Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uggla and Damon Are NOT The Answers to the Giants Playoff Hopes

Dan Uggla and Johnny Damon.

They do not make sense in Black and Orange, right?

After all, currently, the Giants have Freddy Sanchez at second base. In fact, he's implanted there, without compromise. The Giants traded their second-best pitching prospect for him last Trade Deadline, and they signed him to a two-year, six-million per year deal early this off-season, the first real deal GM Brian Sabean did after he was re-signed as general manager for the Giants.

Uggla is a second baseman. I can't see him as a type that can move anywhere else. He's doesn't have the range or fielding ability to play shortstop (though anyone at this point seems better than Edgar Renteria), and I can't seem him being an upgrade at third base over Pablo Sandoval (though everybody--except me of course--thinks moving him to first is the answer).

Sure, there is a lot to like about Uggla. He hits home runs (and in a pitcher's park like Dolphins Stadium mind you) and he does have a decent on-base percentage (.354 last year) despite his high strikeout numbers (150 whiffs last year). Those two positives of Uggla, though, are two things that nobody else in the Giants lineup can do except Pablo Sandoval, so it is easy to see why some Giants fans would be tempted by Sabean acquiring the Marlin.

But he doesn't fit on this Giants squad. He would be a guy without a position, and that is never good to have, especially when you have somebody who has played second base so regularly as Uggla has.

And yet, according to Jayson Stark, the Giants seem to have interest in acquiring the Marlins big-swinger.


And if that isn't enough, there seems to be some increasing opinion on the Web (on Giants blog El Lefty Malo) that Johnny Damon wouldn't be such a bad idea as the Giants left fielder.

I know Eugenio Velez probably isn't the answer for the Giants in left field (he was a product of a hot two weeks and that's it). I know that Andres Torres isn't a very attractive option either. I know Fred Lewis has burned so many bridges with his high strikeout numbers and bad fielding that Giants fans would riot and start the next San Francisco Fire if he started on Opening Day.

However, the fact of the matter is this: AT&T is NOT a home run hitter's park, and Yankees Stadium IS.

That should be enough for Sabean to steer away from Damon despite his gaudy run production numbers (24 home runs, 82 RBI).

If Damon is signed by the Giants for 2010, Giants faithful should be prepared to experience an "Edgar Renteria-esque" season from the former Yankees outfielder.

The Giants shouldn't stay completely pat this offseason. I agree that Nick Johnson would not be that bad of a signing, and I think the case is aptly made in this article.

However, Sabean should not be swinging for the fences with these two guys. They just reek of Renteria, Dave Roberts, Steve Finley and Ryan Klesko. I want the Giants to win next year, and I think with the right player(s), they are more than capable of doing so.

But anyone thinking that Damon or Uggla is going to be that missing piece for this San Francisco Giants squad has to be out of their minds.

(Unless of course, getting Uggla requires getting rid of Conor Gillaspie, which the McCovey Chronicles doesn't think is such a bad idea. You know what? I'm agreeing with them! Just by looking at his stats, maybe an Uggla for Gillaspie swap wouldn't be such a bad thing. Only that though. Nothing else. Like I said before, neither guy alone will take the Giants to the playoffs.)

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