Last but not least, the Giants conclude our Offseason In Review series.
Major League Signings
- Mark DeRosa, IF/OF: two years, $12MM.
- Freddy Sanchez, 2B: two years, $12MM.
- Bengie Molina, C: one year, $4.5MM.
- Juan Uribe, IF: one year, $3.25MM.
- Aubrey Huff, 1B: one year, $3MM.
- Total spend: $34.75MM.
Notable Minor League Signings
- Matt Cain, SP: three years, $27.25MM.
- Tim Lincecum, SP: two years, $23MM.
- Brian Wilson, RP: two years, $15MM.
- Jeremy Affeldt, RP: two years, $9.5MM. Includes $5MM club option for 2012 with a $500K buyout.
Trades and Claims
- Claimed Rule 5 P Steven Johnson from Orioles; returned 3/16/10
- Acquired cash considerations from Blue Jays for P Merkin Valdez
- Acquired a player to be named later or cash from Red Sox for IF Kevin Frandsen
- Randy Winn, Rich Aurilia, Randy Johnson, Bob Howry, Justin Miller, Brad Penny, Brian Bocock, Merkin Valdez, Noah Lowry
Giants GM Brian Sabean signed five position players to free agent contracts and extended four of his own pitchers. Let's evaluate.
Sabean spent $34.75MM to secure DeRosa, Sanchez, Molina, Uribe, and Huff. These five players combined for an offensive line of .266/.313/.431 in 2009. Sabean has crafted a lineup with only one dangerous hitter in Pablo Sandoval; CHONE projections indicate that the Giants will again have one of the four worst offenses in the league. The Uribe signing was defensible. Molina wasn't terribly overpriced, though a combination of Buster Posey and a cheaper veteran would've offered more upside. DeRosa, Sanchez, and Huff will need to stay healthy and exceed their '09 production to justify the signings.
Pitching should again be a strong suit. Wellemeyer and Mota were decent minor league pickups. Sabean did well to secure Lincecum through 2011 and avoid an arbitration hearing. The Cain extension saved the Giants a little money in the short term, guaranteed his 2011 salary, and bought out one free agent year, potentially a win for both sides. Sabean exchanged risk for cost certainty on Wilson, and can retain Affeldt for an extra year or two. All four extensions made sense, and the Giants have a clearer picture of their payroll for the next few years.
As much as I like the Giants' pitching, I don't think it will be enough to carry them past the Rockies and Dodgers to the playoffs. The Giants haven't scored 700 runs in a season since Barry Bonds, Ray Durham, and Moises Alou led the way in '06. Sabean's offseason tinkering doesn't convince me they'll reach that modest level in 2010.