Brewers, Cardinals, Giants In Talks With Alex Gonzalez

5:18pm: The Brewers and Cardinals are also interested in Gonzalez, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.

4:48pm: The Giants are negotiating with free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez, reports Fernando Gonzalez of ESPN Deportes (passed along via Jim Bowden's Twitter account).  The Giants had been rumored as candidates to sign such bigger-name free agent shortstops as Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins, but with relatively little payroll space to go around, the other school of thought was that prospect Brandon Crawford could get the starting shortstop job.

Like Crawford, Gonzalez brings strong defense (a career UZR/150 of 6.3, though it dipped to -0.4 last season) and not much of a bat (a .241/.270/.372 line for Atlanta last season).  San Francisco could use Gonzalez and Crawford in a righty-lefty platoon next season, plus Gonzalez could be a valuble mentor to the 24-year-old.

The Braves didn't offer arbitration to Gonzalez (a Type B free agent), so Atlanta wouldn't receive a compensation pick if Gonzalez signed elsewhere.  The Braves hadn't ruled out re-signing Gonzalez themselves to act as a veteran bridge to their own shortstop prospect, Tyler Pastornicky.