San Francisco Giants Rumor Mill: Is Miguel Tejada The Answer at Short?

Brian WinettCorrespondent IIINovember 28, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 02:  Miguel Tejada #10 of the San Diego Padres turns a double play as Mike Fontenot #14 of the San Francisco Giants slides in to second base at AT&T Park on October 2, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants are looking to rebuild the left side of their infield after winning the world series with a combo of Edgar Renteria at short and Juan Uribe at third base.

This duo led the Giants with a series winning solo homer over the Phillies in game six on the road by Uribe in the NLCS and a three run shot by Renteria in the heart of self-proclaimed 'God's Country' to win the World Series.

Renteria was under contract with a team option for 2011 and was due to make over $10M. Even though Renteria won the World Series with one shot, his health concerns and overall durability over a 162 game season is highly questionable. So the Giants smartly elected to pay off the $500K that declines the option and ends the contract, as the Giants needed that money to keep Aubrey Huff, who just signed on for another 2-3 years and is making Renteria's old salary.

It would be great to sign Renteria on as a role player that is more appropriate for the Giants' budget. Clutch players like him are evidently worth their weight in gold come championship time. That's probably not an option though as Renteria has publicly stated he wants to end his career in either St. Louis or Florida.

Uribe on the other hand is younger, nearly as clutch, a club favorite (U-Ribe!), and with Renteria at short, that whole left side was shut down to right handed bats trying to find a hole.  

Uribe is a free agent and was offered type B arbitration by the San Francisco Giants. This means if another team signs Uribe, the Giants are at least compensated with a draft pick from the signing team. This move was made in an attempt to protect Uribe from other clubs while getting the price for Uribe the Giants are willing to pay; $5.5M-$6M.

Then the Giants' rival Los Angeles Dodgers entered the picture and are courting Uribe to fill their own holes with oft injured short stop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Casey Blake contract ending after this season.

When a lesser known Juan Uribe left the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox to take more money in San Francisco, White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen said that he will be your (team's) best shortstop, your best second baseman, you best third baseman. Guillen was right as Juan Uribe has contributed as much as anyone to the Giants over the years.

So if Uribe goes because the Dodgers outbid the Giants, then the Giants are left with a glaring hole or two that will be filled with either free agency or by trade or both.

This is where Miguel Tejada comes in and a return to the Bay Area is the perfect fit for the veteran batsman. Tejada is a veteran plate presence who works counts and gets timely hits. Last season, he was one of the better players for the Padres late in the season against the Giants. A bat like his in the lineup has ripple effects on an entire lineup.

He is a solid infielder and still makes great plays at shortstop. If the Giants decide to trade for a shortstop like Jason Bartlett, then Tejada could shift to third as Bruce Bochy demonstrated last season how important it is to have a flexible lineup that can match up against different sorts of teams.

Lastly, Tejada is an iron man. He's available to play every game from spring to winter year in and year out and Tejada will provide the consistency that was missing from Edgar Renteria, while providing the flexibility and pop that will be missed if Uribe leaves.

This is really the only area of the team where the Giants are in rebuilding mode. Making the right decisions at short stop and third base will make the Giants a better team than they were last year. Miguel Tejada is a step in that direction