The Giants Really Want a Centerfielder

And you know, if I had just given Steve Finley 429 at-bats, I would too!

Apparently the Giants have offered identical 3-year, $30M deals to Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews Jr.  Both would appear to be a little young to fit in to the Giants clubhouse, but then again, so is Kevin Frandsen, and they haven’t buried him yet.  $10M per year seems to be the market value for Matthews right now, which–to me, anyway–is complete insanity. 

It’s true that Matthews had a fantastic season in Arlington–.313/.371/.495, to be precise–but it’s also true that he was 31, and his career numbers are a much more 4th-OF friendly .263/.336/.419.  It’s always possible that he really didn’t learn how to play baseball at a new level after his 30th birthday, but…$10 million for a guy with a strong possibility to be below league average?  Most amazing to me is this: Rotoworld speculates that Matthews could get some four-year offers.

Pierre may not be worth $10M/year either, but he is a bit younger, and Brian Sabean can’t be deluding himself too much about what he might get.  Pierre has been very consistent, largely injury free, and he’ll probably keep stealing lots of bases through the length of that contract.

In other Giants news: Ray Durham wants $18 million over 2 years, and the Giants "haven’t closed the door" on that.  However, Frandsen has gone crazy in winter ball, so the Giants could give him the starting job and let Durham look elsehwhere.  If they pass on Durham, that makes it more likely they’ll bring back Rich Aurilia; both the Giants and Yankees want Aurilia and are offering multiyear deals.  The deal could be done this weekend.

By Jeff Sackmann

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