Giants Seek Left-Handed Bat

WEDNESDAY, 11:08am: Schulman adds Cust to the list of bats on the Giants' radar.

TUESDAY, 2:16pm: So far this winter the Giants have spent $15.25MM on Mark DeRosa and Juan Uribe.  After a conference call with GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle offer insight on the Giants' plans for the rest of the offseason.

  • Uribe could play third base regularly, which would push DeRosa to left field.  Uribe will not compete with Edgar Renteria for the shortstop job.
  • The Giants seek a left-handed hitter.  It would be either an outfielder or first baseman, as Travis Ishikawa is not under consideration to start at first.
  • Sabean said no deals are imminent.  At various points this winter the Giants have been linked to Johnny Damon, Scott Podsednik, and Adam LaRoche.  I should point out that other potentially available left-handed bats include Russell Branyan, Lyle Overbay, Luke Scott, David DeJesus, Jack Cust, Mike Jacobs, Rick Ankiel, and Aubrey Huff.
  • Schulman says the Giants are unlikely to spend much on a fifth starter or catcher.


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93 Comments on "Giants Seek Left-Handed Bat"


JPB22
5 years 7 months ago

I don’t believe that Luke Scott is a FA. I think the Giants have to sign a catcher and a leadoff hitter.

bomberj11
5 years 7 months ago

He meant on the trade and free agent market.

JPB22
5 years 7 months ago

yeah I realiezed that right after I posted. It is always a good idea to read all the words in the article before putting anything in writing yourself.

5 years 7 months ago

I agree with the Uribe at 3B to start the season. Have DeRosa in LF or RF, and get someone like Damon for 2 years or Cust. I am not concerned with defense as much because we need offense more than anything. Damon would also be great at lead-off, which we desperately need. Line-up suggestion:

LF – Damon
3B – Uribe
2B – Sanchez
1B – Panda
RF – Derosa
CF – Rowand
SS – Renteria
C – Posey

Don’t look to shabby. Thoughts?

johnsilver
5 years 7 months ago

SFG need a power bat so bad, I just think that the LAD are so ripe to be dethroned and Sabean is doing nothing about it, whether Giant ownership has financial problems, or somehow Sabean thinks his pitching and -0- offense is good enough to over take them is the reason, it just does not make sense to me. This team needs *SOMEBODY* besides Sandoval that can hit, or other teams are just going to pitch around him and Damon is not going to be any kind of threat in Candlestick, expect his power numbers to evaporate, like back to 8-15 where they were at KC, Oakland, Boston and a better gauge? Pay attention to that 9 spot he put up at the Coliseum in his only year in Oakland, yeah SFG fans, another cavernous park.. That’s about what Damon’s muscle will bring to Candlestick. It came and went with Yankee stadium.

Cust will probably be able to give Sandoval some power protection and his defense is still going to be terrible, another highlight reel guy, but Damon is no GG’er anymore either. Might as well get somebody to protect Sandoval if Molina isn’t coming back and take this now winnable division.

5 years 7 months ago

I guess it’s a good thing they don’t play at Candlestick then.

5 years 7 months ago

Sabean said he’s trying to be an opportunist this offseason (though I don’t think he gets the negative connotations of his word choice). Last year, he signed Renteria and Johnson by this point, and had spent $17 million. This year, because of Lincecum’s arbitration eligibility, we can’t be quite as aggressive despite having more payroll flexibility otherwise. Expect him to stay on LaRoche and see if he can’t get more of a bargain deal. If the Orioles wind up making him a big offer and he signs, it gives Sabean leverage to sign Branyan.

Patience…

R_y_a_n
5 years 7 months ago

Ew, I’m not a Giants fan but the fact Podsednik is even being considered for the Giants is sort of depressing. Don’t they have enough slap hitters? And it isn’t like his speed is that much of an asset; it doesn’t seem to help him and the field and he is thrown out quite a bit on the basepaths.

Damon, on the other hand, I think would be a nice fit, if the Giants can get him on a a one-year deal for 6-8 mil. Even though he’d probably only give you 10-15 HRs, but you could still expect a .350+ OBP (which the Giants need in their lineup, just as much as power).

niceshot
5 years 7 months ago

Casey Kotchman could be had as a salary dump seeing as the Sox want to get under the luxury tax line and he’s something like $3MM+ right now. Hermida is available too, I believe, since Theo promised he’d trade him if he wasn’t given a starting role.

