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After wrapping up some one-year contracts with arbitration eligible players yesterday, the San Francisco Giants began the arbitration process with their two remaining MLB arbitration candidates, Andres Torres and Javier Lopez. MLB- or baseball-style arbitration (often used to describe this style even outside of baseball) requires the two sides propose one year contracts. As would be expected, the player’s figure is higher than the team’s figure. The neutral arbitrator then hears both sides present evidence why their figure is the better figure. This is then concluded by the arbitrator picking one of the two figures as the winner. They do not split the difference or weight the figure based on the two submissions.
The Giants exchanged figures with outfielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Javier Lopez. The Giants offered Torres $1.6 million while he asked for $2.6 million. The Giants offered Lopez $2 million while he asked for $2.875 million. Although they’ve now exchanged offers they can still come to terms before the hearings next month.
Since salary arbitration first developed in 1974 (PDF), there have been 495 arbitration cases that went to the hearing. In those 495 cases, the team has 57.6% of the time (285 victories). Last season the Giants had three significant players file for arbitration but they settled all three cases. Tim Lincecum settled his case with a two year contract, Brian went for a mid-way deal, and Jonathan Sanchez agreed on a one year contract before they needed to exchange figures.
The San Francisco Giants settled on one year contracts with four arbitration-eligible players today. With MLB arbitration fast approaching before spring training, the Giants agreed to 2011 contracts with Jonathan Sanchez, Cody Ross, Santiago Casilla, and Ramon Ramirez.
Sanchez agreed to terms on a one-year deal for $4.8 million. Sanchez put together a very strong 2010 campaign that earned him a sizable raise. He posted a 3.07 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 205 strikeouts over 193 1/3 innings. He’ll head into spring training as the number three starter behind Tim Linecum and Matt Cain. It will make for an interesting battle between Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and maybe even Barry Zito to see who steps up as the number three.
Ross agreed to terms on a one-year deal for $6.3 million. Ross had a fairly pedestrian regular season after joining the Giants in late August. However, Ross put together a big postseason that included five homeruns and was capped by NLCS MVP honors. Ross will head into free agency next season.
Casilla agreed to terms on a one-year deal for $1.3 million with a potential $50,000 in performance-based incentives. Casilla had his struggles at times but generally was a solid performer out of the bullpen. He finished 2010 with a 1.95 ERA and 56/26 K/BB ratio over 55 1/3 innings. If he can repeat that in 2011 he might get himself more work in high leverage innings.
Ramirez agreed to terms on a one-year deal with financial terms not yet disclosed. The Giants acquired Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline and put together some solid numbers pitching in 25 games for the Giants and posting a 0.67 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. His K/BB ratio was 15/11 so he’ll have to work on that. I’d imagine he and Casilla will be competing for late inning work in spring training.
Utilityman Eugenio Velez also was not tendered a contract. Velez, who has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Giants, wasn't eligible for arbitration, but the move cleared a spot on the 40-man roster.
[T]he Giants will discuss a Minor League deal for Velez, who hit .256 in 225 games in the Majors. Regarding Velez, Sabean said, "His situation was going to get a little bit tenuous. We didn't see how he was going to make the team coming out of Spring Training."
Velez's numbers weren't that impressive in his final year and he didn't see the field much. After a brief stint in 2007 where he went 3 for 5 and had a decent batting average of .262 in 2008 and .267 in 2009, he went into a hitting slump this season, only managing nine hits in 55 at-bats. He played only 29 games, and this move was destined to happen.
Here are some of his colorful moments as a Giant.
It feels weird to poke fun now that he’s looking for a job. He seems like a pleasant fellow who was liked by his teammates. And when the Giants won the World Series, Velez was just as jubilant as anyone celebrating on the field. He was a good Giant. Just not, you know, a good Giant. I used to maintain that Velez was a decent choice to be a 25th man on a roster. He’s fast, he can switch-bat, and he can fill in at different infield and outfield positions. I’m not completely against the notion now, but there was a point when I realized that if I was constantly nervous about a guy screwing up on the bases, maybe his speed wasn’t exactly a weapon. The same sentence could be written about his defensive foibles negating his versatility, or his complete inability to hit left-handers negating his switch-batting.
