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It's been a couple of weeks since the start of free agency filing, and the Giants apparently are wasting no time making contact with potential help for their ball-club. The team is apparently interested in free agent Johnny Damon, and have had talks with the Marlins about a potential Dan Uggla trade.
The Giants have been interested in Uggla, it seems, for the better part of the last two years. The Marlins are always looking for ways to cut payroll if they can, and Uggla is entering the expensive phase of his career. He's got 2 more years of arbitration left  and then will be a free agent after the 2011 season. The Giants desperately want and need his power, but they'd need to do some shifting in the infield if they were indeed going to make a major play for Uggla. Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that Uggla doesn't want to change positions if he's dealt, which means the Giants would have to move Freddy Sanchez to the hot-corner, while placing Pablo Sandoval over at first full-time. Although, I would have my questions about how that infield set-up would play defensively. Uggla isn't a very mobile second basemen, and Edgar Renteria is declining quickly, so they'd lack range up the middle. I think Sanchez would be OK at third base, he's played there for long stretches of time at few different points in his career and handled it well. I also think Sandoval would be a fine first basemen full-time, although he doesn't have ideal size for the position. I also wonder what the Marlins would want for Uggla. I think the Giants may be able to start a package around Jonathan Sanchez, but the Marlins would probably want a young positional prospect as well, possibly Emmanuel Burris. We'll definitely keep our eye on the Giants/Marlins discussions over the next few weeks to see if anything becomes serious.
On the Johnny Damon front, I haven't seen too much out there that links him to San Francisco, but KNBR did report over the week that the Giants have interest and plan to speak with Damon's agent. The Damon report kind of had me scratching my head a little bit. I don't know  why the Giants would want to spend big dollars on a 36 year-old outfielder who hits left-handed and doesn't posses the type of power they're seeking. Don't get me wrong, Damon is a fine player, and would definitely help any team that he lands on, but if this Giants team is planning on spending big money on an outfielder, why not just go all the way and get Matt Holliday? So take the Damon rumor with a grain of salt, because I'm hoping Sabean won't continue to make the same mistakes. In this free agent market, the only outfielder the Giants should be considering giving multi-years to is Matt Holliday. Jason Bay was really struggling for Pittsburgh before being dealt to Boston, and I just don't think he'd be a good fit back in the NL in the spacious AT&T Park. Holliday knows this division all to well, and no, I don't think a dropped line drive in the NLCS vs. the Dodgers last month should detour the Giants from pursuing the .318 lifetime hitter who's averaged 30 homers and 110 RBI over the last 4 seasons and hasn't even had his 30th birthday yet.
Note: Angel Villalona has had his US Visa taken away by Domincan Republic officials and won't be allowed to join the Giants even if he does avoid prison. This situation continues to look worse and worse for the 19 year-old, but we'll keep an eye on it and relay any new info as it comes.
Trevor Cole The Giants Baseball Blog