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Torii don't surf

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My biggest fear of this offseason? I'm glad no one asked.

It can't be Mike Lowell because he plays a position of dire need. The contract would be too long, the money would be too much, and his performance is too inconsistent; however, he isn't Pedro Feliz, and he wouldn't be blocking anyone of note. Tomas De La Rosa, anyone? A big Lowell contract wouldn't be too wise, but it isn't my biggest fear of the offseason.

It isn't Andruw Jones, even though Jones had an abysmal year of abysmal years. A .222/.311/.413 hitter getting $100M? Yeah, well, down the hatch. But Jones is still only 30, and he's the only non-Rodriguez on the market with enough power to replace Bonds's home runs. Some team is going to gamble that this year was a total fluke for Jones. Maybe they'll be right. It's still a huge gamble, and one I can't picture the Giants taking. It still isn't my biggest fear of the offseason.

It wouldn't be another Benitez-like contract to a reliever. Francisco Cordero is coming off a monster season. But look at the lists of similar relievers on Cordero's Baseball Reference page, and notice how many pitchers completely disintegrated when they were Cordero's age -- Rob Dibble, Scott Williamson, Mel Rojas, and Doug Corbitt, for example. It's tough to give up four years to a reliever coming off a good season. Still, the Giants could use an outstanding reliever, and Cordero's one of the best in the game. Signing any reliever for big money is a gamble, but a pursuit of Cordero wouldn't be my biggest fear of the offseason.

The winner is Torii Hunter. That's the name that wakes me up at night. Consider:

  • Much of his value comes from his ability to play the only position at which the Giants have depth. He'd be the third transmission on an engineless car. You could say the same about Andruw Jones, but at least Jones's power certainly wouldn't be redundant.
  • He has a career on-base percentage of .324. .324! That isn't to say he's a bad player, but he certainly isn't a franchise player. He'll get a franchise player's contract. The mind boggles. He isn't Pedro Feliz, but he's waaaaaaay too close to Pedro Feliz to be considered a building block of a franchise. Feliz and Hunter are apples and oranges, but that's still a little too close than you'd like your franchise player to be to Feliz. You want your franchise player to match up with Pedro Feliz like apples and menopause, or apples and indignation. Apples and oranges are still fruits. They're sweet. You can make juice out of them. They have seeds. That's just too close to Feliz for my money.
  • Hunter will be 32 next year, so it isn't even a given that he'll continue to produce at his current rate, both at the plate and in the field.
I watched a low-OBP speed `n' defense center fielder crawl along the edge of my favorite team's roster. That's my dream. That's my nightmare.

Comment starter: What is your rostacalypse scenario? Who's the one free agent target that frightens the bejeebus out of you?