With the 2019-20 MLB offseason right around the corner, let’s take a look back at how the San Francisco Giants fared in recent offseasons. Next up, the 2010-11 offseason.
The San Francisco Giants surprised more than a few people when they won a World Series title during the 2010 season.
While several homegrown stars played a pivotal role in the team’s success, there was a handful of key offseason moves like the Aubrey Huff and Santiago Casilla signings, as well as the decision to re-sign infielder Juan Uribe, that played a significant role in the team’s success.
After taking a closer look at the 2009-10 MLB offseason during the first installment of our look back at the past decade of San Francisco Giants offseason activity, it’s now time to see what the team did in the wake of that unexpected title run.
So without further ado, let’s dive into all the moves the team made that winter.
Notable Free Agency Departures
- IF Juan Uribe
- SS Edgar Renteria
- OF Jose Guillen
- RP Chris Ray
The Giants brought back three of their biggest free agents when sluggers Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell, along with veteran reliever Guillermo Mota, re-upped with the team.
The most notable loss was Juan Uribe, who had finished second on the team in home runs (24) and RBI (85) in 2010. He wound up signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers after playing on a one-year, $3.25 million deal in 2010.
World Series MVP Edgar Renteria finished out his 16-year career with the Cincinnati Reds in 2011, while slugger Jose Guillen called it a career after the 2010 season.
Reliever Chris Ray, who appeared in 28 games and posted a 4.13 ERA in 2010 after coming over from the Texas Rangers in the Bengie Molina trade, spent 2011 with the Seattle Mariners in what would be his final MLB season.
Notable Free Agency Additions
- 1B Aubrey Huff (2 years, $22 million)—re-signed
- SS Miguel Tejada (1 year, $6.5 million)
- OF Pat Burrell (1 year, $1 million)—re-signed
- SP Ryan Vogelsong (MiLB deal)
- RP Guillermo Mota (MiLB deal)—re-signed
- C Chris Stewart (MiLB deal)
The decision to bring back Aubrey Huff seemed like a no-brainer at the time after he posted a 5.5 WAR season in 2010 and lead the team in several offensive categories.
However, his OPS plummeted from .891 to .676 in 2011, and injuries limited him to just 52 games in 2012, so the hefty two-year, $22 million deal wound up being a bust.
The reunion with Pat Burrell also proved less fruitful than hoped, but he still managed a 115 OPS+ with 17 extra-base hits in 219 plate appearances and 1.0 WAR, so he was worth the $1 million price tag in his 12th and final season.
The hope was that Miguel Tejada still had enough left in the tank to replace Uribe as the everyday shortstop. Instead, the 37-year-old hit just .239/.270/.326 with four home runs in 343 plate appearances before losing playing time to a rookie by the name of Brandon Crawford.
Guillermo Mota received a modest raise from $750,000 to $925,000 after signing a minor league deal for the second year in a row, while Chris Stewart saw 67 games of action in a backup role.
Obviously, the prize of this free-agent haul wound up being Ryan Vogelsong.
After pitching in Japan from 2007-09 and then spending the entire 2010 season at the Triple-A level with the Phillies and Angels, little was expected of him when he was inked to a minor league contract.
However, he wound up going 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA, 1.252 WHIP and 139 strikeouts in 179.2 innings to earn a spot on the NL All-Star team and finish 11th in Cy Young voting.
Not bad for a 33-year-old who had not pitched at the MLB level since 2006 and had a 5.86 ERA in 315 career innings prior to the season.
While the 2011 season featured the infamous Zack Wheeler-for-Carlos Beltran swap at the trade deadline, no notable trades were completed during the offseason.
The San Francisco Giants ended up finishing 86-76 in 2011, missing the playoffs in the process, and an offseason largely devoid of major additions is at least partially to blame for their World Series hangover. Next up, we’ll take a look at the offseason that led up to the club’s return to glory in 2012.