Infield Fly
5 years 7 months ago

I see the BoSox trading Kotchman somewhere at some point but if I understand the situation correctly the Giants are looking not just for a LH bat but for power. Although he has some pop, strictly speaking Casey Kotchman is not a power hitter. So would he really make sense for the team? Wouldn’t Sabean be looking for higher HR production?

bomberj11
5 years 7 months ago

Can I please get a link?

JPB22
5 years 7 months ago

I really prefer Uribe in a utility role and I would like to see Schierholtz get a chance. Here is what I would like to see

LF- Podsednik
2B – Sanchez
RF – Schierholtz
3B – Sandoval
1B – DeRosa
CF – Rowand
SS – Renteria
C – Posey / Barajas / Torrealba

lagiantfan
5 years 7 months ago

Man we need power. Derosa replaces Molinas output. So we are back to square one. We need Nady or LaRoche

5 years 7 months ago

agreed….sign Cust cheap for 1 year, sign Damon for 1-2 years around 7 mil per year. Have Cust, Rowand, Damon in the field, Derosa at 3rd and we would be set. Only problem is, Timmy and Johnathan should do very well in arbitration and drive up the payroll

5 years 7 months ago

I totally agree with you, although IMO DeRosa’s 2010 will be an improvement over Molina’s potential 2010 season.

coachofall
5 years 7 months ago

To me Aubrey Huff would be a perfect low risk signing for the Giants. They will be working on limited funds once the Arbitration cases pop up. But if Laroche doesnt realize he isnt Pujlos and don’t deserve 10 mil a year, I think Huff would be a GREAT option.

5 years 7 months ago

I could see Ankiel being a fall back plan for sabean if he can’t land laroche.

drlincecum
5 years 7 months ago

agreed

TommyL
5 years 7 months ago

As a Dodger, fan, I’d be thrilled to see either of those two Giant lineups take the field. Panda and a bunch of mush.

sandboxer
5 years 7 months ago

I have to call your bluff there shhango…

1) Panda had a sophmore slump at the beginning of last year and may have an even better season in 2010- I predict less strikeouts as he began to develop plate discipline in the second half last year.
2) With no Bengie at cleanup/clogging bases I think the Giants can implement a successful small-ball strategy in order to start winning all of our low-scoring games.
3) There is no way Retneria gets to play SS for more than 6 weeks at last season’s level of performance as we have solid insurance at that position now- he either gets back to his old self or rides the pine to the bank.
4) The gaping hole at 2B at the beginning of last year is nicely filled, again with some insurance.
5) Randy Winn will be replaced by Schierholtz/Bowker/? which is likely to mean another improvement in the lineup.

Posey is the wildcard, and if he fulfills even a little of his potential in 2010 he will be better than Bengie. I say we improved markedly across the board (if modestly) in a crummy FA market, and the offseason ain’t over yet. With the best pitching around, tell me: why shouldn’t the Dodgers be nervous? Manny is older, and you didn’t exactly have a blockbuster winter. I think these two teams are about to pass each other this year, ie moving in different directions. With a better FA class next year and no huge signing mistakes this year I’d say things are looking up for SF.

willsharp
5 years 7 months ago

And I cant wait to see the Dodgers rotation… Kershaw and a bunch of mush.

Will32
5 years 7 months ago

I don’t understand why the Dodger fans are so confident. They’re going to lose Hudson, lost Wolf and Pierre, and they may sign one of Vincente Padilla and Jon Garland. Also they don’t have many internal options to fill any holes since all the trades they made over the past season.

The Giants have signed DeRosa and re-signed Uribe, and they’re still looking for offense. They have a plethora of internal options. Also, theres no need to upgrade our pitching since its one of the best staffs in all of baseball.

TommyL
5 years 7 months ago

As a Dodger fan, I’m confident because they are returning their entire starting lineup except for second base and the core is just coming into its prime years. So offensively, its the same playoff team from last year less Hudson, who, granted, gave them a good half season. But we should — knock on wood — have a full year of healthy and motivated Manny plus a healthier Furcal. Kershaw, Billingsley and Kuroda are returning as a solid 1-3 and I would expect better, healthier years from all of them. Wolf will be missed, but I’m glad they didn’t give him three years like the Brewers did. With many young internal candidates and a bunch of #4 and #5 types still available as free agents, I’m confident they can piece together a rotation just like they did last year and have solid relief to finish off games.

I just don’t see the addition of DeRosa and loss of Molina and Winn as a huge upgrade for the Giants. And, believe it or not, years like Lincecum and Cain put up last year are not automatic. The Giants do have a very, very nice rotation but to me, they still lack a whole lot offensively — hence my comment. Now, should they go out and get a legitimate big bat to team with Panda, then I worry.

