The first major move of the offseason was made Tuesday (Nov. 23) when the San Francisco Giants re-signed first baseman Aubrey Huff to a reported two-year deal for $22 million.
When the news broke this morning, More Splash Hits had two reactions.
The first was: Great! Huff Daddy was a vital part of the 2010 World Series championship team.
Huff finished seventh in the NL MVP voting. He led the Giants in most offensive categories for players with more than 400 at-bats, including home runs (26), RBI (87), hits (165), walks (83), OBP (.385) and slugging (.506).
The second reaction was: Dude! That’s a boatload of cash!
If early reports of the cash value are accurate, it’s clear that the Giants paid a steep price to get the deal now. It’s really hard to imagine that Huff would have received a similar deal on the free-agent market.
Consider that two years ago, Adam Dunn signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Nationals when he was 28 and coming off a 40-homer, 100-RBI season. Huff is 33 and coming off a 26-HR, 87-RBI season.
But the Giants viewed Huff as a key component to their offseason plans, and they didn’t want to wait around to see what kind of offers Huff may have received elsewhere. If this deal is what it took to get Huff back on board now, the Giants were willing to make it.
Here’s another way to think about it: Last year, the Giants spent $12 million on Edgar Renteria and Aubrey Huff. So in 2011, they’re taking the money they no longer have to pay Renteria and gave it Huff.
However, the signing makes the re-signing of Uribe appear less likely.
After seeing Huff’s deal, Uribe is likely going to want something similar. Surely, Uribe’s agents will compare Uribe’s numbers to Huff’s on home runs (24 for Uribe, 26 for Huff) and RBI (85-86). And they’ll also point to Uribe’s versatility to play 2B, SS or 3B and that he is three years younger than Huff.
But other numbers clearly favor Huff, like average (.290 to .248), OBP (.385 to .310) and slugging (.506 to .440).
I’d be surprised if Uribe signs for less than two years, $16 million. That may be more than the Giants will be willing to pay. They may instead decide to wait and see if they can get a better bargain elsewhere.
The Giants will hold a press conference later Tuesday on the signing, so we’ll update more then.