And the Moves Begin!
Things are starting to move as far as acquisitions on the team this off-season. To start off with, the Giants signed right-handed pitcher Tim Hudson to a 2 year, $23 million deal on November 18th. Hudson was most recently on the Braves, and before that he was with the A’s, so he’s familiar with the Bay Area. He’s been mentioned since the end of the season as one of the pitchers the Giants wanted to go after. Tim’s been in the big leagues for 15 years, and in that time has accumulated 205 wins, the most of any active pitcher in the National League. He had a 3.97 ERA last season, but his season was cut short due to a gruesome injury he received when his ankle was stepped on while he went to cover first base. I would give you a link, but it’s one of those Joe Theismann-like things that is pretty tough to watch, so out of respect for the guy, I won’t. If you’re interested in that kind of thing, Google it yourself! However, it looks like we don’t have to worry about him losing any time next season, as Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News reported that Hudson had a screw removed from his ankle recently, and “said he’s right on track to have a normal spring training.” In an interview on KNBR, Hudson mentioned that money wasn’t first on his list of deciding where to go (even though he said the Giants were right up there with the top contenders moneywise). He said he wanted to move where his family would be comfortable (I love that!), and San Francisco topped his list. During that interview I also got to hear the guy’s voice for the first time – he’ll fit right in with Buster, Madison, and Brandon Belt for sure! And I’m already liking the guy, as he thanked the fans in Atlanta for all they had done for him over the years through a letter to a local newspaper. Plus it will be nice for Madison, Matt, and Timmy to have a long-time veteran around to learn from, especially Timmy who is similar in stature, also pitches to the bottom of the strike zone, and is trying to reinvent himself now that he’s lost some of his speed. This acquisition definitely sounds like a great one for my boys. Welcome to the team, Tim! Hey just realized – that’s two Timmys we’ve got pitching now!
That leaves one more starting pitcher spot open. Rumor has it that the Giants are still interested in Ryan Vogelsong, but why no definite news yet??? So many possibilities. They could still sign a free agent (Bronson Arroyo’s name still comes up), or they could possibly go with Yusmeiro Petit who had a great showing at the end of last season, or possibly even Chad Gaudin who had an amazing showing when he took over for the injured Vogelsong. Any of the minor leaguers in our system aren’t quite ready yet, but there are some very promising prospects in the minors so the Giants probably won’t sign someone new to a long contract in the hopes that they can come up in the next few years.
Ricky Nolasco’s name has also been mentioned as a possibility for a pitcher. He was acquired by the Dodgers at the end of last season (the Giants had their sights on him then as well), so as far as I’m concerned, he’s a little tainted! Rumor is that the Giants have offered him a 3-year contract but he’s looking for a 4-year commitment. They’re probably not going to budge on that as again, they have several good pitcher prospects coming up through the minors.
My boy Javier Lopez signed a 3 year, $13 million deal last week as well (YAY!). So happy about this one – that guy rocks it with that sidewinder pitch! He’s so hard to hit off of. He had a 1.83 ERA last season, appearing in 69 games. Welcome back, Javi. I was getting worried!
The Baseball Winter Meetings are scheduled to take place December 9th – 12th. The Giants’ front office guys will be in attendance, and apparently finding a good bat in left field is high on their list. According to Brian Sabean (in an interview on KNBR), they’re not happy with any of the free agents available at this position, so they’ll be looking to work out a trade. This scares me. Who will be on our end of the trade??? I don’t want to lose any of my boys! What do you think? Who could go? One of the Brandons? Pablo? Hector? Scary to think about, but we really do need more offensive force. Maybe they’ll just settle on Dan’s boy Juan Perez in left since he did so well at the end of the season. Will keep you updated when I hear.
Will end today on a fun note. You may have heard about the blockbuster trade this week of the Tigers Prince Fielder for the Rangers Ian Kinsler. Both are big money All-Star players. Seems that apparently this trade was foreshadowed in a commercial that aired on ESPN during the 2010 season. Check it out. Best of all is the Giant who makes a cameo appearance! Love it! Ah, what a difference 3 years can make in the life of a starter. Until next time, GO GIANTS!!!