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Monday, January 12, 2009

Still Plenty of Possibilities For SF

We are roughly a month away from the start of spring training and normally at this time, every free agent that is worth anything has been signed by a team and is planning their trip for either Florida or Arizona for the spring.

This winter has been different, due largely in part to the depressed economy. However, the Giants have been amongst the most active and discussed teams out there. The Manny Ramirez rumors refuse to die, as the latest one has the Giants offering him a 1 year deal with 3 option years that could ultimately end up being a 4 year, 100 million dollar deal. If they could swing a deal like that it would actually make a lot of sense. It would give Manny the incentive to go %100 year in and year out in order to pick up his 25 million dollar option while giving the team freedom to let him go at any time. That being said, I still don't see Manny in San Francisco, and unless it's the absolute perfect deal, and they are able to unload Aaron Rowand in the process, then it doesn't make much sense in the long run. Even if the Giants don't get Manny though, there is still a handful of guys out there that could really help this team. One potential trading partner has surfaced in the New York Yankees. Apparently the Yank's are shopping Xavier Nady and he could be a fit a first for the Giants. Only problem there is that Nady hasn't played much first base in his big league career, and while his right handed power would be a welcome addition, he's a free agent after the year and is a Boras client. So, if the Giants didn't have to give the Yankees much for him, then sure, but if they want a young starting pitcher, then no.

Another free agent who is surprisingly still lingering on the market, and one the Giants expressed interest in earlier in the off-season, is Orlando Hudson. At that time Hudson was seeking a 4 year deal in the neighborhood of $45 million, but it looks like he'd now be lucky to get half of that. Hudson has his limitations, no doubt. His splits over the last 3 years show that he's clearly more comfortable hitting in Arizona than he is anywhere else. He only hit two home run's in over 220 at-bats on the road last year while carrying an OPS of just .713. This is probably why he is still looking for work. However, the O-Dog is one of the best defensive second basemen in baseball, and having him at second and Renteria at short could give this young pitching staff a huge sense of security. I also think that he would adapt to hitting in whatever park he ends up in, whether it be a pitchers yard like AT&T Park, or another hitters paradise like the BOB. His power numbers would certainly take a hit, but his extra-base hit totals shouldn't be effected too much and I see him as a pretty solid bet to be around .300 average wise with an .800 OPS. It was clear in Arizona how important he was to the team, as they really suffered when Hudson was shelved for over a month's worth of time for injuries. He is not a great hitter, but a solid one, and a great defender. At 31, he's not necessarily a spring chicken, but in this market, something like a 2-year, 15 million dollar deal would be very reasonable and seems possible.

I also think the Giants envision Manny Burriss as the heir apparent to Renteria at short, so they may want him playing everyday in Fresno there this season instead of platooning at second with Kevin Frandsen and Eugenio Velez. And while Hudson isn't really the power bat the Giants need, he'd still be solid addition to the lineup, not to mention the runs he'd save in the field. I'm not saying Sabean should focus on Hudson, but he should certainly monitor the situation as only the Washington Nationals have shown sincere interest.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 1:42 PM, Anonymous J-Bill said…

    Yeah, I'd like Hudson. He's a great defender and an underrated hitter. He could hit 3rd in SF and allow everyone else to move down a spot. I don't know though, I'd be happy giving Manny Burriss a lot of time to see if he can be developed. This is going to be an interesting year for the Giants.

  • At 3:27 PM, Anonymous tpiro said…

    Nice! It's at least reassuring to see a couple more options are available to do some roster moves.

  • At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Giants should go after Swisher instead of Nady. He's signed for a while and can play all 3 outfield spots as well as first base. He's the guy to get.

  • At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Jeff said…

    OK, how about this ... Sanchez and Winn for Ichiro? Seattle needs to rebuild and they get a solid replacement for Ichiro (although a clear downgrade) and a young lefty starter. I would LOVE to see an artist like Ichiro in right and suddenly the top of our order looks great. Sure, we're still looking for power, but having a potential hall of famer in the line up has to help. I would not take Manny under any circumstances. He's a nucklehead and we've had circus years in SF.


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