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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Giants - Signed Renteria
San Francisco Giants - Signed SS Edgar Renteria to a 2-year, $18 million contract.
Renteria’s been all over the place offensively in recent years since his breakthrough 2002 season, with 3 seasons below a 90 OPS+ and 3 above 110. Last year was one of those down seasons and his defense has slipped to the point where he’s below-average at short.
All that being said, I don’t have a problem at all with this signing for a few reasons.
- It doesn’t hurt the rebuilding process in any way. The Giants waited to seal the deal, unlike the notorious Michael Tucker signing, until the Tigers declined to offer arbitration to Renteria. The team’s infield options, especially at those positions that can’t possibly be played by Pablo Sandoval regularly, are nonexistent. Emmanuel Burriss has no business as a starting shortstop at this point, and very likely never will be a good starting option. That Burriss wasn’t anywhere near the worst SS the Giants had this year says a lot about the team’s depth at the position.
- It’s a good time to compete in the NL West. The Giants aren’t a good team in the AL East sense, but there are good reasons for the Giants to want to seize the opportunity to compete for the division with the situation as it is. 3 of the other teams in the league are unable to seriously invest in their teams, with McCourt woefully undercapitalized thanks to his smoke-and-mirrors financial portfolio, the Diamondbacks stretched, and the Padres unable to spend even if they wanted to thanks to the John Moores divorce drama. That just leaves the Rockies, an organization that never really displays any coherent strategy and just kind of exists, like the Beat Again era Orioles. The Giants are walking on a very slow treadmill and incremental improvement is likely more profitable in their division than any other. If the Giants can manage to squeeze out a divisional title, the Lincecum/Cain combo becomes more valuable and the team could do some surprising damage in a league in which there are no real dominant teams.
- The deal is only for 2 years, which limits the downside of signing Renteria considerably. He’s not old (just turned 33 officially and he’s likely to actually be 32) and while his defense his dropped off, he’s not in Marlins Infielder Territory and should be able to do a tolerable job as long as he doesn’t start hitting like the players the Giants trotted out there in 2008. Renteria represents a tremendous improvement even in the likely worst-case scenario and the quickest way to add a lot of extra wins is to deal with the worst problem.
And yes, the Vazquez
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