2005 Free Agents and the Giants

Scratching off most of the names of Scott Boras clients, let's look at some free agents this winter, and the possibility of the San Francisco Giants signing any of them. Keep in mind the Giants' brass has come out and said finding starting pitching is a priority, as is a left-handed slugger. Also, for an audio discussion, please see our inaugural Cove Shots podcast.

Brian Giles – One gets the feeling that after playing at fog- and pitcher-friendly Petco Park, Giles would want to eschew the Pacific marine layer in favor of a launching pad as a future home – he hit 38 home runs in his final full season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2002, then combined for 38 home runs with the San Diego Padres in 2004 and 2005. Probably too pricey for the Giants as well, but at age 34, he’d be a pup in the starting lineup. But can he play first? He’s never done it at the Major League level.

Esteban Loaiza – Not represented by Boras, so that’s a start. The former All-Star had a so-so year with the Washington Nationals last season (12-10, 3.77, 173Ks), but at age 33, it looks more and more like his breakout season with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 (21-9, 2.90, 207Ks, 2nd in AL Cy Young voting) was a fluke. It might be a mistake to go after him.

Paul Byrd – Underappreciated soft-tosser. John Burkett without the bowling prowess (well, at least not publicly). Doesn’t that just reek Giants free agent acquisition to you? He’s worked miracles before – he won SEVENTEEN games with the 62-100 Kansas City Royals in 2002.

Jeromy Burnitz – No. Please no. As someone who’s hated him from afar for so long, I find that the most impressive thing about Burnitz’s game is his prodigious swinging strikes. Plus, he only plays outfield, and adventurously at that.

Frank ThomasAlbert Pujols now is Frank Thomas at the beginning of Thomas’ career. Unfortunately, the Big Hurt is hurting himself a lot more than opposing pitchers these days, and his penchant for injury deters him from playing first.

Mike Piazza – How about it? Former Los Angeles Dodgers icon does damage up the Highway 101 in orange and black as a first baseman? Yeah, I think it’s funny, too. Going from J.T. Snow to him on the field would be like taking crack away from… um, you get the point.

Jarrod Washburn – How about it? Former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim player cuts off his wings and contends for the Cy Young up the Highway 101 in orange and black? The 31-year old has a career ERA of under 4.00, but has been somewhat injury prone the past few seasons. Possible? Yes. Feasible? Maybe. Cy Young? Ha ha.

Matt Morris – Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that the Giants have already had a few conversations with Morris’ agent. This would have been a great sign… about five years ago. Now, it would be just ok, since he’s been gradually losing his stuff, and is homer-prone. He is an innings eater, however.

Mark Sweeney – Represented by the same agent (Barry Axelrod) as Morris. Sweeney sounds about as sexy as a typical Giants offseason acquisition. Plus, he can play both first base and the outfield. He did bat .294 last year, but hit all of 8 home runs – which was still double the output of J.T. Snow! Wow!

Jeff Weaver – Huh? Yes, the irascible hurler with the hair of Dakota Fanning is represented by Boras. But the Giants have reportedly asked Boras about a few of his pitchers. Provided he’s economically feasible, Weaver would make an intriguing choice. As a Giant, the southern California native would bring a certain degree of ability and relative youth (29) to the team, and he wouldn’t have Michael Tucker to shove around any more.



Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at dongsoo411@yahoo.com to commiserate, cheer, and complain.

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