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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Sabean Looking into Gonzalez, Shortstops

The Giants may have narrowed their search for a new shortstop in a shrinking market, but it's hardly the guy you were hoping for when the offseason started up last month. After announcing Sabean and Bochy had their contracts extended through 2014, the Giants went public with their interest in free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez.

First, the big news from this week regarding the Giants was the announcement of the renewal of both Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean's contracts through the 2014 season. At the conference call, we heard much of the same talk that the front office has been spewing out this whole offseason; "Pitching is Priority #1" and "We Won't Make a Big Splash in FA". These announcements should come as little surprise to any Giants' fan, but I'm a little unclear on what exactly Sabean means by "Big Splash" free agent. We all knew they weren't going to be in on Fielder or Pujols before the offseason even starter and Sabean made it quite clear that the top shortstops, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins, won't be heading to San Francisco any time soon either. My question for Sabean and the front office is, however, what exactly constitutes a Big Splash signing? Do they consider Beltran a "Big Splash" signing, cause I do and if they're publicly backing off Beltran already, that would rub me the wrong way. Sabean and Baer have been so vocal this winter about wanting to shore up their pitching and lock up their young arms for the foreseeable future, yet what young pitcher on the rise is going to want to stick around a place where he'll struggle to hit double-digit wins, despite putting up CY Young numbers, just because the team can't figure out free agency for the life of them.

Onto the latest report surfacing from Giants headquarters, that they indeed are seriously considering bringing in Alex Gonzalez to split time with Brandon Crawford at shortstop. I hate this idea for more than one reason, and feared these two crossing each other's paths weeks ago. Gonzalez is still an adequate defender up the middle, but is one of the easiest outs in baseball. He's got power, but hasn't had an OBP over .300 since 2007. I fear Sabean just see's his 23 HR/88 RBI 2010 season and ignores his .642 OPS. The Giants don't need another declining shortstop with average power and no on base skill. None of these over-the-hill veteran shortstops have worked out in the slightest for the Giants, yet here they are, right back at square one. Sure, Renteria won a World Series here and had his moments in the playoffs, but it was Juan Uribe out there down the stretch. The problem facing the Giants though, is the lack of middle infield options on the free agent market, but if it's going to come to this, I'd just assume see them bring in Jerry Hairston as the utility guy and hand Crawford the job. The only veteran shortstop coming off a down year I'd consider, and only on a cheap one-year deal, is Rafael Furcal, just because he's got attributes that can help a club even when his bat is slumping.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd take Furcal in a heartbeat over AGon... Problem though is Furcal will probably get like 2 years and 15 million while Gonzalez will get like 1 year-$4 million. That's my thought on it anyway.

    Sick of seeing them sign guys just cause of the budget. Just give the job to Crawford if you can't fork out enough to get a real upgrade.

  • At 2:01 PM, Anonymous J-BIll said…

    Yeah, I really don't want another sub-.300 OPS guy in this lineup. This is why this team never has money to spend on big free agents, cause they waste money on the likes of Alex Gonzalez and Jeremy Affeldt.

    My gut tells me Sabean signs either Gonzalez or Betancourt 2 years/$10 million.


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