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San Francisco Giants’ Brian Sabean has left field situation well in hand

By Mark ONeill
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I read Grant Brisbee’s piece, out of McCovey Chronicles on November 10th, saying that the San Francisco Giants are interested in Torii Hunter, the 39-year-old center fielder-turned-right fielder, coming off a two-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, and looking for a new team.

Brisbee pointed to Torii Hunter’s nine Gold Glove awards in his career, the fact that he is known to be a good clubhouse guy, and that he’s only been on the disabled list once in the past nine seasons, as reasons why teams might be interested.

The author also noted that FanGraphs had Hunter as the second-worst defensive player in baseball last year, saying though, that teams must keep in mind that Hunter has been playing right field instead of center. Brisbee also stated that the sampling size was really too small to focus that much on, but if defense is a question at all, then why are we having this discussion?

With Michael Morse only 32 years old, and at least playing his normal role in left field, as opposed to shifting from one out-of-position spot (right field), to another out-of-position spot (left field), it would seem to make sense to stick with what you had, and not go after an even bigger liability.

In need of a replacement since Barry Bonds left, Brian Sabean may be looking for something a little more long-term.

Or if not a bigger liability, it might appear that Hunter is only a stop-gap measure, so why not go with a younger player, and see if that doesn’t lead to a more long-term solution to the left field spot?

September 9, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco (7, center) is congratulated by first baseman Buster Posey (28) for scoring on a RBI-single by second baseman Joe Panik (12, not pictured) against Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero (26, right) during the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Those in support of Hunter joining the Giants, point to players such as Pat Burrell and Edgar Renteria, as veterans who came in and helped the team immensely; detractors maintain that youth and speed are already on the payroll in the form of Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez, and old dudes need not apply. I wrote last week that I thought the Giants should keep Morse and the Force with the Orange and Black, but then, I’m an old dude.

Whereas debating these matters prior to, during, and after the season is most enjoyable-albeit fruitless-ultimately Brian Sabean calls the shots, but you already knew that. I mention Sabean’s role in this process because I can’t help noticing that he is awfully good at it. He seems to know when a guy has something left and when he doesn’t, Dan Uggla notwithstanding.

Sabean has made it clear that left field will-appropriately enough-take a back seat to the third base conundrum. Until Pablo Sandoval settles on which city he would like to DH for, Michael Morse, Torii Hunter, and left field will simply have to wait, and that’s OK with me.

After all, Sabean can only perform one miracle at a time.

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