Giants 2011 roster starting to take shape

The Winter Meetings start next week, and Giants GM Brian Sabean joked that he and manager Bruce Bochy would pass the time there playing cards.

With the signing of Aubrey Huff, Miguel Tejada and Pat Burrell, as well as Thursday’s tender decisions, next season’s roster is pretty much assembled, barring any trades or impressive springs from younger players or non-roster invitees.

On Thursday, the Giants tendered contracts to OF Cody Ross, OF Andres Torres, RHP Santiago Casilla, RHP Ramon Ramirez, LHP Jonathan Sanchez and LHP Javier Lopez. Five of those decisions were just about given. The only question was Ramirez, but him being tendered was certainly no surprise.

The one surprise was the signing of IF Mike Fontenot to a one-year deal, avoiding the arbitration process. Sabean said Fontenot will get extensive work at shortstop this spring, so he could serve as primary backup for Tejada.

It’s an interesting decision given that Fontenot, in his career, has played 263 games at 2B, 69 at 3B and only 13 at SS, including 10 starts. He started 7 games last year at SS, including three with the Giants.

Now there has been some chatter that perhaps the Giants were thinking of using Tejada at 3B and find a better  fielding option at SS. But Thursday’s moves and comments from the Giants give indication that they’ll go with Tejada at SS and either Mark DeRosa or Pablo Sandoval at 3B.

That leaves the left-side of the infield with limited range, but the Giants believe their starting pitchers thrive of fly balls and strikeouts, which would limit the need to wide-ranging infielders to gobble of ground balls. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Also, chatter we heard about the change of Edgar Renteria possibly returning seems less likely. If you look at our projected 25-man roster below, there’s not much room for another player.

Also also, P Chris Ray was non-tendered, as expected. Less expected was that Eugenio Velez was non-tendered, even though he wasn’t arbitration eligible. But he was out of options, and the Giants just didn’t figure he’d make their opening day roster. So they let him go, creating an opening on the 40-man roster.

So let’s get a look at that projected 2011 25-man roster:

STARTERS

1B Aubrey Huff ($10 million)

2B Freddy Sanchez ($6 million)

SS Miguel Tejada ($6.5 million)

3B Mark DeRosa ($6 million)

C Buster Posey ($400,000; pre-arbitration)

OF Cody Ross  ($4.45 million; arbitration eligible)

OF Aaron Rowand ($12 million)

OF Andres Torres ($426,000; arbitration eligible)

BENCH PLAYERS

1B Travis Ishikawa ($417,000; pre-arbitration)

IF Mike Fontenot ($1 million — actual amount is slightly more than this, but we don’t have exact figure yet)

IF Pablo Sandoval ($465,000; pre-arbitration)

OF Pat Burrell ($1 million)

OF Nate Schierholtz ($417,000; pre-arbitration)

C Eli Whiteside ($405,000; pre-arbitration)

STARTING PITCHERS

SP Tim Lincecum ($13 million)

SP Matt Cain ($7 million)

SP Barry Zito ($18.5 million)

SP Jonathan Sanchez ($2.1 million; arbitration eligible)

SP Madison Bumgarner ($400,000; pre-arbitration)

BULLPEN

RH Brian Wilson ($6.5 million)

RH Sergio Romo ($417,000; pre-arbitration)

RH Santiago Casilla ($420,000; arbitration eligible)

RH Ramon Ramirez ($1.16 million; arbitration eligible)

LH Jeremy Affeldt ($4.5 million)

LH Javier Lopez ($775,000; arbitration eligible)

PROJECTED 40-MAN PLAYERS OPENING IN MINORS (13): RHP Jose Casilla, RHP Steve Edlefsen, LHP Alex Hinshaw, RHP Henry Sosa, LHP Clayton Tanner, LHP Dan Runzler, IF Emmanuel Burriss, SS, Ehire Adrianza, IF Ryan Rohlinger, 3B Connor Gillaspie, OF Darren Ford, OF Francisco Peguero, OF Thomas Neal

CURRENT 2011 PAYROLL (not including pay raises for arbitration): $104.6 million

THOUGHTS: To make room for Ramirez on the 25-man roster, we moved Dan Runzler to the minors. There has been talk the Giants are looking to groom him to become a starter, so he may very well open next season in Fresno to work on that. We also set out roster on the idea that the Giants would go with 14 players and 11 pitchers. There’s a good chance they could go 13 players and 12 pitchers. If they do that, there will be a tough decision to be made.

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