Giants Re-sign Wilmin Rodriguez

The Giants have re-signed LHP Wilmin Rodriguez to a minor-league deal, with an invite to spring training. Rodriguez, 26, spent most of his time in Double-A Richmond this year, where he posted a 3.61 ERA/4.42 FIP in 57.1 innings, mostly pitching out of relief. Over his entire career in the minors, he’s averaged 7.1 strikeouts and 4.4 walks per nine innings.

So far, he’s the only minor-league free agent to sign with the Giants. Among the Giants minor-leaguers that became free agents this November: Travis Ishikawa, Sharlon Schoop, Osiris Matos, Alex Hinshaw, and Max Ramirez.

Giants Acquire Melky Cabrera in Exchange for Jonathan Sanchez, Ryan Verdugo

More info to come…

Update: Sanchez, 28, is up for his third year of arbitration elibility (and final year of team control), and would have made something like $5-6MM through the process. Cabrera, 27, is up for his fourth year of arbitration elibility (he’s a Super Two), and could earn as much as $4MM this offseason.

Ryan Verdugo, who just barely missed the cut in my Giants prospect rankings, was converted to a starter this year — and had moderate success in the role (4.35 ERA, 4.31 FIP), but frankly, his control is not very good (he walks a hitter every other inning).

Initial reaction: not a fantastic return, but this is honestly more than I’d expected to get in exchange for Sanchez. Cabrera isn’t a very good player (and most certainly won’t repeat what he did this year), but he’s something; on a similar note though, he’s not really a capable defensive centerfielder.

Anyway, this is pretty interesting. Brian Sabean had never made a trade in November, prior to this.

Giants Re-Sign Shane Loux

The Giants have re-signed RHP Shane Loux, according to…Shane Loux.

Via Twitter:

I resigned with the SF Giants today. By far one of the most classy orgs out there. Can’t wait until ST to see what 2012 has in store for me.

Loux, 32, made 28 starts for Triple-A Fresno this season, posting a 4.67 ERA/4.56 FIP. In 1576.2 career minor-league IP, he has a K/9 of 5.2

Giants Re-Sign Javier Lopez, Exercise Jeremy Affeldt’s Option

The Giants wasted no time making their first set of offseason moves, as they re-signed Javier Lopez and exercised Jeremy Affeldt‘s option for the 2012 season. Lopez’s contract is worth $8.5MM over the next two years, while Affeldt’s option is worth $5MM.

The Lopez deal buys out what would have been his first two free agent years; he’s essentially a LOOGY (something useful, obviously, but not of great value), so it’s a bit peculiar that the Giants handed him such a deal. Since coming over to the Giants in the John Bowker/Joe Martinez trade in 2010, he’s tossed 72 innings over 97 appearances, posting a 157 ERA+. His peripherals aren’t particularly good, as his highest single-season K/9 is 6.79 (this year), and he’s averaged a little more than four walks per nine innings pitched over his career. The one thing that does separate him from the pack is his elite home run prevention skills — he has yet to allow a home run in a San Francisco uniform, and his career HR/9 is 0.46. In any event, the contract seems a bit excessive, but that’s the nature of the market at this point. Relievers have been consistently overpaid, despite the fact that they’re not actually worth that much.

The Affeldt move is even more questionable, as his option is quite expensive, and — of course — it was announced after the Lopez deal. Affeldt’s a bit younger than Lopez, and has more versatility/durability, but he’s basically been a replacement level pitcher over the past two seasons, and retaining Affeldt shouldn’t have been much of a priority. I’m not even sure if he’d command $5MM on the open market.

As a whole, these two moves are a bit excessive and unnecessary — at least at this point. The Giants just spent more than $9MM on a couple of lefty relievers, even though they’ve made it clear that they’re limiting payroll this year. The Giants are in dire need of bolstering their offense, and this deal conceivably means less money will be invested in free agent hitters. These aren’t terrible moves, per se, but they’re clearly not good ones either — there’s not really any potential for surplus value. If the Giants are intent on keeping payroll at a minimum despite the fact that they have resources to boost it, these deals are even worse. The Giants solidified their ‘pen, but they spent a good chunk of money to do so — money that would have been better invested on a quality free agent position player.

Of course, if the Giants do happen to raise payroll significantly (which I don’t anticipate), these deals are much more palatable.

Giants DFA Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada has been designated for assignment:

extrabaggs: BREAKING NEWS: The Giants designated Miguel Tejada for assignment.

A while back, I revisited the Miguel Tejada signing, and concluded the following:

[...] the Giants had better options for shortstop in Hardy and Barlett — and based on what the Orioles and Rays fetched in return for their shortstops (respectively), the Giants probably had a good shot at acquiring either of them. Instead, the Giants have paid a price of $6.5MM plus Thomas Neal in order to fill their shortstop needs, and still have not received adequate production from the position. Signing Tejada to that one-year deal is a move that’s proven to be a big mistake for the organization.

Expectations for Tejada weren’t high, but he nevertheless managed to be a disappointment. All in all he hit .239/.270/.326 (54 wRC+) through 91 games (while playing shoddy defense).

Giants activate Romo and Torres, option Surkamp and Runzler

Some roster moves this morning, as the Giants get ready to play the final game of this four-game set.

Andres Torres returns to the lineup, and is batting leadoff:

Torres CF
Keppinger 2B
Beltran RF
Sandoval 3B
Belt LF
Huff 1B
Cabrera SS
Whiteside C
Cain P

With the exception of Orlando Cabrera‘s presence (I don’t think he should be starting against RHPs at all), I’m pretty content with this lineup. But they’ll be facing Bud Norris, who is arguably the best pitcher on the Astros. He’s a legitimate strikeout artist, and actually ranks 19th among qualified starters in K%.

Anyway, also returning from the DL is Sergio Romo.

To make room for Torres/Romo, the Giants optioned lefties Eric Surkamp and Dan Runzler to Triple-A.

Giants optioned Surkamp and Runzler.

Surkamp will reportedly be back to face the Padres on September 6th; in somewhat related news, there’s concern that Jonathan Sanchez‘s injury could be season-ending.