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.


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140 Comments on "Brewers, Cardinals, Giants In Talks With Alex Gonzalez"


Lastings
3 years 8 months ago

Oh he is right up Sabean’s alley. An aging player, with talent beginning to slip.

vtadave
3 years 8 months ago

“beginning to slip” implies he had the talent to be a starting shortstop in the past…

Jeff
3 years 8 months ago

What are you other options?  Jack Wilson?

Lastings
3 years 8 months ago

Craig Counsell of course. He’s only 41 in Sabean’s eyes.

vtadave
3 years 8 months ago

Hairston?  Punto?  Both better options.  Furcal as well…

3 years 8 months ago

Didn’t like 80% of their 2010 roster fit that description? It worked out. However, I agree that he’d be a typical Giant.

gmenfan
3 years 8 months ago

There’s  reason they call it “lightning in a bottle.” I wouldn’t try replicating that strategy year in and year out and expect to get anywhere.

The_BiRDS
3 years 8 months ago

Gonzalez as a Cardinal would be great.. They need to start filling holes now as it should help with the Pujols deal.

3 years 8 months ago

Cardinals fans will cringe at the poor at bats Gonzalez takes on a regular basis.  Will be Adam Kennedy type signing 2.0.  NO THANK YOU

The_BiRDS
3 years 8 months ago

Eww, wouldnt enjoy that.. The guy has power though.. which we all know Kennedy does not.

55saveslives
3 years 8 months ago

Gonzalez = Tejada = Renteria = Sabean never learns!

EdinsonPickle
3 years 8 months ago

What are you talking about? He learned well; never take the same old guy twice. As a GM, he knows that it’s all about mixing things up.

Jacob Viets
3 years 8 months ago

I’m sorry but Renteria was World Series MVP in 2010. How was that a bad move for Sabean?

Tony DiQuattro
3 years 8 months ago

You’re kidding me right?

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

You would rather save the 18 million and not win the world series?

Jacob Viets
3 years 8 months ago

Thank you gmen

nm344
3 years 8 months ago

So according to your logic the Giants wouldnt win without the Zito contract either. 

Matt Talken
3 years 8 months ago

I think it works a little bit differently when the person with the albatross contract ends up being the series MVP.

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

Considering Zito wasnt even on the playoff roster and Renteria was the world series MVP that makes absoluetly no sense.

Tony DiQuattro
3 years 8 months ago

For one, if you look at his line the year before signing with SF, it’s very similar to the one he had in SF. Sabean gave him 2/$18, the Reds gave him 1/$2. He probably could have been signed for half what he was paid.
Second, he won the MVP by default because he hit 2 home runs, one happened to be the one that ended it. He didn’t even have another extra base hit.  Lincecum didn’t win because he didn’t have a good start in the first game and none of the other pitchers did because they only pitched one game.

3 years 8 months ago

Who cares how their $90MM roster was allocated as long as they won?  Renteria made his $18MM because they won

bobskube
3 years 8 months ago

It’s frightening how bad that logic is.

3 years 8 months ago

I’ve seen the 1993 Giants win 103 games w/o making the playoffs; 2002 Giants with 2 MVPs in Kent & Bonds not win the World Series; Florida Marlins buy 2 championships then dismantle; the Yankees over-pay for Carl Pavano & win the WS; the Devil Rays go the WS on $30MM payroll

So no it doesn’t matter how that money was allocated because Sabean has built lots of winning teams over the years, including 1 that recently won the WS.  Renteria helped deliver a championship, he earned his money

SFrush90
3 years 8 months ago

So because of one swing of the bat that means he earned his 18.5M? He wasn’t a good player for us.

Jacob Viets
3 years 8 months ago

I think that all the 2010 World Series victory memorabilia paid his 18.5 million dollar contract.

SFrush90
3 years 8 months ago

It was still a bad contract. Sabean tends to hand out bad contracts, especially to vets. 

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

For a team that never won a world series (in SF obviously) he could have earned $100 million for all I care.

Maybe you should root for the team across the bay they never spend on vets and are “loaded” with young talent.

