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Showing posts from 2010

"Giant" 2010 Comes to a Close

Well, with how things were looking at this point last year, I would have called you crazy if you would have told me the Giants would have become World Champs in the 2010 season, and as good as this year was to the Giants, all good things must come to an end. 2010 is in it's waning moments, bringing an end to the Giants memorable run in 2010, but also indicating we're only about 6 weeks away from starting it all up again, and this time, I think Giants fans will be ready for anything. 2010 was up-and-down year for the Orange and Black for much of the first half of the season, and even through a lot of the 2nd half, but as they often say in regards to a Baseball team especially, the regular season is a marathon and it's not how you start, it's how you finish. The Giants finished the year off strong, and cruised right the playoffs, without having to force any series' the full 5 or 7 games, and that's something we can never forget. Not only did the Giants win the Wor

Giants Staying Quiet for Holidays

Ever since their flurry of moves at the end of November that really put a shape to their team, the Giants have been extremely quiet on the player transaction front. After re-signing Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell, then obtaining Miguel Tejada to take over at short, Brian Sabean and co. have stood pat as they decide whether or not to add to what they've already constructed here. It's no secret that Sabean was seeking another infielder, one who could handle shortstop seamlessly. They made an offer to World Series hero Edgar Renteria (who has apparently decided he'll be playing again in 2011 after all) of $1 million to come caddy Miggy at short, but Renteria was "offended and hurt" by what he deemed was a low-ball offer from a team he helped win th e Series. As I've said many times here, I'll never forget what Renteria did for this club in October/November this past season, and I will always have a fondness for him, but for him to get so upset at a real reasona

Rowand and Renteria Talk

Edgar Renteria was a huge part of the Giants' success in October/ Novemeber last season and he showed he still can bring some positive traits to a ballclub , even when he's not playing. However, his days as a starter are long gone and he'll have to accept a utility role if he decides to stick around. The Giants apparently wanted him back in that role, but he said no to a one-year, $1 million deal that would have put him back in his comfort zone and back with a contender. He supposedly wants to go to Florida or St. Louis, but I don't know many GM's who are going to offer Renteria much more tha n a million bucks to come ride the pine for them. I think the Giants are his best bet. The same cannot be said for the Giants though, in my opinion. There are better, more versatile infielders out there who could come in just as cheaply as Renteria . I know Orlando Cabrera isn't exactly a guy who jumps out at you, but check his track record, and look at all the winners

Giants Minor League Review: Pitching

A couple weeks back, we started out 2010 Minor League Review by taking a look at some of the top hitters in the system from 2010. Now, since the Giants have quieted down over the last week, and with not much new to talk about on regarding possible free agent or trade targets, I figured I'd use today's post to finish off our 2010 Minor League pitching review. Contrary to years past, the Giants actually have more promising young hitters in their system right now than they do pitchers. Their top prospect heading into 2011 will be first basemen Brandon Belt, who should be one of BA's top-20 as well. However, after Belt, there is a huge fall-off in terms of Major League ready prospects, both on the pitching front and the positional front. There are some young hitters who have upside like Thomas Neal, Francisco Peguero and Brandon Crawford, and you can read the report on them here , but as far as young arms, they no longer have that Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum or Madison Bumgarner w

Sanchez Has Surgery, Again

Freddy Sanchez finally started to show what he can do for a team when he's healthy with a nice 2nd half and solid performance in the playoffs, but once again, the Giants fragile 2nd basemen has gone under the knife. Sanchez had surgery on his left-shoulder to remove a bad tendon, a procedure identical to the one he underwent last winter. That one, he had later on the in the offseason though, and it kept him on the DL until late May. The Giants are hoping he'll be ready for opening day after the operation was deemed successful, but they are expecting him to be behind in his spring training work, and may not get into many Cactus League g ames. That said, Brian Sabean said Tuesday night that the Giants would not be pursuing 2nd basemen in the free agent market, and that Mike Fontenot and Mark DeRosa would cover for Sanchez if he did miss any regular season time. Although this news may not require him to go after another second basemen, I think it's pretty clear now that the Gi

Day One of Meetings Goes Quietly

With the flurry of action on the hot-stove market we've seen over the last week, I'm not too surprised that the Winter Meetings got off to a quiet start Monday in Florida. I really didn't expect anything too earth shattering to take place just days after the Adrian Gonzalez trade to Boston, and hours after Jayson Werth was given "Barry Zito Money" to play in Washington over the next 7 years, especially on the Giants front. As I said in the previous post here, the Giants could enter the 2011 season tomorrow and be in good shape, so a move on their part is not at all imminent. That said, Brian Sabean gave warning to the press before hand that the Giants "would not be stagnant" during these meetings, and apparently he still is searching for help outside of the organization. Again though, after Burrell and Huff re-signed, and with Tejada now on board to play shortstop, the Giants are running out of roster space. The area I think Sabean is looking into now is

Giants In Good Position, Now What?

