The deals that have already been made:
* Willie Bloomquist: two years, $3.8M, signed with Arizona Diamondbacks
* Mark Ellis: two years, $8.75M, signed with Los Angeles Dodgers
* Jamey Carroll: two years, $6.75M, signed with Minnesota Twins
Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins are obviously still the top free agents to get if you need help at shortstop, but even third level guys like Bloomquist are getting paid. Heck, even Mark Ellis secured a two year deal and $8.75M from the Dodgers. You might say, “LOL Dodgers” and I wouldn’t disagree with you (thanks, secret agent Ned), but the point is clear: anyone that can play the middle infield is getting paid right now.
Guys that would normally settle for a one year deal (Ellis, Carroll) are getting two years; guys that would normally be Spring Training invites (Bloomquist) are getting secured contracts to play baseball; and, guys like Clint Barmes and Rafael Furcal – the somewhat interesting, slightly injured, stopgap-ish, warty options – are looking like sure bets to get two years.
We know for a fact that shortstop was a huge problem for the 2011 Giants team. Giants’ shortstops hit nearly 40% worse than league average, they played terrible defense (not you, Brandon), and were depressingly awful as a collective. I’m still skeptical of Brandon Crawford’s ability to hit, but every passing day that we see middle infielders get secured two year deals, I start to warm up to the idea of him starting the year at short. Call it perspective if you will.
I can honestly say that I don’t envy Brian Sabean’s job right now. And as much as I’d love to dream about Jose Reyes in San Francisco, it’s just not going to happen. Whether or not it should is a topic for another post.
Bonus thought: the more I look at the state of shortstop in baseball (and as I’m working on the BCB prospect list), the more I think that Ehire Adrizana is a top five prospect for me. It’s an aggressive ranking, but I think one that’s warranted.