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Community Projection: Edgar Renteria

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From PC World’s 25 worst tech products list:

13. Edgar Renteria’s two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Look, we know the Giants needed a shortstop, but why did they bid against themselves? Awful deal. We’ll be surprised if the team is still intact and/or solvent by the end of this contract. This isn’t a tech product, but we included it because you might have read about the deal on your computer.

From Blender’s list of the 40 worst lyricists in music:

8. Edgar Renteria’s two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants

What in the heck was Brian Sabean thinking? Even though this has nothing to do with music, it still cracked the top ten of our list.

And who can forget the quotes from scouts about Edgar Renteria?

When I saw him play with the Tigers last year, I noticed that he didn’t have thumbs anymore. That isn’t some kind of scouting expression. He literally didn’t have thumbs. I’m not sure if there was some sort of Cuisinart accident in the clubhouse, or what, but no one would talk to me about it. I can’t believe Sabean signed a thumbless player for two years.

I love the smell of hyperbole in the early afternoon. But the point I’m trying to get across is that the Edgar Renteria deal has been widely panned. When Sabean played the waiting game with free agents a couple of years ago, he missed out on gems like Gary Matthews, Jr. and Juan Pierre. That would scar anyone, so he made a concerted effort to identify needs early and pounce on his targets. Then the market bottomed out, and now it’s reasonable to think that Renteria might have ended up with a one-year, $5M deal if the Giants didn’t sign him.

But I don’t care about that. Renteria wasn’t the difference between Teixeira and no Teixeira. He isn’t the difference between a young Latin prospect bonanza and a quiet international signing season. What would happen if the Giants didn’t sign Renteria, which would have kept their payroll below $80M? The same thing that happened with the $14M difference between the 2007 and 2008 payrolls. If you find out what happened to the extra cash, let me know. It’s worthy of a FanShot, at least.

I’m just excited that we don’t have to watch a player at short who has no business taking major league at-bats. Last year, we were treated to two or three. Renteria had a pretty bad year in 2008, but he wasn’t an overall embarrassment. And he was actually good as recently as 2007. Like, really good.

He’s getting older, and supposedly his defense isn’t what it used to be. But a shell of Renteria is a huge upgrade over the combined efforts of Giants shortstops last year. I think he’ll be a little better than a shell of his former self:

Edgar Renteria

AB: 448
AVG: .286
OBP: .341
SLG: .438
HR: 12
Defense: Meh. Acceptable.