a decent starting shortstop for the Giants but I highly doubt Boston lets him just walk like the pundits are saying. Any 27 year-old who hits 9 HR and has an .971 OPS in just over 100 ab's has major potential. Ideal target for San Francisco even if he doesn't get released. There aren't really any outfield candidates I see that could be let go, outside of Garrett Jones, who'd make a nice 4th or 5th outfielder and first base option, though the Giants already have two similar players in Huff and Belt. The name I heard surface today was D-Backs 28 year-old lefty, Joe Saunders. Ahh, yes please. Saunders would be a nice challenge to Zito for the fifth spot and provide the team another left-handed option. If they're serious about shoring up their pitching, again, they need an upgrade or backup option for that fifth spot.

Either way, we'll know a lot more come midnight!
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3 Comments:

  • At 4:20 PM, Anonymous 34rocket said…

    frustrating! Fontenot stays.... This is turning into the offsseason from hell

     
  • At 3:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is Pagan and Cabrera really it? TWo mediocre hitters with average defense. The Giants ARE NOT a better team now than at start of 2011. Krukows just blowing smoke about Pagan being another Beltrna.

    When has Pagan hit 40 in a year or hit over .300? Sometimes the guys a huge homer.

     
  • At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Mr. Baseball said…

    Judging by the teams that started 2011 and will start 2012, I think this current squads a lil better, but not much. They need a rh outfielder like Ross back!

     

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