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More middling options...

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The rundown on possible first basemen acquisitions is temporarily on hold, with the more expensive/less likely bunch still to come. The march of the White Sox, and de facto offensive leader Paul Konerko, leaves Konerko's free agent value up in the air. He could throw a bullpen chair at a toddler in an attempt to take out a heckler. So there is the slightest chance his asking price will come down to what the Giants are willing to pay. The toddler would have to perish, however, as a slightly-maimed child would still leave Konerko out of the Giants price range. That's a bit of a catch-22. At the beginning of the season, the odds of Konerko winging a chair in the stands were comparable in my mind to the odds of the White Sox making the World Series, so there is still a chance. Better to wait and see.

Instead, the focus shifts to ideas of what we'd want from a backup infielder. Angel "The Panamanian Stopgap" Chavez hasn't exactly proven he'd make a decent AAA backup, much less someone to slot behind a 40-year old starter in the majors. The qualifications for my perfect backup middle infielder:

  1. Needs to be able to handle both second and short.
  2. Needs to not embarrass himself in the field.
  3. Needs to not embarrass himself at the plate.
End list. It can't be too stringent, because you're talking about a backup for a position historically bereft of quality hitters. The closer they inch to the quality hitter zone, the farther they'll scoot from the capable defender zone. It's, like, science.

A hastily concocted rundown:

Can almost hit, or maybe have hit well in the past, but aren't so hot in the field

Mark Bellhorn
Jose Valentin
Jose Hernandez
Rich Aurilia
Chris Woodward

Can certainly field, but aren't going to do much at the plate

Pokey Reese
Rey Sanchez

Can't hit/field enough to start, but hit/field/something enough to consider

Deivi Cruz
Damian Jackson

Used to fit one of the above descriptions, and possibly could again

Desi Relaford
Ramon Martinez

Not good enough to overcome just how boring they are

Jose Vizcaino
Luis Lopez

Good enough to start, perhaps, but jerky enough for several teams to put him on the Bruce Chen Express

D'Angelo Jimenez

Good for writer's block, bad for humanity

Neifi Perez

The wild card would be anyone from a list of minor-league free agents, though that doesn't exactly fit Brian Sabean's modus operandi. I was content with Deivi Cruz's level of performance, and would be thrilled to find something close. Cut the above list down to your top three, adding those who I might have missed. My three, in order: Woodward, Jimenez, and Aurilia. Honorable mention to Deivi II: Electric Pocketude.