SF Giants fans, meet Aaron Rowand

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:17 pm
ESPN just announced we've signed him for five years:

SAN FRANCISCO -- Aaron Rowand agreed to a $60 million, five-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, giving the club the starting center fielder it sought this winter.

The 30-year-old Rowand is expected to bat fifth for San Francisco after spending the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He is coming off his best season yet, earning his first Gold Glove award and All-Star selection while helping the Phillies to the NL East title. He batted .309 with 27 home runs and career bests of 89 RBIs, 105 runs, 189 hits, 45 doubles in 161 games.

While manager Bruce Bochy had said Rajai Davis would get a chance to earn the job come spring training, Rowand was brought in to start in center. That means Dave Roberts likely will shift from center to left field to replace departed home run king Barry Bonds, Randy Winn will stay put in right while Davis and some of the other young outfielders share time in a reserve role.

"Aaron is an all-around player who is coming into his prime and helps us check off two boxes -- an extremely talented defensive center fielder and a middle of the order presence," general manager Brian Sabean said. "His ability in center field definitely plays to our ballpark and will help provide more stability to our pitching staff."

The Giants haven't reached the playoffs since 2003. They re-signed 11-time Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel last month, but still have a hole to fill at third and possibly first. If the Giants don't bring back Pedro Feliz at third, Kevin Frandsen or Rich Aurilia might wind up playing that spot.

The Dodgers (82-80) and Giants (71-91) brought up the rear in the NL West for just the second time since division play began in 1969.


So what can we say about Mr. Rowand? He may have entered his prime last year, and hopefully will continue do hit as well in the next few years. He's 30 years old. He his .309 last year, but more importantly managed a .374 OBP, which is basically tops on our team. His SLG of .515 isn't bad, and even is his 27 HRs dip at AT&T Park and the rest of the pitchers parks in the NL west, he's good for a ton of doubles. He's also an above-average defensive OF, with the skills to handle the SF outfield.

I like the signing. He didn't cost us any young players via a trade, he can hit third, he brings his glove to the ballpark and I've never heard anything negative about his attitude.

$60 million for 5 years is a bit pricey, but if you consider that the Giants will likely need that long just to rebuild, money really isn't a major issue. It's like Zito... he may cost too much, but hey, who's he taking playing time away from and how would his money be better spent? By overpaying another guy in this horrible market?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:27 pm
StuckInSoCal wrote:ESPN just announced we've signed him for five years:

SAN FRANCISCO -- Aaron Rowand agreed to a $60 million, five-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, giving the club the starting center fielder it sought this winter.

The 30-year-old Rowand is expected to bat fifth for San Francisco after spending the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.

He is coming off his best season yet, earning his first Gold Glove award and All-Star selection while helping the Phillies to the NL East title. He batted .309 with 27 home runs and career bests of 89 RBIs, 105 runs, 189 hits, 45 doubles in 161 games.

While manager Bruce Bochy had said Rajai Davis would get a chance to earn the job come spring training, Rowand was brought in to start in center. That means Dave Roberts likely will shift from center to left field to replace departed home run king Barry Bonds, Randy Winn will stay put in right while Davis and some of the other young outfielders share time in a reserve role.

"Aaron is an all-around player who is coming into his prime and helps us check off two boxes -- an extremely talented defensive center fielder and a middle of the order presence," general manager Brian Sabean said. "His ability in center field definitely plays to our ballpark and will help provide more stability to our pitching staff."

The Giants haven't reached the playoffs since 2003. They re-signed 11-time Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel last month, but still have a hole to fill at third and possibly first. If the Giants don't bring back Pedro Feliz at third, Kevin Frandsen or Rich Aurilia might wind up playing that spot.

The Dodgers (82-80) and Giants (71-91) brought up the rear in the NL West for just the second time since division play began in 1969.


So what can we say about Mr. Rowand? He may have entered his prime last year, and hopefully will continue do hit as well in the next few years. He's 30 years old. He his .309 last year, but more importantly managed a .374 OBP, which is basically tops on our team. His SLG of .515 isn't bad, and even is his 27 HRs dip at AT&T Park and the rest of the pitchers parks in the NL west, he's good for a ton of doubles. He's also an above-average defensive OF, with the skills to handle the SF outfield.

I like the signing. He didn't cost us any young players via a trade, he can hit third, he brings his glove to the ballpark and I've never heard anything negative about his attitude.

$60 million for 5 years is a bit pricey, but if you consider that the Giants will likely need that long just to rebuild, money really isn't a major issue. It's like Zito... he may cost too much, but hey, who's he taking playing time away from and how would his money be better spent? By overpaying another guy in this horrible market?


I like the signing as well. His HR numbers probably won't be as good, but .300 hitters that score runs, drive in runs, and play with mean leather in CF are pretty good signings. The money isn't horrible either. Unlike Andruw Jones, Rowand "earned" the money last year. I would still ike to seee Raj Davis play, maybe Dave Roberts and his bloated will ride the pine? Who knows. I'm just glad we have Cain, Lincecum and we added a bat/glove. No complaints here.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:17 pm
The Giants don't exactly have stud OF prospects at the moment, so Roberts and Winn will likely ride out their contracts in the next year and then be gone. I mean, I like guys like Davis and Lewis, but these guys are 27-year-old prospects who are barely getting their cup of coffee. We love them because they're our scrubs, but chances are these guys are going to be fourth OF material at best.

