San Francisco Giants ink Gregor Blanco to two-year contract

By Mark ONeill

Gregor Blanco has avoided arbitration with the San Francisco Giants by signing a two-year, 7.5 million dollar deal, according to Venezuelan reporters, via a Henry Schulman tweet.  Having signed Nori Aoki just days ago, the Giants are finalizing some of the logistical details for the opening of spring training, only four weeks away now. 

The Giants had originally offered 3.2 million for one year, whereas Blanco had asked for four million dollars. The Giants are well-known for their ongoing efforts to keep players from having to go the arbitration route, and they would certainly have wanted to keep that record unblemished when dealing with a two-time world series winner.

Blanco played in 146 games for the Orange and Black in 2014 with 393 ABs, while batting .260 with five HRs, 18 2Bs, 6 3Bs and 38 RBIs. He had one big fly in the postseason and played a key role in helping the Giants overcome the loss of Angel Pagan.

Blanco is a good fit for AT&T Park because he is a superior defensive fielder and is well-acquainted with the unique configuration of his home yard. He gained national notice in a key supporting role in Matt Cain’s perfect game on June 13, 2012, the first year he played for the Giants, by streaking deep into right-center field, with his back more or less to home plate, and spearing a drive that by all rights, had no business being caught.

Jun 17, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco (7) tries to catch Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham (not pictured) 2-run home run in the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The knock on the White Shark, as he calls himself in his MLB blog, is that he is best suited as a back-up player and not a starter. With that being said, though, he obviously sufficed last year in replacing Pagan in center field. He did not make an error all season in center, and committed only one in left field. And that’s why he is back.

Gregor Blanco is a two-time World Series winner and is clearly a welcome addition to the 2015 edition of the Orange and Black.