With the Giants' pitchers and catchers ready to break for spring training in 9 short days and no Giant news to report on (besides the steroid debacle), I figured now would be a decent time to recap the offseason, although there wasn't much movement on the Giants' front:
Aaron Rowand takes Bonds' spot in the lineup and in the outfield, which helps this team's defense significantly, but losing Bonds' bat and not adequately replacing it will have this team struggling to score runs, even more so than last year. As for Feliz and Klesko, both are very replaceable and neither were high priorities for the club at the end of the year. Feliz was in talks with the Giants for most of the winter, but the sides never seemed to get to close on anything. Losing Feliz and Klesko means a lot more ab's for Rich Aurilia, Kevin Frandsen, and Dan Ortmeier, which is a good thing. The loss of Bonds and Feliz will probably lead to the Giants being one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, but having them on this team wouldn't have made much of a difference anyway. The team still could add Joe Crede, a proven 3rd base commodity, before opening day, but Crede is best suited to hit 6th or 7th in a lineup so expecting him to be the cleanup hitter this team lacks wouldn't be accurate. That said, I still think Crede would make sense for the Giants but not if they have to part with any promising pitchers.
The Giants didn't do much to address their abysmal offense from a year ago, but there weren't many opportunities to do so. There were however, a surplus of free agent relievers that would have instantly helped this team. Masahide Kobayashi (2 yr. $6.5), David Riske (3 yr. $13), Luis Vizcaino (2 yr. $7.5), and Scott Linebrink (4 yr. $19) would have all fit in well as late inning relievers with the Giants, and all signed very reasonable contracts. It continues to amaze me at just how much Brian Sabean ignores the bullpen. They have been below the league average for about 3 years now, and Sabean continues to try and build the bullpen from within. Brad Hennessey, Brian Wilson, and possibly Tyler Walker are the only guys who I would have confidence in handing the ball to late in a close game. The pen, as a whole, finished strong last season after Brian Wilson took over closing duties and Tyler Walker returned from surgery, but they still could use some reinforcement. As much as I like how Bruce Bochy wants to infuse this team with a warrior mentality, they still need talent to win. Right now they don't have much of it in their bullpen and even less in their everyday lineup.
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