San Francisco Inks Aubrey Huff: Should Giants Fans Be Excited?

Andy BenschSenior Writer IJanuary 11, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 24:  Aubrey Huff  #19 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 24, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

According to, the San Francisco Giants have signed veteran first baseman Aubrey Huff to a one-year deal, pending a physical.

For a Giants fan base starved for some power, the Huff signing is something they can finally get excited about. Well, maybe.

Huff, who has spent time with Tampa Bay, Houston, Baltimore, and Detroit, just turned 33 last week and might be on the downward slope of his career.

The 10-year veteran hit just .241/.310/.384 last season while playing in 150 games with the Orioles and Tigers. Not exactly numbers to call home about.

However, in 2008 with Baltimore Huff hit .304/.360/.552 in 154 games including 32 homers and 108 RBI.

For his career, Huff has reached the 25-plus home run total three different times and the 90-plus RBI total four different times, including thrice over the 100 mark. A lifetime .282 hitter with an on-base percentage of .340 and slugging percentage of .472, Huff might be the answer to the Giants' offensive woes.

One of the roles Huff will most likely play is protecting budding superstar and cleanup hitter Pablo Sandoval. If the former Devil Ray can put together a season closer to his 2008 numbers, then the Giants' offense arguably should be productive enough to win the NL West.

However, a season like he had last season and the Giants could once again struggle as Huff's 2009 numbers might suggest he is closer to a left-handed version of Aaron Rowand than he is a 30 HR/100 RBI type player.

But if the newest Giant can perform in the 25 HR/90 RBI range then Giants GM Brian Sabean might finally get back on the good side of the majority of the fan base.

While Huff may not have the consistency of an Adam LaRoche, who reportedly turned down the Giants' two-year, $17 million offer, his career marks in home runs and RBI are higher than that of the current free-agent first-baseman.

And unlike some other free-agents, Huff's power numbers haven't necessarily decreased with age, his best two seasons in OPS came in 2003 and 2008. In 2003, in Tampa Bay, Huff registered an OPS of .922 and two years ago with Baltimore he finished with an OPS of .912.

Huff's career OPS mark of .812 is a welcomed fit on a Giants squad that saw just one of their projected 2010 starters reach the .800 OPS mark last season in Pablo Sandoval.

Being a one-year deal, it seems the perfect risk for the Giants to take to truly add some pop to their offense that won't break the bank.

For now, it might provide some excitement for the Giants fan base, but it wouldn't be all too surprising if come June that the fans are steaming about another season of unproductive offense.