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Benchies, the Musical

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The remodeling continues, with Jason Christiansen and Deivi Cruz traded for actual mouth-breathing humans. Deivi was the dollar bill to the Giants pay phone, and was mercifully shipped to the Nationals, a team that could actually use him. The Angels, on the other hand, need some help moving boxes or something.

The month-long house cleaning of pitchers and bench players opened up roster spots. Some were filled with players who will be around for next year's bench, like Jason Ellison. Others were filled with stopgaps, specifically Yamid Haad and Angel "The Panamanian Stopgap" Chavez. The tentative openings on the Giants of 2006:

One backup shortstop

One backup catcher

One backup outfielder

One first baseman, preferably a left-handed power source

One, possibly two, starting pitchers

Shake well, add a liberal dash of surly outfield god for a contender.

With the starting outfield more or less set with Winn/Alou/Bonds, Todd Linden is going to have to earn his playing time as a caddy for the elder outfielders. There should be plenty of playing time in that racket, but I wonder if the Giants will start having him take grounders at first. The Giants probably aren't sure exactly what they have in Lance Niekro, so it isn't the kind of situation where you bring in a platoon player, and keep Niekro away from righties at all costs. Between leftfield, rightfield, and first base, the Giants could creatively avoid stunting the development of Linden, giving him close to 400 at-bats.

Your thoughts on players around the league that could fill the holes? Are there any pet bench players you have been coveting from afar?