The San Francisco Giants went through the first half of last season with a platoon at second base that consisted of the light-hitting Ryan Theriot and the non-hitting Emmanuel Burriss.
Theriot hit .270/.316/.321 in 384 plate appearances, and Burriss hit .213/.270/.221 in 150 plate appearances. They combined for just 17 doubles, one triple and no home runs.
The midseason acquisition of Marco Scutaro turned the position from a weakness into a giant strength. Scutaro hit .362/.385/.473 in 61 regular-season games after the trade, and .328/.377/.391 during the postseason. He earned NLCS MVP honors and delivered the game-winning hit during the clinching game of the World Series.
Burriss has been outrighted to Triple-A, while Scutaro and Theriot are both free agents. The Giants want to bring Scutaro back, but if he does get away, they'll have some other options in the free-agent market this winter. However, unlike the robust outfield market, the pickings are slim at second base.
If Scutaro leaves, the Giants can turn their attention to Japanese free agent Hiroyuki Nakajima, former Giant Jeff Keppinger or Kelly Johnson. Macier Izturis would have been a nice alternative, but he recently took himself off the market by signing with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Let's examine four of the remaining free-agent options at second base.