Non-Tender Candidate: Mike Fontenot

In mid-August the Giants struck a deal with the Cubs to acquire infielder Mike Fontenot in exchange for minor league center fielder Evan Crawford.  The Cubs chose to part ways with the 30-year-old who was unable to give an encore performance of his strong 2008 campaign.  In that season he delivered a slash line of .305/.395/.514 with nine homers.  His flat 2010 numbers with the Cubbies (91 OPS+) and the rise of Starlin Castro made Fontenot expendable. 

Fontenot didn't set the world on fire at the end of the Giants' regular season either, hitting .282/.329/.310 in 76 plate appearances.  While he has the ability to play shortstop and third base, his best position is second base.  Second base is, of course, already occupied by Freddy Sanchez, who is under contract through 2011.  While he could conceivably be a cheap alternative if the Giants choose not to retain Juan Uribe, his light-hitting and weak play at shortstop make that unlikely.

As for Fontenot, he earned $1MM and will head to arbitration this winter for the second time.  While he's not a bad utility option to keep around, the Giants could very well choose to non-tender him.  After all, they didn't exactly give up a ton to acquire him this year.  What do you think San Francisco will do with Fontenot?  Click here to vote, and here to view the results.


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11 Comments on "Non-Tender Candidate: Mike Fontenot"


4 years 10 months ago

I saw Crawford play in Salem, great potential there, saw him get 8 RBI’s while he hit for the cycle, he’s to be good someday.

4 years 10 months ago

He is not going to replace Sandoval, so he does not have room on this roster. Personally, I’m not sure what is coming up on the SS market, but I don’t mind Uribe by himself. It was a bit tired when it was him, Sandoval, AND Molina in the same line-up. If we can manage to keep Burrell and Huff, as well as Uribe I think we will be doing well.

Boz Oliver
4 years 10 months ago

I think that sounds mostly right, but I can’t say that I’d be upset if they kept Fonte-YES! around for a utility role. He’s come up with some big hits. I doubt it will happen, but he has seemed like a more than capable hitter. He’s come up big in spots when we needed him in these playoffs.

BLB25
4 years 10 months ago

why do you doubt it will happen? The Giants don’t have any other in-house middle infield options that are MLB ready unless they convince themselves Manny Burriss can play. I’d much rather see Burriss in AAA and only used in case of injuries. With Uribe likely to draw pretty serious interest on the FA market, Renteria likely to retire or leave, and Freddy Sanchez’s injury history and platoon splits I think it makes a ton of sense for the Giants to retain Fontenot as a utility player. Don’t forget how much Bochy/Sabean value versatility and what a big role that played on this year’s team. A lefty hitting middle infielder with great split stats vs rights who plays one position very well and 2 others adequately could be very useful on the bench.

4 years 10 months ago

Ryan Rohlinger > Emmanuel Burriss. Downs would have worked great except stupid Houston claimed him.

BLB25
4 years 10 months ago

True, I totally forgot about Rohlinger. I’d still rather have Fontenot though.

4 years 10 months ago

I sort of lied on the vote. I think the Giants will RETAIN Fontenot, but they won’t go to arbitration with him. Given the raises due via contract and the myriad of other arb-eligible players, Fontenot’s arbitration award might be too high for the Giants to keep him, and they won’t take that chance.

Either they work out a deal with him before arbitration (what I think will happen), or they non-tender him and try to work out a deal with him as a free agent. One way or another, there’s a very good chance they retain him, I just don’t think they’ll risk having to pay an arbitration award of $2M+ by going to court with him.

LiveFastCyYoung
4 years 10 months ago

Would take Fontenot at short in Detroit at $1MM over Peralta any day.

Will32
4 years 10 months ago

I think the Giants should trade or sign a Shin-Shoo Choo type of player. Great defense, speed, pop. Choo is just a 5 tool player. But he may have to go back to Korea. Does anyoone know this for sure? Also who do you think would also be a good pick up for the Giants?

TapDancingTeddy
4 years 10 months ago

It’s off the topic, but Juan Uribe is one of the weirdest ballplayers I’ve ever seen. He swings like Dave Kingman on 8 cans of Red Bull, is built more like a bartender than a SS, but does everything pretty well except walk.

If he only had an OBP worth discussing, the guy would be a star. As it is a one year wonder like Fontenot is mentioned as a possible (if unlikely) replacement.

4 years 10 months ago

He runs into enough pitches to overcome the OBP deficiency, and he gets much more selective if he sees the breaking ball early in the AB, so I think the “free swinger” label is a bit over played in his case. That is only “a bit”, he frustrates me sometimes too. The only place I have ever seen Fontenot mentioned as a possible replacement is in this column, and that is only if Uribe walks.