Will32
5 years 7 months ago

First off, you say the years Lincecum and Cain had last year are not automatic. Well neither are the ones Kemp, Ethier, or anyone for that matter. Also dont expect much from Manny, you should look at his split stats and see his numbers after the all star break, I believe thats around the time he came back from his suspension, theyre pretty bad.

You should look at the numbers Winn put up last year, he had a deplorable season. He’s still great with the glove but is definately declining with the bat. Also replacing Molina with DeRosa is an upgrade. DeRosa could easily put up the same kind of numbers Molina could and doesnt clog up the bases. Molina is also 36, thats about the age catchers start to decline.

TommyL
5 years 7 months ago

Manny’s “pretty bad” OPS following suspension last year was .838. That’s better than the season OPS of every Giant regular except Panda — and a whole lot better than DeRosa’s lifetime OPS. I’d expect Manny to at least match that over next season and probably improve on it.

If as you say, DeRosa could put up the “same” type of numbers as Molina, then where is the improvement? Schierholz and Posey? Maybe, maybe not. To date, I just don’t see any great improvement in the Giants offense.

Will32
5 years 7 months ago

The improvment DeRosa brings is he can actually run and clog up the basepaths. That is a big upgrade for us since we are a small ball team.

Alright yes Ramirez’s OPS is very good but look at the .255 AVG, 10 HR, 34 RBI in 68 games.

Ok fine, Ill give. The Giants may have not improved much, but they havent taken any steps back neither. The Dodgers on the other hand have lost both Pierre and Wolf, and will lose Hudson soon and havent made any moves to fill those holes, they havent even been linked to any players so far this offseason. I dont know about you, but I think losing your number 2 or 3 starter, all star second basemen and a great fouth outfielder in Pierre seems like a couple of steps back to me.

5 years 7 months ago

Orlando Hudson was productive the first half of the season, but his bat pretty much disappeared the second half. Blake DeWitt won’t be an MVP candidate, but he’s certainly capable of holding down the 2B job. He was a 1st round pick, and Dodger scouting has been among the best in the business. Improvement elsewhere in the lineup should make up for a minor decline in production from 2B. And that’s assuming the Dodgers don’t sign a 2B. Guys like Belliard, Lopez, etc. are still available and probably aren’t going to get much. Guys like Castillo and Uggla are still on the trading block.

As far as Juan Pierre, well… as you said, he’s a 4th outfielder. While he performed admirably the 50 days Manny was suspended, he did not have much an impact otherwise. I think it is fair to assume that Manny won’t be suspended in 2010. And after those 50 games, Pierre had a .696 OPS. The Dodgers have Xavier Paul and Jason Repko available for the 4th outfield spot, both of whom are far superior defenders to Juan Pierre and could probably post a better OPS (.794 for Paul in his minor league career, .768 for Repko). No loss there.

Wolf is the only real loss for the Dodgers, but signing Garland or Padilla or Washburn and getting full seasons out of Billingsley, Kuroda, and Kershaw (all of whom missed starts in 2009 due to injury) will make up for Wolf’s production.

You’re also not considering natural progression of the Dodgers young players. While I think Andre Ethier may have reached his peak, everybody knows that Matt Kemp will get even better. James Loney is due to exhibit more power, and he should rebound from a below average (for him) 2009 season. Russell Martin’s ’09 campaign was also the worst of his brief career, and although I have doubts he’ll ever hit like he did in ’07, I still think he’ll improve slightly.

And basically everyone is discounting the difference a full season of Manny Ramirez will make, particularly Manny Ramirez in a contract year. I think that is a mistake. The guy is going to be playing for one last big payday. If you think his numbers are going to look like his second half ’09 numbers, I think you’re seriously underrating the guy. He’ll be ready to play.

I don’t know how you can expect Sandoval to improve and not guys like Kemp and Loney, or expect Posey to make up for Molina’s production but DeWitt not to make up for Hudson’s production (granted Posey is a better prospect, but DeWitt has much more major league experience – and performed admirably when he was given the starting job the first couple months of ’08).

lagiantfan
5 years 7 months ago

why are dodger fans posting to Giants post. Undercover Giant fan. Its ok the dodgers are declining

TommyL
5 years 7 months ago

If you don’t understand why Dodger fans post about the Giants, then I guess you don’t understand the rivalry…which is strange, you being an LA Giant fan. I also live in enemy territory and hear a whole lot of Dodger smack up here in NorCal. Long live the rivalry.

