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I'm not really too concerned with this signing for the simple fact it is a minor league deal and having a guy like Uribe in Fresno as insurance isn't a bad thing at all. Now that would change if Uribe ends up taking at-bats away from the younger infielders like Kevin Frandsen, Emmanuel Burriss, Eugenio Velez, or Travis Ishikawa, the players that need to be getting the looks. Also, the Uribe signing likely means the Giants won't bring back the popular Rich Aurilia, there is still a possibility that they'll add another third or first basemen (Joe Crede worked out in AZ yesterday) who they would plan on having start.
The fear I have is that Uribe was signed in mind of having him battle for a starting job rather than an insurance policy, a lot like Jose Castillo was last spring before he ended up at third everyday. Burriss, Frandsen, and Velez should be battling it out for at-bats at second base and unless Uribe's spring blows the others away, he should stay behind those guys on the depth chart. Any playing time, or roster spot that Uribe receives must be earned. Sure, he has the power potential to lead the infield in home runs, but that doesn't help a whole lot if he's hitting .225 and getting on base at less then a 30% rate. If the plan is indeed to stash Uribe down in Fresno until needed than I have no qualms with this move and can actually see the logic in it. The Giants don't have many infielders outside of the guys who are going to be on the roster that are major league ready and could come up and take the place of an infielder if someone goes down.Rumor Note: I'm not sure how seriously to take this one, but according to Ken Rosenthal, the Giants have shown interest in Bobby Abreu as a potential fall-back to Manny Ramirez. It's a little unclear why the Fred Lewis, Randy Winn?) as they could possibly package an outfielder and a pitcher for a young corner infielder, then replace the traded outfielder with Abreu. I highly doubt this rumor has any merit to it, but it's worthy of keeping an eye on.
Published @ The San Francisco Giants Blog