The San Francisco Giants have already signed their two top targets of the offseason. Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro will be returning to AT&T Park next year, and while the Giants could still use a couple additions to their team, the big moves are done.
Seventy-eight million has been committed to Pagan, Scutaro and Jeremy Affeldt over the last month. After tendering contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players on the team, there isn't a whole lot of money to go around.
Needs include a left fielder to split time with Gregor Blanco and another right-handed reliever to fill out the bullpen. “Big-ticket items” like Nick Swisher and even less pricey options like Scott Hairston, are no longer on the radar.
However, San Francisco can add several cheaper players to round out their team and help defend their World Series title in 2013. Rumors have been scarce since Pagan and Scutaro were signed, but here are some potential free-agent targets.
Ben Francisco’s name was linked to the Giants during the Winter Meetings. While nothing new has come lately, the 31-year-old outfielder is still a possibility. John Shea tweeted that Francisco had 15 home runs in both 2008 and 2009.
He hasn’t been nearly as successful over the last couple years, but posted decent numbers against both right and left-handed pitchers in 2012. Francisco wouldn’t break the bank, giving the Giants more to spend on a reliever.
Matt Diaz is coming off an injury-plagued season and should be quite affordable. Before his season-ending surgery, Diaz’s stats were much better against lefties than right handers.
He has a career line of .324/.364/.498 against southpaws, so a platoon with Gregor Blanco could suit him well in San Francisco. He’s had several injury issues, but he could be a solid veteran pickup for the Giants if he manages to stay healthy.
The San Francisco Giants reportedly inquired on the right-handed reliever during the winter meetings. Lowe missed about six weeks last season due to injury, but posted a 3.63 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 88 games for Texas over two seasons.
San Francisco should be able to afford a contract with Lowe while also having money to spend on a left fielder.
Another former Ranger, now free-agent, Mike Adams would be a great addition to the San Francisco Giants’ bullpen. Adams consistently posts solid numbers each year. In 78 innings with Texas, he logged a 2.88 ERA with 70 strikeouts and a 1.231 ERA.
Adams said he has received offers (as tweeted by SI's Mel Antonen) from five different teams and will make a decision soon.
Jason Frasor is coming off one of his worst seasons, with a 4.12 ERA and his first trip to the disabled list in his professional career. Still, he posted his highest-ever strikeout rate— 10.9 SO/9—and has had an extremely durable career.
He may or may not return to Toronto, but at 35 and coming off a down year, Frasor could be a bargain for San Francisco.