Signing of Renteria a wise decision by Giants

December, 4, 2008
The signing of Edgar Renteria makes the Giants more competitive in 2009 and probably 2010, but at no cost to the generally bright long-term picture in San Francisco. He doesn't cost them a draft pick and won't be blocking any major prospects. And if you believe that the Renteria of the last two months of the 2008 season, when he hit .299/.340/.493, is closer to his actual level of ability (as he showed up out of shape in spring training and wasn't really in shape until late July), then it's a minor bargain for the Giants.

Yes, the Giants have shortstop Manny Burriss, who hit an unimpressive .283/.357/.329 in limited time in the big leagues in 2008, but has a weak swing and poor pitch recognition that make even that level a near-term high-water mark for him. (His walk rate was partly boosted by appearances in the No. 8 spot, where he'd be pitched around to get to the pitcher.) There's no one else in the Giants' organization who could handle shortstop in 2009, and frankly, they're a little light at second base as well, so they could just as easily sign another shortstop and slide Renteria to second, where he's going to end up in the next few years anyway. If he stays in shape and even hits .280/.330/.440, he'll have trade value next winter or during 2010, as well.

The point worth emphasizing here is the complete change in operating philosophy for the Giants over the past 12 months. GM Brian Sabean and his staff appear committed to a rebuilding project, and are working to fit short-term contention (or at least respectability) into the rebuilding plan, rather than following the old plan of deliberately giving away draft picks and fielding the oldest team permitted under American labor laws. Granted, they could trade Jonathan Sanchez for Jorge Cantu, at which point I'll take it all back, but for now, the glass is half-full.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer


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