But to not have Velez on the Giants? That’s just weird. He’ll land somewhere on a minor league deal, and he might even break spring training on a team’s bench, but he’s not going to be a Giant anymore. Bizarre.
jponry also reminds us of his nifty celebration jig. That should be missed for sure.
Burrell was slumping through most of 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays before he was designated for assignment and was made a free agent in the middle of May. The Giants brought Burrell in with a minor league contract after they called Buster Posey up. All he did down the stretch was go 77 for 289, hit 18 home runs and 51 RBIs and become an integral part of San Francisco's World Series victory.
Although the Giants have yet to specify the contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that it couldn't have gone any better for the Giants.
Burrell deal with #SFGiants worth $1M plus incentives. Hometown-friendly deal. Wanted to stay in SF.
Hard not to come back to a team whose fans might adore you for quite some time. Here are some of the highlights Pat the Bat racked up down the stretch (thanks to the commenters of McCovey Chronicles accumulating these).
With Aubrey Huff coming back, at least the two Giants players involved in the manliest of man-hugs after they won the World Series are returning, ensuring more testosterone coming to a Giants game near you.
The San Francisco Giants wasted no time in finding a replacement for recently departed shortstop Juan Uribe. ESPN’s Enrique Rojas tweeted that the team signed Miguel Tejada to a one year contract for $6.5 million with $500,000 in performance-based incentives.
While Tejada can be an every day shortstop for the Giants, he is probably a bit of a downgrade from Uribe at this point in his career. Aside from the age difference, Tejada’s power numbrs took a bit of a dive last year, and he represents a bit of a downgrade in the field, at least according to ultimate zone rating.
Given the one year nature of this deal it is clearly a stop-gap measure for now. If minor leaguer Brandon Crawford can make some kind of leap in 2011 maybe he takes over later in the year or it at least buys him a year of seasoning. Mychael Urban had an interesting tweet in which he indicated it wasn’t clear if Tejada would play shortstop or third base. Pablo Sandoval struggled mightily this past season and the team remains concerned about his weight issues. If the team decides to try out Tejada at third, they could still make a move for Jason Bartlett or one of the other options out there. Of course, if Tejada is playing third, that raises the question of what do with the Panda.
A week after re-signing 2010 hero Aubrey Huff, the San Francisco Giants appear to be on the verge of losing one solid contributor in the form of shortstop Juan Uribe. While Uribe wasn’t a monster of offensive production, his performance at shortstop was one of the many reasons the 2010 San Francisco Giants won the World Series.
If this deal does in fact go through, the Giants will find themselves in need of a new shortstop. In 153 games, Uribe played some portion of 103 games at shortstop. The remaining time was filled by a combination of Edgar Renteria (68 games at short), and Mike Fontenot (5 games). Yes it adds up to more than 162, but that’s games played, not games started. The point being that Uribe played a large chunk of the games.
So, with Uribe likely gone and Edgar Renteria retiring or landing elsewhere, the Giants find themselves in need of a new full-time shortstop. The two primary internal options to start the 2011 season at shortstop would be Mike Fontenot and Emmanuel Burriss. I wouldn’t call them particularly good options at this point, but they are options nonetheless. The downside to Fontenot is that he’s more of a utility guy at best. The downside to Burriss is that he just hasn’t shown much to indicate he’s ready to break out as a solid option at shortstop. Burriss is apparently looking healthy and solid in the Dominican Winter League but has a line of .244/.262/.256. It may just be winter league action, but that’s not exactly inspiring.
