Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reported earlier today that the 6.5 million dollar man Miguel Tejada had been designated for assignment. Moments later, Baggarly again tweeted that outfielder Aaron Rowand was packing up his locker as well, before confirming that he too had been designated for assignment.
Pat Burrell (after a spell on the 60 day Disabled List) and Brett Pill will be taking their spots on the 40 man roster.
The moves are surprising on one hand considering that rosters are about to expand tomorrow, and it wouldn’t be a problem for the Giants to carry the players over the final few weeks of the season. On the other hand, both Tejada and Rowand have been awful. To put things in perspective, Corey Patterson has been a vastly superior contributor to his teams than either of the former Giants.
Tejada is one of seventeen regulars in all of baseball to have a negative WAR at this point in the season, meaning that he will contribute more to the team after being DFA’d than by playing in any games. While getting on base only 27% of the time and slugging a measly .326, he has the worst wOBA in the National League.
Despite leading off for San Francisco in 46 games this season, Rowand’s 2.8% walk rate is tied with Vladimir Guerrero’s for the worst in the league, and he’s been caught stealing more times than he’s successfully swiped a bag. He’s struck out in almost a quarter of his plate appearances, all while earning, using the term very loosely, $12 million from the Giants. San Francisco is still on the hook for the same amount next season, as Rowand was signed through 2012.
This is why Jeff Keppinger seems like a hero to fans of this team.
As terrible as these players were this season, and they were terrible, today’s moves only serve to highlight what a serendipitous occasion it was last season when the Giants managed to win the World Series despite general manager Brian Sabean, whom we made fun of earlier today.
While also owing $19 million to Barry Zito, $10 million to Aubrey Huff, and $6 million to Freddy Sanchez next season, the Giants have just over $23 million coming off the books with the expiring contracts of Tejada, Burrell, Cody Ross, Mark DeRosa, Javier Lopez and Guilermo Mota.
However, that $23 million is going to be stretched thin with Keppinger, Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, Andres Torres, Ramon Ramirez, Santiago Casilla, Mike Fontenot, Pablo Sandoval, Sergio Romo, Nate Schierholtz and Eli Whiteside all heading to arbitration. Sandoval, Romo, Schierholtz and Whiteside will all be entering their first year of arbitration, but the other seven players are making a combined $27.3 million this season before their expected raises next year.
Summed up, the Giants already have $73 million committed to next year’s payroll and that’s before all those players receive their arbitration offers. Summed up even further, embezzlement isn’t the only mess that San Francisco’s payroll is facing.