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Monday, December 12, 2011

Where Are They Now? A Quick Look at the 2010 Giants

Just a shade over a year since the 2010 Giants celebrated a World Series championship, the 2012 team takes shape with roughly half of that team elsewhere. With Fontenot tendered a contract for 2012, let's take a look at the 25 guys that brought home the trophy.

2010 World Series SF Giants now lacing up elsewhere (or nowhere):

Aaron Rowand (Marlins - minor league deal)
Edgar Renteria (retired)
Juan Uribe (Dodgers)
Ramon Ramirez (Mets)
Andres Torres (Mets)
Travis Ishikawa (Brewers - minor league deal)
Jonathan Sanchez (Royals)
Cody Ross (Red Sox)
Pat Burrell (retired)

2010 World Series SF Giants that remain:

Tim Lincecum
Matt Cain
Madison Bumgarner
Brian Wilson
Sergio Romo
Santiago Casilla
Jeremy Affeldt
Javier Lopez
Buster Posey
Freddy Sanchez
Pablo Sandoval
Aubrey Huff
Nate Schierholtz
Mike Fontenot
Guillermo Mota
Eli Whiteside

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Adios Andres

So while the Marlins are making headlines by signing or being in on the biggest names on the free agent market (are they really going to lure Pujols away from St. Louis!?) the Giants have actually had a pretty active offseason.

To quickly review:

1) Resigned Lopez and Affeldt
2) Traded Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera
3) Extended Sabean and Bochy
4) Traded Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan

The last one is the newest development. It's an under the radar trade for anyone that is not really a Mets or Giants fan. But it's not a move I can blame Sabean for and one that I actually like. Let's be honest, Andres Torres was a fan favorite and a very popular Giant inside the clubhouse as well. But let's be even more honest and face reality that Andres Torres was likely going to be non-tendered in a week. The fact that Sabean could match up with the Mets and get a productive player back by throwing in Ramon Ramirez is surprising. Surprising in the fact that Sabean didn't get fleeced and that he actually made a trade that makes baseball sense.

This trade has a domino affect. One, the Giants essentially save money. By paying only Pagan in arbitration as opposed to Torres and Ramirez they likely just saved about a million bucks. Two, they shipped off Torres to a team where he'll likely get a lot of playing time. That's a good thing for a now former Giant that was beloved but was going to barely see the field in 2012 if he was even going to be offered a contract. I'm happy for Andres though I'll miss his energy (and especially his defense which was really f'ing fantastic). Three, it moves Melky Cabrera out of the leadoff and centerfield discussion. Both of those are good things. Four, it creates more questions in the outfield. We can pretty much pencil in Pagan in centerfield and Cabrera in a corner outfield spot. The question now becomes... who takes that other outfield corner spot? Do the Giants give rightfield to recently married Nate Schierholtz? Or do they give left field to Aubrey Huff and platoon Belt/Pill at 1B? Or do they put Belt in LF and let Aubrey man 1B? These questions likely won't be answered until Spring Training when the Giants get to Scottsdale and see what shape Huff is in and how he manages the outfield.

What it essentially rules out is any other additions to the line-up. It sounds like Keppinger is minutes away from being traded to an AL club, likely for salary relief and maybe a B prospect. The line-up is nearly set. The only remaining riddle is... where does Huff play and does Belt have a chance to see much playing time as a SF Giant in 2012?

Pagan answers the centerfield and leadoff problem. He's not excellent but he's a poor man's Coco Crisp who everyone thought the Giants were going to wind up with at the beginning of the offseason anyway. At least I did. He has speed, he has some extra base power, and occasionally his OBP's are respectable. I'll take it.

In essence, so far this offseason, Sabean has basically traded Ramon Ramirez, Jonathan Sanchez, and Andres Torres for Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. That's actually not terrible.

We'll see some other minor tweaks and hopefully an extension to one or both of our star starters. But I don't see much else on the horizon. I do notice however the Giants are shaping up for a roster purge after 2012. Pagan and Cabrera are in their final years of arbitration and can hit free agency after the season. They will be joining Freddy Sanchez, Jeremy Affeldt, and Aubrey Huff in that 2013 free agent market. And lest we forget, Aaron Rowand's salary comes off the books after 2012 as well.

I can see figments of a Giants plan here, I just don't know what that end game is. An all home grown team in 2013 with appearances by Gary Brown, Joe Panik, and the Brandon's? All I can say is I am intrigued by this last trade, think it'll help the Giants more than it'll hurt them in 2012, and will patiently await that Keppinger salary dump.