January 2010

Sanchez has shoulder surgery

In what Giants hope is the last story of its kind they see this year, manager Bruce Bochy confirmed that second baseman Freddy Sanchez had arthroscopic shoulder on his shoulder and his status for Opening Day could be in doubt.

Another report says that Sanchez’s procedure took place in late December with an original recovery time set at eight weeks. That would have had Sanchez returning to the field shortly after the Giants began their spring training schedule. But now, he has had a setback that has put his status for opening day in doubt.

This is the same shoulder that was bothering Sanchez prior to his trade from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, so that is of some concern. The fact that the Giants attempted to keep this procedure under wraps has led some to conclude that he almost certainly won’t be ready by Opening Day and may remain out until May. However, that’s just speculation.

Another school of thought is that the Giants wanted to keep Sanchez’s surgery quiet so that it couldn’t be used as leverage against the Giants by agents representing free-agent infielders the Giants wanted to sign or re-sign.

If this timeline is correct, the Giants re-signed Juan Uribe about a week or two after Sanchez had this procedure done. And that’s the good news for the Giants. If Sanchez is not ready to go by early April, they can easily plug Uribe in at second base every day until Sanchez is ready to go.

The Giants were looking for a way to get Uribe in the lineup every day, as the recent signings of Aubrey Huff and now Bengie Molina made that goal a little tougher. Now Uribe will get all of the spring and perhaps some of the regular season to establish his bat in the lineup.

Catch this! Molina returning in 2010

In a surprise move, the Giants are expected to announce Friday that catcher Bengie Molina has re-signed with the club for one year at $4.5 million.

It was previously thought that Molina and the Giants were going to part ways this offseason as the veteran catcher was seeking a multi-year deal.

Given Molina’s age and the fact that the Giants had their catcher-in-waiting in Buster Posey, the Giants were not prepared to offer Molina a multi-year deal.

In recent weeks, it appeared that the Mets were all set to sign Molina. But Molina was still seeking a multi-year deal and the Mets apparently were not ready to give him. Figuring that if he was only going to get a one-year deal, it might as well be with the Giants.

This signing instantly boosts the Giants’ other offseason moves. While it appeared the Giants would simply be treading water with the signings of Mark DeRosa and Aubrey Huff, the addition of Molina gives the lineup of 2010 a definite improvement over 2009.

Consider the potential lineup for 2010 compared to the lineup at the start of 2009.

Pos   2010 lineup           2009 lineup

C — Bengie Molina        Bengie Molina
1B–Aubrey Huff            Travis Ishikawa/Rich Aurilia
2B–Freddy Sanchez     Emmanuel Burriss/Eugenio Velez
SS-Edgar Renteria        Edgar Renteria
3B-Pablo Sandoval       Pablo Sandoval
LF-Mark DeRosa          Fred Lewis
CF-Aaron Rowand        Aaron Rowand
RF-Nate Schierholtz/    Randy Winn
     Eugenio Velez/
     Andres Torres

Lincecum asks for $13 million in arbitration

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will seek a record-breaking salary via arbitration, asking for $13 million.

The record for the largest salary awarded in the arbitration process is $10. Alfonso Soriano (2006) and Francisco Rodriguez (2008) earned $10 million after losing their arbitration bids. The Phillies’ Ryan Howard earned $10 million when he won his arbitration hearing in 2008.
The Giants countered with $8 million.

Lincecum settles court case

Tim Lincecum appeared before a judge in Vancouver, Wash., on January 19 and agreed to pay a $513 fine to resolve marijuana charges against him.

The pitcher faced two misdemeanor charges against him stemming for an Oct. 30 traffic stop. The charges were reduced to a civil infraction.
Lincecum was joined in the courtroom by his attorney, Gary Metro, his father and Giants managing partner Bill Neukom.

Giants avoid arbitration with Medders, Sanchez

The Giants took care of two arbitration eligible players by signing pitchers Brandon Medders and Jonathan Sanchez to one-year deals.

Medders, 30, had a 3.01 ERA in 61 appearances for the Giants last season. He signed a one-year deal for $820,000.
Sanchez, who provided the Giants with one of the highlights last season with his first career no-hitter, signed a one-year deal for $2.1 million.
Sanchez was 8-12 with a 4.24 ERA. But he was 6-4 with a 3.46 ERA after his July 10 no-hitter.

Giants sign first baseman Huff

The Giants continued their offseason moves on Jan. 13 by signing first baseman Aubrey Huff to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Huff brings two things to the lineup that the Giants had been seeking … some added power and a left-handed bat.
Huff had 15 home runs, 89 RBI and batted .241 in a down year that was split between Baltimore and Detroit. However, from 2002-2009, Huff averaged 24 home runs while playing for Tampa Bay, Houston, Baltimore and Detroit. He had 34 HRs and 107 RBI in 2003 with Tampa Bay and 32 HRs and 108 RBI with Baltimore in 2008.
Giants GM Brian Sabean said Huff is slated to bat cleanup in the 2010 lineup between Pablo Sandoval and Mark DeRosa.

Uribe signs for $3.25 million

The Giants re-signed utility man Juan Uribe to a one-year, $3.25 million contract on Jan. 6.

Uribe hit 16 home runs, drove in 55 and hit .289 for the Giants last year. General manager Brian Sabean said at the time of Uribe’s signing that the Giants would like to find a way to get Uribe’s bat into the lineup daily.