Giants Slowly Assessing Free Agency
Once the Meetings start, we're certain to see a flurry of moves and things start to fall into place, but I must say how surprised I am at the lack of movement early on so far. All the elite talents are still available and normally the dominoes don't fall until those guys sign. One domino who may be out of the Giants mix in 2012 is 2010 NLCS MVP, Cody Ross. The Giants failed to offer Ross arbitration before last weeks deadline, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the end of the road for Cody in the orange and black. Ross has expressed on numerous occasions that he wants to return and I believe him. His injury early then the rough stretch in July and August really weighed down his year. He did manage to get right and end on a good note, hitting .310 with 4 homers and 10 RBI in the final 13 games. Not to mention, the longer the offseason goes on without the Giants adding to their outfield dept, the better chance Cody Ross has at becoming a large part of it again in 2012, even if he's not a full-time starter. I personally think that if the Giants could improve their outfield to the point where Ross and Torres could be their 4th and 5th outfielders, that would be ideal, then use Ross like a younger, better defensive version of Pat Burrel. I would have no qualms about rolling with Schierholtz in right with Ross caddying, as long as they put a thumper out in left. (Carlos Beltran continues to make the most since for this team!)
If you look at this team on paper right now though, they aren't overly impressive, and it's not just starting players they're missing either. Not only are the corner outfield spots un-determined and questions surrounding shortstop and 2nd base, this team needs to add depth this winter as well. According to Fox Sports, the most recent name linked to the Giants in terms of utility guys is someone who could bring real value to this team in a number of ways in Jerry Hairston Jr. Not only does Hairston posses a streaky bat with pop and decent speed, the dude can play 6 positions on the field and plays all of them surprisingly well. When you think of an ideal utility infielder, Hairston is the guys that comes to mind pretty quickly and I think it would be great to have a guy like that support Sanchez in his return as well as insurance for Crawford and Sandoval. It would be wise of Sabean, if at all possible, to also obtain more of a natural shortstop to have in the mix too just in case Crawford tanks. Hairston can spot start and would be fine if they got him, but I was thinking more along the lines of a Ryan Theriot (depending on whether he's non-tendered). Another reason why the Giants probably haven't yet added a utility infielder or catcher yet is because they want to see the list of players that get non-tendered by the December 12th deadline. So if your waiting for baseball's hot stove to heat up, especially on the Giants front, you'll be waiting no more come early December. Time to stay glued to the MLB Network!
Up Next: 2012 Projected 25-man roster: Barring a big announcement or personnel move involved with the team, we'll be getting our first of two roster projections for next years Giants. It's still early in the offseason, but we always like to put up a roster prediction before December and the winter meetings, then look back in spring training and see how much we missed by. Again, the Projections will be based on players available that I believe the Giants and Brian Sabean would pursue. It is not necessarily the way I'd search for players or fill out my roster is I were in charge, just the way I see the Giants rounding out due to budget, players available, and positional needs.