That leaves the team with external options. Last week McCovey Chronicles put together a rundown of potential trade targets at shortstop. The most notable at this point is Jason Bartlett because of the news that he is expected to be dealt by the start of the 2011 season. Bartlett has had some up and down seasons in his career but certainly has enough upside to potentially be worth holding around. He’s going through his final year of arbitration, which apparently could net him upwards of $5M or $6M. So the question is whether he’s a guy you want to rent for a year or a guy you bring in with the intention of re-signing him.
The big name option that is brought up but is an unlikely idea is free agent Derek Jeter. Aside from the fact that he apparently wants $23-$25 million is the fact that I just don’t see him leaving the Yankees. It’s certainly possible, but I think at the end of the day the two sides will figure something out. However, even if they don’t, I really don’t know if this the guy on whom you want to spend a ton of money. He’s 36 years old and his defense, which has generally been overrated for years, has only gotten worse. The Giants are in fairly good shape going forward, but I’d think Giants fans would rather see their team spend Jeter type money on improving the team’s overall depth.
For a rundown of free agent shortstops, head over to MLB Daily Dish.
Keeping the band together seems to be a hard prospect for the San Francisco Giants, who re-signed Aubrey Huff for two years with an option for a third year just last week. That's your first man back, now you can wave goodbye to the first man gone, or at least get your waving hand prepped and ready for a good ol' jazzy send-off. ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting that the Los Angeles Dodgers (cue the boos) are closing in on a three-year deal with free agent infielder Juan Uribe.
It may or may not be a "blow," to the Giants to lose Uribe, but losing him to a hated divisional rival can't foster good feelings. Uribe hit .248/.310/.440 with 24 home runs in 575 plate appearances this past season, and had a couple big homeruns in the postseason to boot.
He spent time at shortstop and third base for San Francisco, and would likely see a good bit of playing time at second base for the Dodgers. Uribe's departure from the shortstop-deprived Giants would net them a compensatory draft pick due to his free agent status. If Uribe signs, the Giants will need to find a shortstop in a depleted market which may have Uribe as the premium player to get your hands on.
Fox Spots' Jon Paul Morosi is reporting that the Giants have re-signed first baseman Aubrey Huff to a two-year, $22 million deal. The deal includes a club option for 2013, and the signing will be complete pending a physical. Huff is a major part of the seemingly thrown together team that just so happened to bring a World Series title to the Bay.
Huff led the Giants with 26 home runs and 86 RBI, with an accumulated batting average of .290 as the team's primary first baseman. His production on offense doesn't entirely indicate the $22 million price tag, but following a World Series win, the Giants have to be feeling good and have to figure they need to keep everyone where they are. Huff was a team leader during the team's playoff run and sparked a lot of inspiration with his "Rally Thong." Huff was only paid $3 million for his play last season, so perhaps we're seeing a bit of a World Series bonus.
Details on whether or not the Rally Thong will be included as a "must wear," in the contract will hopefully be acquired shortly.
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay won the 2010 National League Cy Young Award in unanimous fashion today, claiming all 32 first place votes. This is Halladay’s second carer Cy Young award and it was not really in doubt this season. While pitching in hitter friendly Citizens Bank Park, Halladay led the NL in innings and wins, while finishing second in strikes and WHIP and third in ERA.
A day after Buster Posey was named 2010 NL Rookie of the year, the San Francisco Giants did manage to find some love in the Cy Young balloting. Closer Brian Wilson received a fourth place vote and five fifth place votes after leading the National League with 48 saves. Additionally, his 1.81 ERA was fifth best in the NL for anybody with at least 60 innings pitched.
Giants starters Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain also received votes. Lincecum received two 5th place votes, while Cain received a single 5th place vote. The two pitchers were key throughout the regular season and postseason in leading the Giants to their first World Series in San Francisco.
It’s an award that I don’t care about, yet I so, so desperately want to validate the ridiculous center field defense I watched all season. Of all the center fielders for the Giants over the past two decades, only Tsuyoshi Shinjo, World Series DH, came close to Torres. I feel comfortable even saying that Torres had better instincts, first steps, and range than Marvin Benard. Seriously. No joke.