The Giants need a few good drafts and/or trades to really develop some hitting prospects. Rowand will still be around when those guys hit the majors, and Roberts and Winn will not.

The question is, will the Giants still trade for Godzilla. I, for one, sure hope so.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:37 pm
once davis improves his bat then he'll be a stud. hes fast as a mofo and being on the same club with winn and roberts to study under, his fielding and base running are sure to improve. adding aaron rowand means adding a good bat with excellent fielding. davey boy, rowand, and south bay boy randy winn is a good experienced outfield, and rowand with davis and lewis could be a good outfield in a couple years. i like this acquisition for the giants and im excited for the season already
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:51 pm
Yeah, I like this, too. I know that he really isnt the dominating player that everyone wanted, but he is as good as any guy that we can get. I'm glad that they didnt have to trade our young pitching staff, and Rowand is a guy that we can build around. It is a lot of money for a guy like him, but, hell, it isnt my money to spend, anyways. Nice signing, Sabes.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:15 pm
The deal is already being called expensive, and that no other team would sign him for more than three years. This is the environment the Giants have put themselves in. Overpay or no free agent signing.

I'm still glad to have him. As the guy on ESPN said, no one currently on the Giants roster hit more than 13 homeruns last year.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:18 pm
My statline for him next year:

.295, 25 homers, 92 RBI's, 24 doubles, 9 triples, .994 fielding percentage, gold glove.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:21 pm
sfsfsfgiants wrote:My statline for him next year:

.295, 25 homers, 92 RBI's, 24 doubles, 9 triples, .994 fielding percentage, gold glove.


Sold! I'll take that. =)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:05 pm
now only if Zito can at least live up to half of his expectations

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:34 pm
lakerfool wrote:now only if Zito can at least live up to half of his expectations


I must admit, I'm a huge Zito apologist. I think his signing during our rebuilding phase goes far beyond his wins and losses. This team needs a guy like Zito in the clubhouse, especially as we develop young pitchers.

He's way overpaid and not even a top-20 pitcher in the NL (in fact, he may be the third guy in our own rotation next year), but the Giants are better with him than without and I like him.

It would be a totally different story if he was sucking up cash we needed to pick up a player or two for a playoff run, but we're so far from that we may as well spend the money in the interim on guys who will improve our organization. I think Zito does that.

I'm convinced there are no good FA contracts anymore, unless you sign a guy with upside and he overachieves. Unless you're the Yankees or the Red Sox and can buy a playoff spot, you need to development talent or you just flat out suck. And the funny thing is, both NY and BOS are two of the very best at developing talent.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:51 pm
By the way, for those keeping score:

-Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand are the only Giants under contract past the 2010 season. The Giants hold a $6.25 million club option for Matt Cain in 2010 and a $6.25 million option for Noah Lowry in 2010.

-Randy Winn, Dave Roberts and Bengie Molina are all signed through 2009. The Giants also hold a club option on Vizquel for 2009.

Every other Giant, other than the youngsters who will either sign extensions or face arbitration, will all face expiring contracts at the end of the 2008 season.

An interesting fact is that Sabean has secured his catcher, shortstop and centerfielder for the next two seasons, locking up the foundation of his defense. None of them are horrible hitters, and Rowand is solid. He also has four of his starters-Cain, Zito, Lincecum and Lowry-locked up through 2010. Another strength.

Our biggest short term needs are corner infielders who can hit. We get those, and our bullpen continues to develop, and we'll avoid playing like the Pirates. Long term, of course, is a much different story. We need talented bats to develop in the next 2 or 3 seasons or we'll be rebuilding for longer than five years.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:51 pm
I'm always a bit weary of signing guys who've just exploded in their contract season. Save for 2004, Rowand's numbers weren't anywhere near what they were last season. Still, he's a hustle guy and a damn good fielder, so I can't be mad at the signing. If he hits over 25 HRs batting around .300, it'll be justified.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:12 am
32 wrote:I'm always a bit weary of signing guys who've just exploded in their contract season. Save for 2004, Rowand's numbers weren't anywhere near what they were last season. Still, he's a hustle guy and a damn good fielder, so I can't be mad at the signing. If he hits over 25 HRs batting around .300, it'll be justified.


Yup, a total valid concern.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:00 pm
32 wrote:I'm always a bit weary of signing guys who've just exploded in their contract season. Save for 2004, Rowand's numbers weren't anywhere near what they were last season. Still, he's a hustle guy and a damn good fielder, so I can't be mad at the signing. If he hits over 25 HRs batting around .300, it'll be justified.


I do not see him hitting that many HR's, but the rest of his production will be the same. In fact, his extra base hits will probably increase, as Pac Bell..or whatever...will rob him of some homers. But for a pure baseball fan he is sure to be one of the fan favorites. I just wish the DBacks hadn't resigned Eric Byrnes...he does everything Rowand does, just a bit better.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:29 pm
The Giants never gave Byrnes a chance, and they should have. My guess is that he was just too young and crazy for Sabean. The only knock on that guy is that he's too damn streaky (he hit .176 in the playoffs last year in seven games), but for a rebuilding team that really doesn't matter.

But... .286 BA, 21 HR and 50 SBs is sure a fun stat line. Wish he was in a Giants uni.
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