Now that Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff are back in orange and black, and the Giants have acquired Miguel Tejada to play shortstop, whatever Sabean does at this point will be just adding to the Giants' depth chart. So, what's next for the Giants now that the Giants appear to have a usable lineup already on roster, as well as a stock full pitching staff? The Winter Meetings are just days away, yet the Giants have already done most of their work, and now that Adam Dunn is off the table, I don't see anyone out there in the Giants price range who could really come in and make a difference on this team. Sabean is apparently still active and looking for ways to upgrade the offense, but I just don't really see what they can do at this point. I'm still thinking a back-up shortstop could be on-tap, but the Giants tendered Mike Fontenot a contract for 2011, which would seem to indicate he's their back-up at this juncture. They've supposedly had talks about bringing Edgar

"The Bat" Returns on One-Year Deal

Giants fans who were waiting to see if Pat Burrell would follow Juan Uribe out of town, or stay put with Aubrey Huff and take the hometown discount, got their answer sooner than expected. The Giants announced a one-year pact with 34 year-old left fielder Wednesday evening, bringing Burrell's right-handed bat back to the roster for 2011. He'll be making a fraction of the $9 million he made from Tampa Bay last season, I'm thinking closer to the $3-4 million range, and because it's a one year "discounted deal" as Baggs calls it, it's really tough to complain. If the Giants didn't get Burrell when they did last year, it's arguable that they don't even make the playoffs, let alone win the Series, so if you don't think this guy was big for this team, check again. He faded big time in the World Series, and couldn't hit the broadside of a barn, but the guy came up with big hit after big hit in the second half and early October. Burrell hit .266

Giants Sign Miguel Tejada to Replace Uribe

Well, the Giants' front office are keeping Giants reporters (and us bloggers ) occupied here early in the winter, as they made their counter-move to the Dodgers' signing of Juan Uribe within 36 hours of hearing news that the infielder wouldn't be returning to San Francisco in 2011. I haven't yet had a chance to talk to anyone close enough to the team yet to verify, but something tells me the Giants had Tejada in mind all along as a backup plan to Uribe . Otherwise, I don't see how they could have acted so quickly. My suggestion in the previous post was to wait out the market and see what happens with arbitration eligible shortstops (J.J. Hardy, Yunel Escobar and Jason Bartlett were a few guys who may have been available via trade, or non-tender free agency), but they already had a plan. In the end, it's going to be Miguel Tejada who will be manning shortstop for your 2011 San Francisco Giants, as the Giants got him on a 1 year, $6.5 million deal. I know sai

Uribe Leaves Giants for Dodger Blue

Well, if you've been following Giants' news over the past few days, your no stranger to the fact that Juan Uribe was in talks with the Dodgers about signing in LA to play 2nd base. It looks like those talks are coming to fruition, as Uribe has now signed the deal and is just awaiting a Tuesday physical in the Dominican to wrap things up. Uribe and the Dodgers have agreed on a 3-year, $21 million deal that will put Uribe in the Dodgers' infield along with Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal and James Loney. The 31 year-old figures to spend most his time at 2nd in LA, but as Giants' fans know, has the versatility to move around the infield. I'm not surprised Uribe is leaving, just a little surprised, in a middle-infield thin market, he signed so soon. He was a ste ady contributor for the Giants in his 2-year stint here, but I don't blame Sabes for not wanting to match the Dodgers offer of 3 years. 2 years at $7 million for Uribe would be doable, but that 3rd year is the k

Giants Offer Juan Uribe Arbitration

Just Tuesday night, within 24 hours of the Giants signed Aubrey Huff to that 2 year/$22M deal, the team announced they will offer free agent infielder Juan Uribe arbitration. Not much of a surprise, and smart move by Sabean, as Uribe was the lone Giants' free agent I expected them to offer arbitration to. Uribe is one of the premiere left-corner infielders on the free-agent market, with the ability to play both SS and 3B at respectable l evels, with a solid line of roughly .266/25/80/.770 per-500 ab's and a knack for the clutch hit over the last two seasons. Just go back and look at the 2010 postseason and you'll see what Uribe means to this team. He didn't have great batting average, but it seemed like everytime he did get hits, he made them count. There are some negatives though, as he's a bit of a free-swinger and as a side effect, not too patient at the plate (though he did have a career-high 45 BB in 2010) and he'll strikeout his fair share. However, all th

Huff's Back, 2 Years/$22 Million

Well, it was obvious both sides genuinely wanted to get a deal done, and they did so quicker than even I expected Tuesday morning, as the Giants signed first basemen Aubrey Huff to a 2 year, $22 Million deal. My first thoughts were, good, Huff's back, but those were immediately followed by the wow! $22 million! Still, I think it's safe to say that the majority of Giants fans wanted Huff back, we all knew it would take more than 1 year, and at $11M per season, it's only about $2-3 more than I was expecting he'd get. The one spot where this FA market is stocked at is first base, with Adam Dunn, Carlos Pen a, Paul Konerko, Derek Lee and Adam LaRoche leading the charge, but the Giants got a great performance out of Huff in 2010 and know he's not detoured from hitting at AT&T Park. If the Giants don't have Aubrey Huff in 2010, no World Series tittle. So did they jump the gun a bit and overpay a tad to get him back, sure, but after what he did for them, the versat

