Monday, December 1st at 9 pm (pacific standard time) marks the deadline for teams to offer their free agents arbitration. There was already word out of Detroit early in the day that the Tigers would not be offering Edgar Renteria arbitration, meaning any team could sign him without forfeiting one of their top draft picks. This move comes as a surprise to few, as the Tigers bought Renteria out of his contract last month and it was pretty clear that his time in Detroit was over. Now the speculation should start flying again, as the Giants have supposedly already been exchanging contract proposals with the 33 year-old shortstop's representatives. The team is still expected to be in on Rafael Furcal, but as I stated in my last post, those chances seem to be dwindling by the day and now that Renteria is officially "free" coupled with the fact that Brian Sabean likes to strike quickly could mean that Renteria has moved onto the top of the Giants wish list of shortstops. I'm still not at all sold on Renteria and I still would rather see them put money into Furcal, as risky as that could be, than put big money into Renteria. Henry Schulman wrote an article in Monday's Chronicle saying that a Giants medical staff member told him that "Furcal would be risky" due to his back injury. What's to say Renteria won't be just as much a risk, either with in-effectiveness or injury? While back injuries are a concern, Furcal had played in at least 138 games in every season (since he became a regular) before 2008, so it's not as if injuries have haunted him throughout his career. Renteria is 2 years older than Furcal and he could go down at any time too. The only advantage he has going for him is that he wants less years and that's not a good reason to sign someone. Furcal is the better player, a bigger risk, but a superior player and I'd still rather see them sign him if the contract demands aren't too outrageous (3 yr. $37.5 million would be ideal).
The Giants will also be watching the Arizona Diamondbacks closely, as they decide what they are going to do with second baseman, Orlando Hudson, and reliever, Juan Cruz. The Giants could realistically have their middle infield set by the end of the week if Hudson isn't offered arbitration. If they sign Renteria, it would still leave them money left to pursue another player such as Hudson to help fill out their infield as he's been another player they've been linked to. I am weary of that as well because I could see Hudson's offensive game being eaten alive by AT&T Park. His splits show that he's clearly been aided by the "BOB" over his years with the D-Backs. Juan Cruz could be out of the Giants price range (Could be looking for 3 yr. $20 million deal/or to close), but he is the best set-up pitcher in free agency and they have also had their eye on him. Sabean has ignored the bullpen over the last couple of off-seasons and he may finally be realizing his mistake. He already added Jeremy Affeldt the day after free agents could sign, and landing Cruz would certainly make the Giants bullpen one of the tougher ones in the league. Remember, they already have their all-star closer in Brian Wilson and a few young set-up guys in Sergio Romo, Merkin Valdez, Alex Hinshaw and the newly signed Affeldt. Add a Juan Cruz and this group will be set.
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