Rumors involving the Giants headed up Tuesday at the winter meetings, as the Giants were linked to several players. But the most intriguing story is Marco Scutaro’s decision to remain in San Francisco.
Here’s the latest from Nashville:
Marco Scutaro and Giants Are In Agreement
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Giants and Scutaro are in an agreement on a three-year, $20 million contract with a physical pending. So with the signing, the Giants have kept the majority of their championship team intact with a few exceptions. Remember, Scutaro is 37-years-old which is why three years could pushing the tab for the Giants. Although, with reported interest from the Cardinals, the Giants had to do something bold to entice Scutaro.
After making a mere $22 million over his first nine seasons in the majors, Scutaro will make nearly that in a third of the time, and deservedly so.
Giants Won’t Aggressively Pursue Swisher
Originally, Swisher had been viewed as nothing more then a backup in case the Giants weren’t able to retain Angel Pagan—he would play left while Gregor Blanco would slide over to centerfield. With the signing complete, though, Swisher will still remain on the Giants’ radar, but they won’t “engage seriously,” tweets Andrew Baggarly.
Swisher, who is looking for a contract spanning at least four years and also told reporters that San Francisco is his preferred destination, may be too expensive for the Giants’ budget with Scutaro and Pagan already signed.
Also, according to Baggarly, they view him as a “big-ticket” free agent. So in other words, he falls in the Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke category. But if Swisher is forced to lower his demands due to a lack of interest, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Giants jump back in the sweepstakes.
Giants Talking To Ryan Theriot
Theriot’s free agent status has partially flown under the radar at the winter meetings for whatever reason. However, that trend seems to be changing, as Baggarly reports that the Giants are talking to him about a utility role. If San Francisco is incompetent to retain Theriot, however, Joaquin Arias will likely assume the primary utility role.
Focus Shifts Towards Finding a Pair for Gregor Blanco in Left Field
It’s pretty obvious that the Giants don’t have complete faith in Gregor Blanco to productively handle left field over a 162 game season. In the wake of that realization, Giants’ brass is in the midst of a search for a player who can platoon with him, specifically a right-handed bat. The names that have been mentioned to close that gap include Scott Hairston, Ben Francisco, and Reed Johnson. One common trait that all four of those players share is that they smash southpaws, which is precisely what the Giants are searching for here.
Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy’s Options Exercised
Perhaps the most “duh” move of the day is the fact that both Sabean’s and Bochy’s options have been exercised for the 2014 campaign. Bochy has been at the helm of the Giants since October of 2006, and has captured two championships with the organization. Meanwhile, Sabean is currently baseball’s longest tenured general manager, serving as San Francisco’s GM since 1996.
Larry Baer told reporters, including Baggarly, that the team will discuss extensions for the pair sometime next year. So there is your “duh” move of the day.
A Raise In the Payroll
Lastly, John Shea tweeted Monday that the Giants’ payroll will increase to the $140 million range.That would be a ten million increase on 2012’s total of roughly $130 million and should give the Giants a bit more flexibility to perhaps fill some minor holes, such as left field.
#SFGiants gave $78 million to Affeldt, Pagan and Scutaro. Last time meetings were in Nashville, they dropped $60 million on Rowand alone.
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) December 5, 2012