Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Giants are hoping for a big year from Aubrey Huff
The San Francisco Giants have five players who can play first base. Aubrey Huff was the 2011 starter and a hero from the 2010 World Series team. In addition to Huff, the Giants have Brandon Belt, who is the heir apparent to Huff.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval can play first base, as can catcher Buster Posey. In fact, the Giants have stated that Posey will play a significant number of games at first this year, as they carefully watch his surgically-repaired ankle.
Brett Pill is another first baseman who may make the team. He is 27 years old with a solid bat. Pill had his first Major League Baseball action as a September call-up, last season.
With five players who can play first base, it would make sense for the Giants to consider moving one of them.
The Giants are unlikely to move Posey, Belt or Sandoval, so the trade bait could come in the form of Huff or Pill. Huff has $12 million remaining on his contract, so it's very unlikely that another team will be all that interested in him.
Pill, on the other hand, could be a decent bargaining chip. He had a monster season at Triple-A Fresno. Pill hit .312 with 25 home runs and 107 RBI, prior to his late-season call-up. Once in San Francisco, in only 50 at-bats, Pill hit .300 with two home runs and nine RBI.
Pill is only adequate defensively, at best. He is someone who could also be a fit for an American League team as a DH.
Although I am a fan of Pill, the Giants would be well served to acquire a fifth outfielder or a back-end-of-the-rotation starter. I do not expect Barry Zito to last through the All-Star break as the fifth starter. I expect injury or ineffectiveness to derail him.
Eric Surkamp is the next option as a fifth starter, but he is far from a proven commodity. He has started only six games in the majors. Surkamp started off well in his first couple starts but struggled in his last two or three outings.
I think it would be extremely valuable to have a veteran who could step in if Zito or Surkamp do not throw well.