San Francisco Giants: 6 Players They Will Be Attached to in Rumors
MLB free agency 2011-2012 begins as the clock strikes midnight on the East Coast and Thursday November 3, 2011 is ushered in. Most likely there will not be a flurry of activity right away but we will begin to get a true understanding of different teams' strategies for improving their rosters through free agency.
As tight lipped as GM's like to be about their interactions, agents like to be equally vocal. General managers don't want their intentions getting out, hindering their negotiating ability and agents want the most teams possible interested in their player to improve their negotiating stance. Because of this dynamic, we the fans get to enjoy an overwhelming amount of rumors for the next three months.
I expect to begin to hear that the Giants are at least on the periphery of most negotiations of major free agents. Whether they are or not is another issue all together.
Speculation has been ongoing that the Giants will be involved in at least the initial Prince Fielder discussions if for no other reason than to gauge the interest of the other teams and get a real understanding of what it will take to land the large slugger.
I really don't think that Fielder is a fit with the Giants. I think his body will start to break down on him halfway through a long term contract and that is not a risk the Giants should take. Fielder is very used to crushing mammoth home runs down the right field line in Milwaukee yet when he competed in the home run derby at AT&T Park, he didn't hit one ball out to right field; and you know he was trying.
I think that in addition to the risk of Fielder breaking down, the Giants would have a temperamental player on their hands who would succumb at some level to the wide expanses of the Giants' home ball park and I haven't seen anything that suggests that he knows how to handle that type of adversity and pressure like a grown man.
Believe the rumors? No, they will be there, at least at first but that is all that they will be...rumors.
I really believe that Albert Pujols will not return to St Louis. Do I have any sound basis for that opinion? No, but the beauty of sports speculation is that I don't have to. I could be completely off, time will tell.
This is one player that any team without a spoken for star at first base should be interested in. The smaller market teams will not be involved and the Phillies, Yankees and Red Sox don't need a first baseman so that leaves a few teams to be in on the best hitter in the game.
The Chicago Cubs, the LA Dodgers, LA Angels of Anaheim and the San Francisco Giants are all teams with at least a passing need for a first baseman; especially this one and I would expect them all to be connected to Pujols in rumors very soon.
On first thought most Giants fans would tell you that the Giants aren't going to sign anyone long term no matter who they are, the contract is too risky. Other Giants fans would tell you that they don't believe anything coming out of the ownership's collective mouths and that they have the money to sign anyone and absorb the contract if it is a failure; case in point, Barry Zito.
I speculated on a scenario that would bring Pujols to San Francisco here. Albert will have some choices, how long the Giants stay involved will depend on what they have internally decided they can do financially and how committed Pujols is to testing the free agent market.
Believe the rumor? Yes, believe it. The Giants will be in the mix here.
Jose Reyes is exactly what the Giants need; he is a shortstop and a leadoff hitter and does both exceptionally well. Unfortunately for Giants fans, Reyes is too injury prone to sign to the type of deal he will be seeking.
The Giants will be rumored to be involved and they certainly will be, at first. Brian Sabean will want to gauge the negotiations to see if the market will eventually play out in Reyes' favor. If it doesn't and the years and the money come back to a more reasonable area, expect the Giants to remain in the mix longer than expected.
Believe the rumors? Yes, at least at first and if the market is soft, believe them even longer.
The Giants need an upgrade in center field, but not long term. Brian Sabean must be hoping to find a bridge between now and Gary Brown possibly in 2013. He will not entertain anyone that would block Brown.
Crisp is probably looking for two years on a deal and if that is the case, the Giants should pass in my opinion. They will be connected to him and unless the market for Crisp takes a long time to develop they will know pretty quickly if they want to keep pursuing him.
Believe the rumors? Yes, but I'm not sure how interested they actually are in him.
Should they bring him back or not? Giants’ fans have been wrestling with this question since the end of July. Personally, I am of the opinion that unless the length and money are significantly discounted, they should let him leave.
Beltran can certainly still hit and would fit well in the Giants lineup but does he fit in the clubhouse. Many Giants fans point to the trade that brought Beltran to SF as the day that the chemistry died and the team faded. Is it possible that he just isn't a good fit here? Possibly, but I don't know how much one player who is by no means a cancer can negatively affect a clubhouse that was as strong as the Giants was reported to be.
Beltran will likely take his bat elsewhere next year and I think the Giants will be a better team for it. They will be connected to him until he signs somewhere though so get used to seeing his name attached to the Giants.
Believe the rumors? Yes, but I expect him to sign elsewhere.
Grady Sizemore was an exciting, young player with all the potential in the world until he ran into the injury bug. He has played in only 210 games in the last three seasons precipitating the Indians declining his 2012 option, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Giants are challenged in center field and they may be considering Sizemore on an incentive laden one year contract. Such a contract would allow him to prove he's healthy and the Giants would not be blocking top prospect Gary Brown by signing a center fielder long term.
Believe the rumors? Yes and I expect the Giants to push hard on this one unless the market proves to be too cost prohibitive and risky.