Baseball America has a list up of all the available minor league free agents. A minor league free agent is able to sign with any team he likes.
The Giants have a total of 20 minor league free agents. Here’s what the list looks like:
San Francisco Giants (20)
Righthanders: Jesse Foppert, Dan Giese, Carlos Hines, Sun Woo Kim, Matt Kinney
Lefthanders: Ricardo Rincon, Jason Waddell
Catchers: Stephen Holm, Justin Knoedler
First basemen: Lance Niekro, Randy Ruiz, Tyler Von Schell
Second basemen: William Bergolla, Derin McMains, Lorenzo Mercado
Third basemen: Julio Cordido, Justin Leone
Shortstops: Tomas de la Rosa, Ivan Ochoa
Outfielder: Carlos Sosa
Not really much there. I’d hate to lose Knoedler but other than him, I can’t imagine getting upset over losing any of these guys.
Who should the Giants look to sign from the minor league free agent list? I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on Erubiel Durazo but my favorite minor league free agent is Tagg Bozied. Why should the Giants be interested in Tagg?
1. We need more players with cool names like ‘Tagg Bozied’. Losing Boof Bonser a few years ago really hurt the cool name depth that the Giants had. Tagg has an awesome name that just sounds like it was born for baseball.
2. On a more serious note, Tagg is a first baseman that can hit for power. He’s always had huge power potential – he once hit 12 HR’s in the AFL in 2005 – and the Giants don’t have any legit prospects in AAA that can play first base. His career minor league line of (.275/.345/.484) doesn’t look so bad. He’s been compared to Russell Branyan before by scouts. He has hit for a better batting average, but Branyan’s career minor league OBP and SLG surpass Bozied.
3. Bozied has had trouble staying healthy over the last few years. In 2004 he ruptured a knee tendon while celebrating a walk-off grand slam. He played 26 games in 2005 and in 2006 he played 60 games. I assume that his recovery from his knee injury was slow. But, he seems to be healthy again and hitting well. In 2007 he played in 130 games for the Cardinals AAA affiliate while hitting (.264/.349/.490) with 24 HR’s, 26 2B’s, and 2 3B’s. The fact that Bozied played in 130 games this year bodes well for his health.
4. He’s only 27 years old. He should be entering his prime as a baseball player and because of his age it makes him a much more attractive option than someone like a Durazo. AT&T Park shouldn’t hurt Bozied that much either, being as he’s a RHH with good power.
5. Maybe one of the most important points, is that the Giants have a big hole to fill at first base with Klesko most likely not coming back and Aurilia no longer an option to start at first base. The Giants should be appealing to a player like Tagg Bozied, a team where he could get a chance to start in the majors. The Giants could invite Bozied to Spring Training with the promise to compete for the first base position. He’s a good potential buy low, high reward type player.
Tagg Bozied is a perfect candidate for the Giants. Low cost? Check. Could potentially fill a need? Check. And most importantly of all, has a cool name? Double-check.