SFrush90
3 years 8 months ago

Dude chill out. Just because I don’t agree with the contract that means I should cheer for the other team? Get over it man.

What’s your view on the Rowand, Tejada, Derosa contracts?

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

They obviously didnt work out. Some have like Santiago, Bell, Burrell, Affeldt ect….

You seem to dwell on the bad contracts and not realize that no GM is flawless.

Have you not enjoyed being in contention 10 of the last 14 years or going to the World Series twice and our first world series? We have been one of the winningist franchises since he took over

It seems as if you are more concerned about looking good on paper than the actual results

SFrush90
3 years 8 months ago

He tends to stick with the vets. Eventually you would think a GM would try to sign younger guys instead of players toward the end of their careers. He still hasn’t signed a big bat to improve the offense (that we’ve needed for years) other than trading for Beltran.

I’ll give him credit, he’s good when giving short one-year contracts, but when he hands out longer contracts, that’s where it starts to go bad.

All I was talking about was a bad contract he handed out and now you go on a rant assuming I’m not happy with the Giants. Stop assuming and just talk about what’s posted.

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

Well every post is what about Rowand, DeRosa etc….

If you continue to focus on the one negative aspect while ignoring everthing else including the results of course Im going to bring it up.

Also you cant really go out and just sign young players as they tend to be locked up. You have to trade for them and to get an impact bat that would mean trading lincecum cain or bum which would make us a mediocre team.

The other option is spend massive on someone, but as you have stated you do not like him giving out long term deals.

SFrush90
3 years 8 months ago

There were options to improve this offense though in the past during free agency and we didn’t get what we needed. Thankfully, players such as Pablo and Posey have been developed and are helping the offense. Others like Brown and Belt are also in development so that helps us out as well. 

I don’t mind him handing out long-term deals, it’s just it has to be on the right player. He just picks the wrong guys to give it to.

3 years 8 months ago

GMen, I got into a similar argument with this SFRush guy – somehow he forgot that winning supersedes everything else

Jacob Viets
3 years 8 months ago

It still got you guys a World Championship so I wouldn’t complain.

SFrush90
3 years 8 months ago

He helped us win a World Series, but the fact of the matter is he still gave him a bad contract. That’s all I’m saying. Sabean did the same thing with Rowand, Tejada, and Derosa and it won’t surprise me if he did the same with Gonzalez.

Jacob Viets
3 years 8 months ago

I’m not disagreeing that he was overpaid or about how bad the Rowand and Derosa deals worked out but I do think that Renteria was a smart signing.

3 years 8 months ago

you forgot = Cabrera

MrBZito75
3 years 8 months ago

Cabrera

Tony DiQuattro
3 years 8 months ago

Here we go again…

3 years 8 months ago

I approve of this deal. Sea Bass’s power numbers at SS are just what the Giants need. 

EdinsonPickle
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah, they’re also power numbers that will dissipate in the Giants’ cavernous park; something that his weak BA and horrid walk rate won’t help.

3 years 8 months ago

Left field is very fair to RH pull hitters. It shouldn’t affect Gonzalez terribly. He doesn’t have much of a platoon split for his career, so it’s not an amazing fit, but it all comes down to the price tag. If the jump in millions/years is big to move up to Furcal and Rollins, then yeah, you take the hit. You can’t go into 2012 with Crawford as your everyday shortstop. Not yet.

3 years 8 months ago

You can at least entertain the idea if your alternative is Alex Gonzalez as your everyday SS for a few million dollars more.

3 years 8 months ago

There have been no indications whatsoever as to how much this supposed deal could be for. It’s pointless to complain about the price tag before we know what it’s going to cost.

3 years 8 months ago

A little bit.  But when you can get equal production from two different guys at two different prices, why pay more?

*I do like the plan to sign him to buy time for Crawford to improve though. If you’re signing Gonzalez because you think he’s better, well he’s not. But if you’re signing him so a prospect can have more time in the minors, it’s a good plan.

