Offseason In Review: San Francisco Giants

The offseason is not quite over, but things are obviously winding down.  Let’s kick off a new series called Offseason In Review.  We’ll go team-by-team through March.  First up is the San Francisco Giants; take a look at what we had to say on September 1st.

Additions: Randy Johnson (one year, $8MM), Edgar Renteria (two years, $18.5MM), Bob Howry (one year, $2.75MM), Jeremy Affeldt (two years, $8MM), Ramon Ortiz, Rich Aurilia, Juan Uribe, Brandon Medders, Francis Beltran, Luis Perdomo, Josh Phelps, Justin Miller

Subtractions: Jose Castillo (August), Omar Vizquel, Ray Durham (July), Kevin Correia, Tyler Walker, Brad Hennessey, Vinnie Chulk, Erick Threets

In September I figured the Giants had $12-13MM to spend, but they spent more than $20MM in guaranteed ’09 salaries.  The fans have to appreciate that.

The Giants’ biggest need was offense, especially in the infield.  The no-risk moves to bring in Aurilia and Phelps could help a bit.  But the big addition, Renteria, wasn’t money well-spent.  The Giants signed him on December 4th, and it’s fair to say that no one was predicting Orlando Hudson would sign for 20.5% of the guaranteed money Renteria did.  Brian Sabean is not alone, but he did not read the market well here.  It’s true that the best free agent hitters were outfielders and the Giants are flush with those, but you can’t argue that the offense hasn’t improved much over the winter.

The Giants spent $13.75MM for ’09 on Johnson, Affeldt, and Howry, and I liked all three additions.  Despite the presence of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, the Giants’ pitching needed help.  If Johnson stays healthy and Jonathan Sanchez replicates his first-half performance, they’ll have one of the best rotations in the league.

Bottom line: thumbs up on the pitching additions, but that Renteria money would’ve been better spent on a bat or two.

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