With the signing of Miguel Tejada to a one-year deal (salary and bonus equaling $7M) the first question that comes to mind is: Why?
Don't get me wrong, I am all for signing Tejada, but why let Juan Uribe leave after winning a World Series with your team for the same exact amount of money?
Whether or not one will have a better year than the other is debatable and it seems like the biggest sticking point, for the second year in a row with Uribe, is the amount of years.
Tejada now has a one-year deal and Uribe has a three-year deal, although for the one common year between the two contracts (2011), they are making the same exact money. So why let a company man walk over two years?
Furthermore, Tejada is 36 years old right now and 37 when this contract will be up. Uribe is 31 right now and will be two years younger than Tejada is now when his contract expires.
So again, for similar quality players, the question remains. Why let Uribe walk for Tejada?
With rumors of Jason Bartlett's availability, that is still an option worth looking at and that's what I thought Giants GM Brian Sabean was up to.
Listening to Juan Uribe talk about the courting process of the LA Dodgers, however, makes one realize it was more the proactive approach the Dodgers took that got the deal done with Uribe, who, for the second straight year, was left out to market over length of contract by the San Francisco Giants.
The rival Dodgers showed interest in Uribe from day one and made him feel "very proud," and "very emotional," he said when describing the courtship of the Dodgers. Stephen Covey would be proud of the proactive approach the Dodgers are taking in this offseason and it is yielding results.
The Dodgers reportedly tried to lure away Aubrey Huff in the same manner and Huff accepted the Giants matching offer. This strategy went the opposite way with Uribe, who is all smiles in his new uniform.
So now what's done is done and the Giants made the right reactionary move in signing Tejada.
Still, with Tejada’s age and limited range, are they signing Tejada to play shortstop or third base? Putting a shortstop at third base worked in the playoffs beautifully. With Tejada's lack of range at short, he still possesses veteran hands and would be a brick wall at the hot corner.
This brings us back to Jason Bartlett, who at 31 years old is in the prime of his career at shortstop and is available for trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, who are looking to deal with a team with a deep bullpen.
Bringing in Bartlett is now an option again and he will also bring much-needed speed and defense to a notorious pitchers' park, not to mention a WAG that will surely make one of the lists on BleacherReport.com.
Is Bartlett even necessary, though, if Panda works out and returns to his form of two years ago and Mark DeRosa comes back and plays healthy this year? If Bartlett plays short, Tejada plays third, then where do you put these other guys?
One can imagine a defensive alignment in this case looking like this.
Then what happens if the Giants re-sign Cody Ross? Most likely Mark DeRosa goes to the bench as a utility player and Cody goes to left field.
What if Pat Burrell re-signs? He becomes our pinch hitter.
But, of course, if Sandoval spends the year in Triple-A, then there is room for everybody.
Based on the reality of the situation, signing Miguel Tejada was a swift, decisive and correct move for the World Champions that didn't cost them anything in a trade.
Trading for Bartlett using their bullpen depth would give the Giants long term security at shortstop, which is now needed, considering the moves made by the Dodgers getting Uribe and the Colorado Rockies signing Troy Tulowitski to a 10-year extension.
These two moves answer a lot of questions and give the Giants the same kind of veteran depth that they enjoyed in their championship run.
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