According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, there are "strong indications" that the Giants want Omar Vizquel to man shortstop for them in 2008. Vizquel is earning $4MM this year; perhaps $3MM or so would get it done for next year. Vizquel would like to come back. If his goal is 3,000 hits, though, that will take at least three more seasons.
Retaining Vizquel is not what I suggested in my Giants Needs and Luxuries post a few days ago. I understand that Vizquel’s sparkling defense helps the pitching staff and his veteran leadership can’t be measured. (Though one could make the argument that the pitching staff would be equally if less directly helped by a shortstop with some offensive value).
My ’08 Giants are committed to rebuilding, and that means giving Omar’s 600 plate appearances to a young player. Even if the Giants don’t specifically have a shortstop prospect ready to go, they can get more ABs for Kevin Frandsen if Vizquel isn’t around. I likened it to Ryan Theriot, who also probably doesn’t have the arm for a long-term stint at shortstop but can get it done. Or, the Giants can attempt to trade for their shortstop of the future this winter.
All that said, keeping Vizquel for ’08 wouldn’t be terrible. I wouldn’t do it, but there are sensible reasons to bring him back at a discount for one more season.