It’s obvious to note that without Torres’s bat, the Giants wouldn’t have made the playoffs. It’s probably true, though, to say the same thing about his defense. He had, uh, 21.2 UZRs, which, uh, extrapolates out to 24.8 UZRs over 150 games played, which means he saved a certain number of games with his glove, and he’s responsible for a few extra wins…let’s see…carry the two…circle the numerator…divide everything…
Fine. So I don’t really know my way around defensive stats. But they agree with my perception and anecdotal evidence in this specific situation, so the stats are obviously right. The Giants made the playoffs for a variety of reasons. Andres Torres’s defense was one of them. Without Torres playing as well as he did in center, it’s possible, if not probable, that the Giants are still looking for their first championship in San Francisco. Which they aren’t. Because the Giants won the World Series in 2010.
Unfortunately, the awards were announced…and the winner at center field was the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez. Rob Neyer of ESPN is skeptical of his credentials.
Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez pretty obviously won the Gold Glove with his bat. He deserves some credit for playing all three outfield positions, but there’s not much evidence that he played any of them particularly well. Let alone brilliantly. Maybe Gonzalez would have been more impressive if he’d stayed in one place long enough to get comfortable. But they probably shouldn’t hand out Gold Gloves based on maybes.
Oh well, Giants fans will have to be content with rewatching video clips of Torres doing amazing fielding. You know, something like this. And this. And this. And this. And this. Also, this. Did I mention this? What about this. I also like this. Maybe even this. I think this is worthy. Don’t forget this. Have you seen something like this? This. This. This. Finally, this. (HT to GiganteGrande of McCovey Chronicles for gathering all of these).
Also, winning the World Series. I hear that doesn’t hurt. Hope you’ve enjoyed your Torregasms.
The San Francisco Giants enter their first offseason as San Francisco-based World Series champions, and they will be looking to bring back several key parts to their amazing World Series run. There has been one change to the free agency process that eases the work for players and their agents. Beginning this season, players will no longer be required to officially file papers to become free agents. Instead, free agents will now be able to negotiate with any team five days after the end of the World Series, rather than 15 days after; and clubs must tender player contracts by December 2, nine days earlier than the previous deadline.
The Giants have several big issues they face in free agency. Aside from whether to add any parts, they have to decide on several players that were key to their World Series run. Their 2010 free agent class includes:
Each one of those players (Mota less than the others) made immense contributions to the Giants at some point in 2010. Aubrey Huff carried the offense throughout the first half of the season and had some key hits in the postseason. When Huff was slowing down later in the regular season, Pat the Bat hit some monster bombs for the team and brought an essential veteran presence as a former World Series champion.
Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe each provided unique contributions that were priceless. Uribe had some huge hits throughout the postseason, while Edgar Renteria found the way-back machine and put together an MVP performance in the World Series. Jose Guillen did not take part in the postseason, but he had a strong September after the Giants acquired him.
It will be interesting to see which players the Giants elect to bring back. The team declined a $10.5 million option on Renteria’s contract, which was expected by the entire free world. Renteria has indicated he’d like to play another year and would move to second base to make that happen. The Giants currently have Freddy Sanchez at second so it remains to be seen whether the team will bring back Renteria. My money is on no.
Burrell and Huff are tough decisions. Huff was as important to this team as just about anybody over the course of the entire season. He’s not a big name and his numbers tumbled a bit at the end of the season, but he practically carried this offense in the first half of the season. Of course, he also has never been able to consistently put together multiple consecutive seasons of strong play, so I can’t imagine spending a ton of money on him.
As for Burrell, he was a no-show in the playoffs. He put together some solid hits in the regular season, but one could argue he was good for a quick shot of adrenaline and not much else. He brings a necessary confidence, but if he’s not hitting his value goes down tremendously.