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

Crawford has never had better numbers in the minors than and aging Gonzalez did last year in the bigs so Id say equal production is quite a stretch

3 years 8 months ago

I know we don’t like to use UZR in one year samples, but Gonzalez’s was negative last year and given his age, it wouldn’t surprise me if his days of “great SS defense” were behind him.

In my mind an average defensive SS with poor batting skills is about as valuable as a good defensive SS with even poorer batting skills.

3 years 8 months ago

Assuming equal production from both is whitewashing the issue pretty drastically. There would be more to this move than simply “Gonzalez or Crawford.” This could also have implications for Fontenot, and how much and at what level Crawford plays going forward.

Again, really not worth complaining about until we see contract details and the non-FA arbitration deadline results.

3 years 8 months ago

I agree $1-$2mil isn’t a huge deal for a club with a payroll of $100mil (or whatever the Giants’ is), but money’s money.  Gonzalez may hit better (and better doesn’t equal good), but his UZR last year (I know only a year) was negative and it wouldn’t shock me if age has caught up to his defensive ability.

3 years 8 months ago

His UZR was also -1.4 in 2005… and then went on to put up 4 seasons with a UZR over 5. Single season values for UZR are not good indicators of overall defensive ability; there simply isn’t enough data to draw good conclusions. It could be an indicator of decline, but when average seems to be an outlier for his career, he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.

TDKnies
3 years 8 months ago

He wasn’t in his mid 30s in 2005 though, and that’s my concern.

Brv Rocks
3 years 8 months ago

If Alex only wanted 1M to 2M in salary then the Braves would re-sign him to mentor Pastornicky.  My guess is that he signs for 2 years at 3M to 4M per season.

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

I dont get the obsession with Crawford. He is good defensively (I dont see great yet, as people claim as he booted some routine balls last year) and he had that nice Grand Slam when he was called up but he didnt hit .200 and has a career 266/331/403 minor league line. The guy has never hit so it would be a stretch to see him even approach that line in the bigs.

Considering the options (outside of Reyes and Rollins) I dont mind this very much. He is Uribe-ish to me. Not the greatest on base skill but can run into one which this team needs. Obviously not the most sexy move but I like the pop and defense behind our staff.

3 years 8 months ago

Precisely why you make a move like this. As I mention elsewhere in the thread, Crawford has little minor league experience since some major swing adjustments where he hasn’t been injured, and has only played sparingly against even AAA-level pitching. By signing an everyday SS so you can start Crawford in AAA, you can see what you have in him and give him a little more time to figure it out, without the expectations of playing at the big-league level. If he doesn’t produce in AAA this year… well, then you probably know what you have in him going forward.

Randolph_Knackstedt
3 years 8 months ago

I’m not obsessed with Crawford. I would rather see Keppinger at SS. But, while you are correct he might have booted a few routine balls hit to him, he made many great plays the avg SS might not have come close to.

The Giants should have been more serious about Uribe and they probably would not have collapsed at SS last season. 

I wish they could find a way to bring Jimmy Rollins to SF. He grew up in Oakland, could mentor Crawford, and is pretty good too 😉

gmen_fever
3 years 8 months ago

Keppinger can not play SS though. He could barely play 2B. If he had to move more than a foot in each direction he was toast.

Its probably for the best that Uribe didnt come back since he was hurt/terrible last year.

Id like Rollins but probably not gonna happen with the money and years he is likely to get

Dan Wohl
3 years 8 months ago

There’s no obsession with Crawford, there’s an obsession with hoping against hope that Brian Sabean will someday learn that continuously signing old, declining veterans with atrocious on base skills so that they can block prospects is not a way to build a successful offense.

3 years 8 months ago

you nailed it!

3 years 7 months ago

Present company excluded, there are a lot of Giants fans who are obsessed with Crawford for the mere fact that they think he looks like John Stamos. smh

Mellow Yellow King
3 years 8 months ago

A shortstop that can adequately defend (most of the time) and can’t hit? BRANDON CRAWFORD IS STILL UNDER TEAM CONTROL WE DON’T NEED TO PAY MORE FOR ANOTHER ONE.

sf55forlife
3 years 8 months ago

friggin guy never learns

Hazmat13
3 years 8 months ago

Why do people react to rumors like this? You act and talk like it’s a done deal. 99% of the rumors on this site never come true. Anything to bash Sabean right?

