Durham was one of many free agent signings during the 2002 off-season. Durham signed on December 7, 2002 and helped lead the Giants to the best record in baseball in 2003. The Giants would not return to the postseason again during Durham’s tenure with San Francisco. In an era that saw the team sign many veteran free agents, Durham was one of the few free agents who were productive for the majority of his time with the club.
Butler signed as a free agent with the Giants on December 1, 1987. He would play three seasons with the Giants from 1988-1990. His bat at the top of the Giants lineup along with his glove in center field was a catalyst for the Giants teams of the late 1980’s. He helped lead the team to the 1989 World Series. In three years, Butler slashed .291/.381/.378 for an OPS of .759.
Brenly was signed as an amateur free agent on June 21, 1976. Brenly would debut with the Giants in 1981 and would play nine seasons with San Francisco. The catcher was a leader in the clubhouse as much as a presence on the field. His numbers helped him reach the 1984 All-Star game, but his impact was far greater to the Giants resurrection in the late 1980’s.
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Sandoval was signed as an amateur free agent in 2003 as a 16 year old out of Venezuela. He made his major league debut six years later at 22 and was an everyday starter by the following season. From 2009-2014, Sandoval was a part of a core group of Giants that helped the team win three World Series championships in five seasons. He won the 2012 Most Valuable Player award during the World Series for his performance, which included three home runs in Game 1.
Maybe the greatest free agent of the modern era, Bonds signed with the Giants on December 8, 1992. Bonds was coming off of his second MVP season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was only 27 years old. He would spend the next 15 seasons with the Giants, setting several Major League records and finishing his career in 2007 as one of the greatest players of all-time.
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