Yesterday was the deadline for clubs to offer arbitration to their free agent players. This is interesting for a couple of reasons but the most important reason is that it might help us narrow the scope of free agents that the Giants intend to pursue. Brian Sabean said earlier in the offseason that the compensation status of free agents would be a deciding factor in free agent signings.
I’ve compiled a short list of free agents whom the Giants might be interested in. The list includes their position, FA type, and arb-status.
You’ll notice that our list is composed of mostly relievers, a few middle infielders, and a couple of power-type hitters that might be able to squeeze in at first base. Note that I’m not saying the Giants should sign any of these players, but they are players that the team could have some interest in.
Juan Cruz was linked to the Giants earlier in the offseason but his Type A status should scare the team off. Wood, Howry, and Beimel should be more appealing to the Giants since they were not offered arbitration. I really don’t like Brandon Lyon but his Type B status shouldn’t scare off the Giants. If the Giants signed a Type B player they don’t lose a pick, but the team — Arizona in this case — would get a supplemental pick between the 1st and 2nd round.
You also might be able to see how the middle infield is shaping up now that Orlando Hudson has been offered arbitration. As a Type A free agent, the Giants would lose their 2nd round draft pick to sign Hudson. The same goes for Orlando Cabrera. Does anyone like him? Cabrera offers little upside and his Type A status makes him a non-buy for me. In the end, the Tigers chose not to offer arbitration to Edgar Renteria. Renteria is definitely the Giants #2 choice for shortstop right now, his arb-status made things a little easier.
I was very surprised to see Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell not get arbitration offers — is the economy tougher on some teams than we think? I think on our list of players, Dunn could be the most interesting if he would take up a first baseman’s glove. The market for Dunn, to this point, has been very quiet and I’m wondering if he wouldn’t settle for a 3-year deal? His defense is awful in LF but it might not be as bad at first base. If it’s one thing Dunn can do, it’s hit. His wOBA’s from 2004-2008 are: .403, .391, .365, .399, and .383. That’s steady production and if a team can find some way to offset his negative value on defense, that team could find a bargain. Is he really this undervalued? Hating baseball aside, he’s been a very good hitter during his time in the majors.
Wanted to share this link, R.J. Anderson of Beyond the Boxscore has a really cool piece on Barry Bonds and Tedd Williams. A very nice read and it turns out that Bonds was brain-meltingly-good.
Also, one more news item today as the 2009 Hall of Fame Ballots were released. Ricky Henderson is the obvious choice for this years class of players, but former Giant Matt Williams also made the list this year. Williams, always a favorite of mine, spent 1987-1996 with the Giants. He’s probably most remembered for his 1994 season in which he hit 43 HR’s in the strike-shortened season. During his time with the Giants, Williams hit: .264/.312/.498 with 247 home runs. He was a four time All-Star with the Giants in 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996. Williams could hit but he could also field his position quite well. He won the Gold Glove Award three times with the Giants in 1991, 1993, and 1994.
In reality, Williams doesn’t deserve a spot in the Hall, but he was a heck of a Giant. I never got used to seeing him in those ugly pin-striped Diamondback uniforms.