Guest
3 years 8 months ago

Given their ages, I really don’t see how Gonzalez is much of, or if he even is, an upgrade over Crawford. Crawford still has some offensive potential (granted not great potential) whereas Gonzalez is on the decline. Both are pretty good defensively but again, Crawford is getting better, Gonzalez is on the decline.

BaseballLogic_Braves
3 years 8 months ago

He’s really fun to watch field, but that’s about it. He’s very flashy

Mellow Yellow King
3 years 8 months ago

Sabean wanted to sign him years ago, but he wanted Alex’s career walk rate to dip below 5% first.

Jacob Viets
3 years 8 months ago

True but you can’t argue with how much more upside Crawford will have with a mentor such as Gonzalez.

Jacob Viets
3 years 8 months ago

Meant to post that as a reply to someone.

55saveslives
3 years 8 months ago

Wish we’d wait until after Dec. 12th! If someone like Ryan Theriot became available, he’d be a FAR better option.

jordan4giants
3 years 8 months ago

This is why I said yesterday, just keep the Kip for another year.

brstreet9
3 years 8 months ago

Be careful what you wish for, your team might end up with him…

bobskube
3 years 8 months ago

Says the guy who’s clearly never seen Ryan Theriot play baseball.

David Steele
3 years 8 months ago

He must be gritty

northsfbay
3 years 8 months ago

Some people like to complain. Let them complain.

Onetimeaccount
3 years 8 months ago

Not a fan of the new timestamps. I’ve changed my mind about the like/edit/reply button.

Will_Clarks_Gauchos
3 years 8 months ago

NOOOOOOOOOOO

Dem0nBear24
3 years 8 months ago

this makes us getting Jerry Hairston sound a whole lot better

theguy17
3 years 8 months ago

If it’s for under 2M and he splits time with Crawford, lefty/righty matchup thing, then I wouldn’t mind it.  Wait…  yeah I would.  He sucks.  I wonder if they could trade Affeldt, Ramirez, and a mid level prospect in the same deal for someone worth while.

SFrush90
3 years 8 months ago

If it was under 2M, it wouldn’t be that bad, but we all know it won’t be for that. Middle Infielders this offseason are getting more money than they’re worth. I can see Sabean giving him a 2yr/12M offer.

3 years 8 months ago

Short answer – no, they couldn’t.

theguy17
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah probably not.  By “worth while” I just meant someone better than Alex Gonzalez.  It’s probably going to be another frustrating year.

3 years 8 months ago

I think this would be a good move.  They’re obviously not going to sign Rollins or Reyes, so why not?  Solid defender with a little bit of pop, can platoon w/ Crawford.  The Giants lost last year b/c of a historically bad offense and a bad defense.  Shoring up the defense is a HUGE priority.  With Posey and Freddy Sanchez back, Belt playing every day, Melky, Sandoval…..an offensive stud at SS is not necessary (and is very rare).  All you Sabean haters keep hating, he’s only delivered 8 playoff appearances, 2 World Series, and a World Series championship.  Ya, pretty awful.

davcamp
3 years 8 months ago

Adam, I agree with you to a point – that being they are saving their money at SS to sign another outfielder with some pop.  I think they needed a vet to platoon with Crawford in case he doesn’t pan out.  I didn’t see much out there within a decent price range for a SS.  Hopefully they can trade some extra bullpen arms for an up and coming bat.  Note the word “hopefully.”

baybombers
3 years 8 months ago

yeah i agree with you, maybe trying to get willingham or beltran to play LF?

mmiller54
3 years 8 months ago

As a dbacks fan… Sabean is awesome.

3 years 8 months ago

Agreed!  Why, just 2 yrs ago he won a World Series.  Hope JJ Putz leads you to glory 😉 winky face

mmiller54
3 years 8 months ago

As a dbacks fan… Sabean is awesome.