The Giants fulfilled one of the franchise’s most hallowed commandments by swiftly wrapping up their arbitration-eligible players in record time. With lefty specialist Javier Lopez back in the fold on a $2.38 million contract (up from $775,000 in 2010), and center fielder Andres Torres inked in at a reported $2.1 million (up from $426,000 in 2010), the team is essentially fully rearmed for an assault on the 2011 season.
Interesting to note that all but two players from the 2010 Championship team (Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria) are back on board. The difference-makers on Opening Day 2011 compared to 2010 are beyond huge:
> Buster Posey poised for a full season behind the plate (instead of Bengie Molina);
> Cody Ross full time in right field (and even though right field was an offensive black hole last year, I hope Nate Schierholtz and his magic glove make the team);
> Madison Bumgarner claiming the #5 starter slot (will you miss Todd Wellemeyer’s 3-5/5.88/1.56 WHIP?);
> Andres Torres starting from bump in center field. (Hard to imagine the Giants won’t make a huge effort to trade Aaron Rowand, put some steak sauce on his contract, hold their noses and eat it.);
> Miguel Tejada may bring a very familiar lack of range to the Giants’ infield, but he’s a rare sight for Giants fans: a shortstop with a live bat. Remember– the plan for Juan Uribe the past two years was to be an infield super-sub behind Freddie Sanchez, Edgar Renteria, and Pablo Sandoval. That Uribe stepped up and produced so many clutch hits was a sweet bonus. Buena suerte, amigo!