With the signings of Mark DeRosa and Juan Uribe over the last week or so, the [[San Francisco Giants}Giants]] have made their first adds of the winter, but there are still plenty of areas of need on the roster, and just about a month and a half left before spring training reporting dates.I didn't love the DeRosa signing by any stretch, but one positive about it is the flexibility he brings to the ballclub, which will allow Brian Sabean to pursue another Adam LaRoche. He's a real middle of the order type hitter, unlike the Bengie Molinas and Aaron Rowands the Giants have been forced to use the last few years. LaRoche would provide the Giants with power at first base that they haven't had since Will Clark, or those first couple of years with J.T. Snow. The good thing about the LaRoche situation is that he doesn't have a bunch of teams knocking down his door, as most of perennial contenders are all set at first base. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, the Seattle Mariners are the only other teams besides the Giants who have made an offer to LaRoche, so he is looking like a very realistic possibility for SF. If LaRoche ends up signing elsewhere, and the Marlins don't lower their demands for Dan Uggla, then Sabean could shift focus to the outfield, where there still plenty of options as well.
We haven't discussed the Giants' outfield options as much recently, with most of the free agent focus centering around corner infielders. There are still certainly some guys out there that could help upgrade the offense in San Francisco thought. Jermaine Dye and Johnny Damon are the two biggest names that have been linked to the Giants lately, although Damon is a Scott Boras client, and Sabean likes to avoid dealing with Boras when he can. Damon would make some sense in that he could lead off for this team and definitely help in upgrading the offense, but his defense in left field would leave a lot to be desired. His range and actual fielding abilities are fine, but his arm is about as bad as any outfielder's in the game today, one that would make Barry Bonds' look like a cannon. With that kind of arm, it's tough to keep runners on second base from scoring on base hits to left field. So, I think I'd try and avoid adding Damon if I were a national league GM. I just can't see him playing in the outfield 2 or 3 years from now.Dye may be a little more attractive to the Giants because of the likelihood that he'll take a 1-year deal and would provide 30 home-run potential to a lineup that sorely needs it. If he didn't hit just .190 with just 7 homers after the all-star break last season, he probably would have been Xavier Nady, but Nady iss another Boras client, and a guy who will probably want a 3-year deal. I don't think the Giants are enamored enough with any free agents from this class to offer anyone a 3 year deal, and if they do offer it to someone, it should be Adam LaRoche... The other two guys who I'd take a look at as maybe platoon possibilities are Jonny Gomes and Rick Ankiel. Both have power and can play the each corner outfield spot, with Ankiel able to play center as well. Gomes would be a nice right-handed platoon partner for Nate Schierholtz in right-field, and Ankiel could spell Rowand in center, and possibly share left field with Eugenio Velez.
Trevor Cole The Giants Baseball Blog