The Giants made their second official signing of the offseason on Wednesday morning signing reliever Bob Howry to a 1 year, $2.75 million deal. Howry gives the Giants another veteran reliever who can handle the pressure of the 7th and 8th innings, but he wasn't the most ideal choice out there. Of course there is always that other free agent that I personally would have liked to see them sign and in this case it was Kyle Farnsworth. Although Farnsworth is coming off of a subpar year with the struggling Yankees, he has always seemed to pitch better in the NL and I could have seen him returning to dominance in a spacious park like AT&T. However, Farnsworth wouldn't have taken a 1 year deal like Howry did so he was likely never even an option. Howry isn't bad, but he had a big fall off last season and although relievers do rebound, his age makes it unlikely that he's got any of those low 3 era seasons left in him. That said, I do expect him t come in and be steady. He's not going to rival anyone as the top set-up man in league, but he should get his era back into the mid-low 4's and his WHIP back below 1.4, at least. Overall I give this signing a flat C for the move. Howry is declining, but Sabean got him on a relatively cheap contract for one year and Howry should be fine for one summer. Not great, but hopefully better than Tyler Walker and more consistent than guys like Billy Sadler and Osiris Matos. With this signing, it also now shifts the Giants main focus to adding some hitters as they get set to head to Vegas for the Winter Meetings.
One of those potential hitting targets surfaced for the first time Wednesday. Yahoo Sports published this article earlier today saying that it was basically a matter of time before Edgar Renteria officially joins the Giants, which isn't a surprise to anyone. What was a little bit of a surprise though was that it discussed a new rumor, one that had the Giants potentially sending Jonathon Sanchez to Florida for Jorge Cantu. I would like to think that Sanchez has more return value than just Cantu so if that's all he's commanding, I'd just assume keep him another year and watch his trade value rise even higher. Cantu isn't a bad player, but common, the dude was signed to a minor league deal less than nine months ago. Even after his breakout last season, I'd still approach him with caution and never would I part with a promising young left-handed power starter to get Jorge Cantu. The dude is basically a slightly better hitting version of Pedro Feliz, but nowhere near the defender. He'll hit a few more home runs and drive in a few more runs than Feliz, but his OBP is nearly as abysmal as evident by his .808 OPS posted last season. An .808 OPS in itself isn't bad, but if the player hit 29 home runs and had 41 doubles, you'd expect to see it closer to .900. Also, the fact that Cantu can't touch Feliz defensively evens them out and to me they are an identical player (team value wise). If Sabes is targeting Marlins, sweeten the pot a little and go for Uggla. He's a year older than Cantu, but his career averages show he's a much safer bet to continue hitting 30 hr's and driving in 90 runs per.
I'm not saying that I wouldn't take Cantu at third on this team right now though. He's better than what they currently have and nobody on this team came close to his 29 home runs last season. One deal I would consider would be Merkin Valdez for Cantu. Valdez (1.69 era, 13 k's in 16 IP before injury) could provide a closing option for Florida who just dealt Kevin Gregg, so that may be something both parties would consider.
Article originally posted on The Giants Baseball Blog http://giantsbaseballblog.blogspot.com/