Giants Minor League Report: Hitting

Well, typically here at the Giants Baseball Blog, with high-praised youngsters like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval coming up through the system the last 3 years, we've been doing a monthly minor league check-up on what's going on inside the lower levels of the Giants organization. However, since the team made the playoffs for the first time in 8 years, and ended up World Series Champs, it's been a few months since we've even thought of the Giants farm system. Now, even though Posey and Bumgarner are now in San Francisco for good, there are still some names who Giants fan's will become familiar with very soon down in the minors, and this year, nobody was more noticeable than first basemen Brandon Belt. The 22 year-old tore up the minor leagues in 2010, eerily similar to the way Pablo Sandoval did in 2008. At three different stops, High-A San Jose, AA Richmond and AAA Fresno, Belt hit a combined .352 with 23 HR, 43 2B, 113 RBI, 22 SB and a whopping

Giants Staying Quiet in 'Series Aftermath

Bruce Bochy just missed winning NL Manager of the Year, and although Giants' fans were a little upset about it, nobody really cared too much. Why? They're still basking in the aftermath of their World Series victory. Celebration time is winding down though, cause key dates are creeping up on us quicker than every body's used too. Like I said earlier in the postseason, since the Giants played a whole extra month, it's making this offseason go by very quickly. We're just 2 short weeks away from the arbitration deadline in which teams must choose to tender or non-tender their eligible players for 2011 contracts. The Giants themselves have quite a few key components to their World Series winning team eligible for raises. Those guys include Postseason hero Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Jonathan Sanchez, Postseason bullpen hero Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla. I'm assuming all will be tendered contracts, so I wouldn't worry about any of them leaving the Giants, I

Buster Wins Rookie of the Year

The 2010 Giants got another reason to celebrate Monday, as their rookie catcher Buster Posey officially won National League Rookie of the Year. Posey's biggest challenger was Atlanta's Jayson Heyward, but Posey managed to edge him out. The advantage Heyward had going for him was that he played with the Braves all year long and was on the opening day roster, whereas Posey didn't arrive in San Francisco until the end of May. Still, Posey was a more valuable player in 2010 than Heyward, even with that considered. Heyward had a nice season, hitting .277 with 18 homers and 77 RBI supported by a solid .849 OPS in 142 ballgames. Posey hit .305 with 18 homers and 67 RBI to go along with a .869 OPS in his 108 games, so even in the lesser amount of games, Posey and Heyward's numbers are nearly identical, with the batting average being the one separator offensively. Heyward also had over double the amount of strikeouts than Posey as well. Defensively, obviously, you have to give t

Giants Need Pablo Slim and Uribe Back

This Giants team achieved greatness in 2010, but if you told me the Giants would have won the World Series with their team MVP from 2009 riding the pine, I would have called you crazy. The Giants offense managed to have success in the playoffs despite getting much of anything out of the guy they centered their offense around coming into the season. As Sandoval gained weight over the season, his batting average dropped, and it got to the point that he was benched in favor of Mike Fontenot for a while there to start the playoffs. Granted, his benching led to the eventual heavy playing load on Edgar Renteria, and we all know how well that turned out, so luckily it turned out for the Giants. Still, this team needs Sandoval to be "The Panda" again in 2011, as they face an unsure future on the left-side of their infield. I'm not sure the .330, 25, 95 Sandoval is the guy Giants fans should expect, but I'd say somewhere split between his '09 and '10 numbers would be s

Giants' Brass Gets Back to Work

The Giants have only been World Series Champs for a little over a week, but the front office has already gotten back into work mode and have plenty of big decisions looming. Brian Sabean and Co. have a handful of players, many of which were very key in their championship run this year, who are set for free agency, or due hefty raises in arbitration, they now need to focus on. None bigger than the red-thong totting first basemen that really took to this team and carried it on his back all year long, Aubrey Huff. Also facing unsure futures are shortstops Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria and left fielder Pat Burrell. Then there is postseason hero Cody Ross, who's in for a hefty ra ise on his $4.5 million paycheck in 2010, probably upwards of $7-8 million in '11. I'd like to see the Giants just ink him to a 2 year deal and get it done with. He's got the versatility to play all over the outfield and we've seen what he does in the clutch, he's a keeper. Also do for hefty ra

San Francisco Celebrates Giants' Championship

The City of San Francisco and every Giants fan across the globe got a chance to Celebrate with the team on Wednesday, as the Giants returned to San Francisco and celebrated their first ever World Series tittle with a ticker tape Parade through the city. It was certainly a spectacle, as tens of thousands (possibly even hundreds) flooded the streets of San Francisco to watch the 2010 Champs stroll through downtown on Cable cars with parade tape reigning down from above! It was a fitting way to end what was a memorable run by the Giants here in 2010, and I think I speak for all Giants fans when I say, I could really get used to this. The feeling is still sort of sinking in for me, but I've had this perma-smile on my face ever since Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz with that nasty cutter in on the hands. The Giants outplayed every team they faced in the playoffs, and they absolutely deserved the trophy. As most players made a point of saying in the post-series interview, this Giant