Brian Sabean: Giants Won't 'Rent Players'
While still allowing for the possibility that his team will start to click as currently constituted, Sabean said Tuesday night that the Giants have only one limitation in pursuing another hitter.
"We are not interested in free agents," Sabean told FanHouse. "We don't want to rent players. That doesn't make sense for us. We've got to find someone we can control, much like the Freddy Sanchez deal, and hope that presents itself."
When the Giants got Sanchez last July, they had control of him for at least one more year, and they eventually signed him for two more.
"Anybody that fits that mold," Sabean said, "we are going to be heavy in the scouting side of it and see if it makes sense to explore."
Sabean said the Giants have money to spend, too: "We won't have a problem from that standpoint. We're in good shape there."
The only position where the Giants might have difficulty squeezing in a new acquisition is first base, a spot where they can currently play Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval or Aubrey Huff.
Given those parameters, the best fits for the Giants are probably outfielders like Corey Hart, David DeJesus and Josh Willingham. Prince Fielder might also be a fit. He'd be enough of an upgrade for the Giants to do the lineup shuffling required to fit in another first baseman.
Forget about Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen, Derrek Lee, Paul Konerko and Ty Wigginton. All are free agents at the end of the season.
The Giants have an acute need for pop because they are threatening to waste another season of outstanding pitching. The Giants rank third in the NL with a 3.43 ERA, but they are 12th in scoring, at 4.19 runs per game. Although the Giants have hit .262, third in the league, they have gotten little to show for it because of a league-high 81 double plays.
Other than a bat, the Giants are probably going to be in the market for a setup man. Closer Brian Wilson has been very good this year, but the rest of the bullpen has been shaky, as the Giants have rolled through several pitchers in various setup roles.
Sabean said the Giants might even consider adding a starter, even though they appear to be set with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner.
"I don't know you ever have enough starting pitching," he said. "I'm not sure what our depth is."
Sabean also said he's not concerned about the Lincecum or Sandoval, the Giants' two marquee players who have both performed below expectations this year.
"We got used to a high standard," Sabean said. "You've got to tip your hat to the opposition. When the league or teams adjust, you have to adjust."
Sabean seemed less enthusiastic about Bengie Molina rebounding: " I don't know. As we go forward it may be a function of the catching time he gets." Sabean added that he would be comfortable with Posey or backup Eli Whiteside getting more time behind the plate.
"At some point we're going to have to introduce Buster more behind the plate," Sabean said. "Bengie has done great with the staff, it's just that his offensive contribution hasn't been what it has been in the past, and he's not the only one."