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.