Stay right here at ProSportsBlogging.com all winter long for regular reads on all topics Orange And Black—from a fellow who didn’t suddenly develop an allegiance to the team at the end of play on October 3rd. The season may be through, but I’m far from it. Transactions, injury reports, winter leagues, interview summaries—yes, they’ll be predominantly featured and analyzed in depth, but count on several special (even unconventional) articles meant to amuse, entertain, and thought-provoke.
I promise you will like them…or your money back.
KNBR 680, the Giants’ flagship radio station, has brought in some heavy hitters (no pun intended) for conversation during the past week, even though we’re nearly a month into the brief offseason. On November 19, Hall-of-Famer-to-be Jeff Kent spoke with The Razor & Mr. T (former Golden State Warrior Tom Tolbert, for you non-locals), expressing pleasure at the banning of amphetamines (aka “greenies”) from baseball. Later in the week, Travis Ishikawa visited Sportsphone and, after discussing the high of winning the World Series—and his own nervous nausea prior to Game 5—triggered an impromptu call-in session (my call was not taken).
Finally, Aubrey Huff, fresh off re-signing with the Giants as will be detailed below, was in studio Tuesday afternoon. Like his late-inning replacement, Huff took calls, and also advised listeners that Madison Bumgarner “isn’t somebody you wanna run into in a back alley…he’s not afraid of anything.”
(I will credit my sources KNBR, ESPN, espn.com, kffl.com, and Sports Weekly in advance)
Excluding the AT&T Park annual debt, the Giants have $84.5 million in committed money for 2011—$13 million (M) for Tim Lincecum, $7M for Matt Cain, $18.5M for Barry Zito, $12M for Aaron Rowand, $6.5M for Brian Wilson, $11M for the freshly re-signed Huff, $6M for Freddy Sanchez, $6M for Mark DeRosa, and $4.5M for Jeremy Affeldt—as of this date.
That’s 9 players. Ouch.
Larry Baer has been quoted (in the Sporting News) as saying the payroll will go up from 2010’s $99.7M…a little, and that they’ll try to preserve as much of the roster as they can. He and Brian Sabean will face the task of filling 16 open roster spots for about $16 to, I’m guessing, $21 million or so.
Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez, Andres Torres, Chris Ray, Mike Fontenot and Jon Sanchez are all arbitration-eligible, by the way. Ramirez or Ray would be expendable (but not both), but Torres, Sanchez and Lopez are in position to receive sweet raises. Especially Torres, in his first year of eligibility. I seriously doubt the Giants would turn the CF keys back over to Rowand just to save money…but it wouldn’t shock me if Torres were non-tendered, either. Time heals all wounds and it’ll also inform all roster moves.
There are Giants and ex-Giants spattered all over the Caribbean Leagues—on the Dominican League’s Gigantes del Cibao roster, you will find current Giant Emmanuel Burriss, and prospects Francisco Peguero and Kevin Pucetas. Angel Berroa, former A.L. Rookie of the Year who passed through AAA Fresno in 2010, is there, as is Alberto Castillo, famous for cracking a grand slam for the G-Men in 2003. Another brief ex-Giant, Jose Capellan, pitches for the team—a team managed by Felix Fermin, who was once swapped from Cleveland to Seattle straight up for future Giant Omar Vizquel after the 1993 season.
For the Tigres Del Licey toils reliever Denny Bautista, who got in some games for the Giants in 2010. He’s joined by ex-Giants Manny Aybar (2002-2003) and Felix Rodriguez (1999-2004) on the pitching staff. Juan Melo, a September 2000 greenhorn who never played MLB before or since, is on the roster, as is Everth Cabrera, famous for being the final out of Jon Sanchez’ no-hitter vs. San Diego in 2009. (Cooperstown-bound Pedro Martinez and his ex-Expo rotation mate Carlos Perez are notable teammates.)
Osiris Matos, who spent parts of 2008-2009 with SF and is still on the 40-man roster, hurls for the Toros Del Este, alongside a name we Giants fans prefer to forget—Armando “I did my job” Benitez.
Over in the Mexican League, you’ll find Alex Hinshaw, who like Matos spent parts of 2008-2009 with SF and remains on the 40-man roster, and Ben Copeland (a 4th-rounder in ’05) on the Aguilas de Mexicali…Travis Blackley, a pitcher acquired form Seattle for Jason Ellison a few years back who never played above AAA for SF, is with the Naranjeros de Hermosillo…Geno Espenelli, lefty reliever back in 2008, and the executer of “the worst baserunning in the history of the game” Ruben Rivera play for the Venados de Mazatlan…Doug Clark, greenhorn outfielder in 2005, represents the Yaquis de Obregon.
And that’s not even counting Puerto Rico and Venezuela!
While one 2010 Giant, Huff, punched his return ticket to the 2011 team, another one sailed away. Waldis Joaquin, the hard-throwing lefty who opened 2010 with the Giants but quickly pitched his way back into AAA, is now a White Sock. Demoted from the 40-man roster was OF Brett Pill, a 2006 7th-rounder who plays the wrong position to advance in San Fran right now (1B). Joining said roster are pitchers Jose Casilla (Santiago’s little bro who signed in ‘06) Steve Edlefsen (a 16th-rounder in ‘07) and Clayton Tanner (a 3rd-rounder in ‘06); all three were All-Stars in their respective minor leagues. Earlier in the week IF Ehire Adrianza (an ‘06 signee) and Thomas Neal (a 36th-rounder in ‘05) were added to the 40-manner as well.
These moves are typically made because minor leaguers have only so much time (usually about 3-4 years) after their signing to be added to the 40-man roster or left unprotected in the Rule V Draft, in which any club may swipe him—so long as they’re willing to keep him on their 25-man roster the entire following season.
We’ll be talking again in a few days. This Thursday, when you’re done stuffing your face with grub from a hot stove, stuff your brain with info from baseball’s Hot Stove here at ProSportsBlogging.com. (No, they did not tell me to say that.) JD
About the Author
Written by Joseph Davis
I've been a Giants' fan since 1990; I still remember my first game at Candlestick as if it were yesterday (Robby Thompson homered and the Giants downed Houston 7-3). Pushed for us to get that elusive championship and at last we GOT IT! You can see me on the softball field every week sporting my orange and black, and I'm raising my little girl to not follow in her A's-fan-mom's footsteps!