Michael Brown
5 years 7 months ago

This makes me think even more LaRoche is their guy…gives them Left handed bat and a plus defender question isn’t if they have the money. It’s if they are willing to give him 3 years…

55saveslives
5 years 7 months ago

Geez…Sabean is an idiot (we all know) GET LAROCHE!

cookmeister
5 years 7 months ago

the angels will be happy to give the giants GMJ haha

5 years 7 months ago

Kotchman to the Mariners certainly makes LaRoche to SF more likely

bigmike23
5 years 7 months ago

I say LaRoche. First basemen, Left Handed, Power = The Giants needs. As a free agent, he would be my first choice.

If I could have a left handed trade, I would take Brad Hawpe. The guy can hit the cover off the ball. Right Fielder, Left handed, Power hitter and affordable. I think he is making around 5mil. Offer the Rockies Fred Lewis, who plays well in Colarado, and a pitching prospect and he could be had.

Jack Cust isn’t bad. He draws walks, hits for power, but also K’s alot. I would honestly say that in stats comparison, he is a left handed version of Dan Uggla, in which the Giants almost traded AT&T Park for. Sign him cheap, put him in RF.

marley4041
5 years 7 months ago

You can HAVE Overbay…..

Bye Bye Baby Bonanza
5 years 7 months ago

I haven’t seen Overbay play. What are his problems?

marley4041
5 years 7 months ago

No real problems, not bad at 1b, hits for some power….Jays just need to move him to make room for Wallace. He’s probably a bit overpaid, that’s all.

pablosfullofposeys
5 years 7 months ago

What’s the point of getting Laroche if Uribe is slated to play third pushing panda to first? Does Laroche play the outfield? Or are we all just wishfully thinking that even though sabean says Uribe is playing third he is just really waiting on the bench for renteria to fold, so he can take his place.

With Uribe slated for third, the only thing that makes sense would be to add an outfield bat. However, that would essentially block all of our young kids from giving it another try. I am ok with that, but I think the money could be better spent elsewhere.

5 years 7 months ago

lol, yes I hope Renteria fails and Uribe replaces him!

Will32
5 years 7 months ago

Please sign Johnny Damon to a 1 year contract, Sabean! Then bench Rowand, Bochy!

mgsports
5 years 7 months ago

They can just Feliz to play 3B intill Downs is ready.
They can get a LF in a Trade.

5 years 7 months ago

LF-schierholtz and/or velez leading off. 2B-sanchez
SS-uribe
3B-panda
RF-derosa
CF-rowand
1B-ishikawa
C-posey

This is how the giants need to play it next year! They shouldn’t waste their time with one or two year contracts on some bums that no other teams want. They shouldn’t give up on their kids…schierholtz, ishikawa, velez, and even burris should get another look next year…bochy needs to just let them play and not have them constintly thinking about being replaced…the giants have a lot of potential with their kids…pitching rotation should be lincecum, Cain, Zito, Sanchez, and bumgarner!

5 years 7 months ago

I agree. I’m really bummed that Ishikawa’s not being given a chance, seeing as how his glove is Gold Glove-caliber and he crushes the ball at Willie Mays Field, unlike too many other ballers.

5 years 7 months ago

In a perfect world Renteria and Rowand would ride the pine all season. That leaves the Giants without a center fielder or a lead off hitter which they don’t have anyways. I say throw Velez in CF (which is pretty shakey to say the least) and at leadoff. If he can’t manage either Torres can fill in. And sign LaRoache. No thank you to Nady, Damon, Cust, Huff, Kotchman, or any of those other scrubs. Here’s my ideal lineup that I know will never happen cause Renteria and Rowand will be starting:

1. Velez CF
2. Sanchez 2B
3. Sandoval 3B
4. LaRoache 1B
5. DeRosa LF
6. Uribe SS
7. Schierholtz RF
8. Posey C

pablosfullofposeys
5 years 7 months ago

The only bad part of this lineup is Velez. I’d rather have rowand in there than velez.

5 years 7 months ago

That’s my only question with this lineup too. I was thinking try him out there for spring training at least and see if he can handle it. If not then Rowand I guess. Although he is definitly not a leadoff hitter. Neither is Sanchez. I don’t understand all these people with their make believe lineups having Sanchez either leading off or hitting 3rd. He can’t do either of those. He’s best in the 2 spot.

5 years 7 months ago

Once again, Rowand is horribly overpaid, but he’s still better offensively and defensively than Velez. And Torres is a better baserunner and leadoff hitter than Velez. Play Rowand in CF, and have Torres take his place so Rowand can get regular rest. They can both hit lead-off, so you don’t have to shuffle the lineup, either.