San Francisco Giants World Series MVP Edgar Renteria seemed like he was about to go out on top after hitting the series-clinching home run against the Texas Rangers. But he shot down retirement rumors pretty quickly when he spoke to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
“I’m staying, I feel that I still have a lot of baseball in my body,” Renteria said Saturday to ESPNdeportes.com from his home in Miami.
“[On] Monday I have a very important meeting with my agents to talk about my future, but I have already decided I will keep playing. That’s all I can say until I meet with them,” Renteria said.
And now it seems he’s thinking about changing positions to prolong his career. D.J. Short of Pro Baseball Talk relays and analyzes the story from the Spanish translation from ESPN Deportes.
For all his injuries and general lack of production over the past two seasons, Renteria is still a perfectly capable defensive shortstop. Perhaps moving to a less demanding position would allow him to stay on the field, but this sounds like an effort to increase his marketability rather than his true preference. He’s not going to find anywhere close to the $9 million he made this past season, but the 35-year-old should be able to find a starting job somewhere.
However, the big question Giants fans are wondering about is where will Renteria fit into this equation? San Francisco already has a dedicated second baseman in Freddy Sanchez, and he’s as good as they get defensively (.991 field percentage last year). Renteria’s .707 OPS is hard to ignore though, but he’d likely have to accept a smaller role. Would Renteria be willing to accept what amounts to a bench position after such a successful postseason campaign, or will he look elsewhere?
One of the biggest reasons the San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series was the emergence of numerous rookies and other young players into positions of prominence. Buster Posey is the easy example given his breakout rookie campaign. John Sickels ranked him his number three hitting prospect heading into 2010 and Posey did not disappoint. He and number one hitting prospect Jason Heyward did battle throughout the summer and into the NLDS and will made for an intriguing rookie of the year race.
The Giants also received big contributions from rookie pitcher Madison Bumgarner, whom Sickels ranked the number eight pitching prospect. He came up midway through the season and put together some sharp performances over 111 innings, with key contributions in the postseason.
Now the Giants have additional prospects to consider as they look towards 2011. The two primary options at this point are shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt. They are intriguing options in large part because of the positions they play. As a shortstop and first baseman, Crawford and Belt sit behind two Giants free agents, Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff.
Crawford and Belt both struggled at times with the bat in 2010, but if they have strong spring trainings they might force their way onto the roster. I’d imagine the Giants will re-sign Huff and/or Uribe in the meantime, but not to particularly sizable deals at this point. Sabean spoke about both young men:
Sabean expects Crawford to start the year in the minors to work on his hitting, but he could be a midseason promotion … Same probably goes for Brandon Belt, though Sabean suggested Belt could force his way onto the team out of spring training.
The San Francisco Giants capped off a magical October run with their first San Francisco-based World Series victory and the first franchise World Series since they were playing in New York's Polo Grounds in 1954. They were sizable underdogs against the Phillies in the NLCS and against the Rangers in the World Series but they handled their business in fairly dominant fashion behind superior pitching and well-timed hitting.
The Giants World Series victory was keyed by a crafty mix of youthful talent, offseason free agent acquisitions, and timely midseason trades and waiver wire acquisitions. Brian Sabean has come under immense criticism (often with good reason), but he made some very solid deals in recent years to put together this World Series champion.
As we move into November the San Francisco Giants have numerous decisions to make, including whether to resign key free agents like Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe. They have to decide how to handle arbitration cases for the likes of Andres Torres, Jonathan Sanchez, and NLCS MVP Cody Ross. They have to figure out potential long term deals for some of their younger talent. And of course, they have to decide how much talent should be brought in to solidify their chances of repeating as champions.
While the Giants did win the World Series, a lot of things fell their way, which means they can not rest on their laurels if they want to repeat as champions. There are holes to fill and we'll be here all offseason following the Giants dealings as they look to become the first team to repeat as world champs since the 2000 New York Yankees.
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