I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. My body is still drowsy from all the food I ate — I gained 5lbs in one day, awesome or gross, you decide — and I couldn’t think of any better way to mail in a post than by just sharing a few links of Giants-related news from around the Internet. Let’s get started.
~ Today is the last day for teams to offer arbitration to their arbitration eligible (e: free agent) players. The Giants shouldn’t have any big arb-decisions to make today, as LHP Jack Taschner is their only arb-eligible player. Special Agent Jack Taschner made the league minimum in 2008 but he still hasn’t put together a relief season that the Giants would love to have. His FIP’s — 5.68, 4.04, and 4.49 — over the last several years aren’t inspiring and I would rate Hinshaw and Affeldt in front of him as lefty bullpen options. The Giants might stick with Taschner for another year but he hasn’t shown many reasons why they should.
Edit: I had my dates mixed up, the Giants won’t have to decide to offer arbitration to Taschner until Dec. 12th. Today is the deadline for free agent players. You can find a schedule of important offseason dates, here.
~ Speaking of arbitration, it’s speculative, but the feel coming out of Detroit is that the Tigers will not offer arbitration to SS Edgar Renteria despite the multi-year contract rumor popping up last week. The juicy quote from the MLB.com article is:
Though the Tigers hadn’t formally closed the door on re-signing Renteria, they have shown virtually no interest in bringing him back, focusing instead on the alternatives on the trade and free-agent markets. By contrast, Renteria has said more than once that he would like to return to Detroit and play up to his capability after a disappointing 2008 season.
There is probably too much salary at risk to offer Renteria arbitration but the Tigers might consider it. It probably depends on how real they think the Giants multi-year contract was. Renteria is a type A free agent, so if he’s not offered arbitration, the Giants would not lose a 2nd rounder to sign him. In addition to Renteria, FA RHP Bob Howry of the Cubs — he’s also a type A free agent — has probably drawn some interest from the Giants. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that it’s “doubtful” that the Cubs will offer Howry arbitration, making him much more attractive as a free agent bullpen piece. Brian Sabean has said that draft compensation will play a role in free agent signings and if he holds true to his word, both Renteria and Howry will become more appealing if they enter the market without compensation stipulations.
~ Baseball America’s John Manuel has posted his Top 20 Prospect List for the HWB. Buster Posey comes in as the #1 HWB prospect and fellow Giants prospect, Roger Kieschnik, finished at #10. The scouting reports for the Top 20 are subscriber only, but scouts were impressed by Posey’s growth behind the plate during the HWB. Noted was that Posey was catching pitches like cutters for the first time. Roger K. got good marks for his impressive power but scouts noticed that more advanced pitchers took advantage of his over-aggressiveness and the holes in his swing. Kieschnick led the leage in strikeouts with 46.
~ The results are in! Tom Tango has released the results for this year’s Fan Scouting Report. The top three position neutral defenders on the Giants? Omar, Winn, and Bocock. That seems reasonable. The bottom three? Bowker, Durham, and Castillo. Each fielding trait is set to a league average of “50″ with a standard deviation being equal to 20 points. Eugenio Velez’ hands trait rated as a “4″ meaning that he was 2 full standard deviations below league average. He’s a speedy DH!*
*Without the ability to hit very well.