Friday, December 10, 2010

Saltzman Says... 2011 Giant Aaron Rowand?

Will Aaron Rowand be a San Francisco Giant next year?

Aaron Rowand is not in the plans for 2011.  At least, not unless he does a 180 degree turnaround from the end of last season.

Andre Torres is going into Spring Training as the starting center fielder.  If Rowand forces his way into the lineup, Torres would start in left.

We could use a trade partner that has money to spend and a player to unload.

Here are the most likely scenarios:

Phillies:  Raul Ibanez
Both of Rowand's former teams might be interested in bringing the center fielder back.  With Jayson Werth gone and Raul Ibanez struggling last year in Philly, The Phillies might be interested in bringing back their former 30 home run CF.  They might be hesitant to give up Ibanez, but his struggles were in a hitter friendly park, wheras Rowand's were at AT&T.  Rowand had great success as a Philly.

We get a left handed bat to play LF and allow Burrell and DeRosa to be on our bench.  If Ibanez continues to struggle, we have the depth to move guys around.  Ibanez's contract is one year shorter too, so we could wipe both contracts off the books for 2012.

White Sox:  Carlos Quentin
The Sox have an expensive pair of outfielders in Juan Pierre and Alex Rios, but both were productive last year.  Adam Dunn has been brought in and Paul Konerko was brought back, so the team's power will not be an issue next year either.  Andruw Jones, another OF option for Chicago had 19 HR's.

Carlos Quentin could be the odd man out in that mix seeing is how he hit .243 after hitting .236 the year prior.  He is two years removed from hitting .288 and he could start to get expensive in arbitration with his power numbers.  They might not have room for a long term deal with him, so bringing back Rowand could make some sense.  Rowand gives them a upgrade on defense, and a capable bat when he was a Sox everyday center fielder.  It also allows them to dump a lot of salary over the next two years in Pierre and Rowand.

We get a younger OF we could team with Huff and Ross who has 83 home runs over the last three years and went to college at Stanford.  A homecoming might be just what he needs to get his average back closer to .280 than .230.

Mets:   Carlos Beltran
Carlos Beltran makes more money a year than Aaron Rowand, but Aaron Rowand is owed more money.  Beltran's $18.5 million he is owed is all next year, whereas the $24 million for Rowand is over the next two years.  Sandy Alderson, the Mets new GM, has been told to penny pinch.  If they save $6.5 million this year swapping the two CF's, they might be in better shape next year to deal with Rowand's $12 million.  If not, the Mets do have the kind of money to release Rowand if he has a poor 2011.  Beltran is a risk because of his current injury history, but when healthy, he is an absolute force.

Updated: 12/17/10 4:10pm
Cubs:   Kosuke Fukudome
The Giants and Cubs have been in preliminary talks about a bad contract swap, similar to the one they pulled off last year sending Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva.  With how much luck Jim Hendry had pulling off that gem, he might be willing to move Fukudome for a reliable glove and right handed bat.  If the Giants were willing to eat some of the 2012 contract of Rowand's, this deal might work.

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