Rumors have begun swirling about the Giants having contract discussions with free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez, and while these may just be rumors, this seems all too typical of Brian Sabean. Alex Gonzalez, who will be 35 by opening day, is a veteran shortstop who is limited on defense at this stage in his career and refuses to draw a walk, as his career .291 OBP suggests. Gonzalez is coming off a very poor season in which he hit .241 with an anemic .270 OBP (22 BB in nearly 600 plate appearances). While he does have some pop (15 HRs in 2011), he makes his living hitting mistakes up in the zone. Given the spacious ballparks in the NL West and his age, his power will more that likely take a serious dip in 2012 and beyond.
Hopefully Sabean has learned from his past mistakes of throwing piles of money at senior citizen shortstops like Edgar Renteria (minus the 2010 World Series heroics), Miguel Tejada and Orlando Cabrera. Sabean should either pony up for younger, better options such as Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins, or give the job to Giants farm hand, Brandon Crawford. Crawford, like Gonzalez, doesn’t offer much on offense, but he has the potential to be a gold glove caliber SS at the league minimum salary. At a position where offense is a luxury, Sabean should give the job to Crawford in 2012 and see what he can do.