Jan. 20, 2010GIANTS PAGE
What on earth is taking the Giants and Eric Byrnes so long? Is inviting Byrnes to spring training -- and Byrnes accepting -- not the biggest no-brainer since you signed up for a Comcast DVR box? (OK, so that was blatant butt-kissing. Sue me. But good luck serving the papers. Ill be too busy watching every episode of "Phineas and Ferb" to answer the door.) The papers that matters here are those on which Byrnes should put his signature to a minor-league deal. Hey, it's what the fans seem to want, and it's not going to cost a dime. Worst-case scenario: Byrnes stinks. Giants cut him loose. All they lose is a little meal money. Best-case scenario: Byrnes returns to the 2007 form that prompted the Diamondbacks to give him a three-year, 30-million contract, and the Giants (the team he grew up rooting for) sign him to a big-league deal for the big-league minimum (for players with like service time). There seems to be some confusion among fans regarding Arizonas financial role in all of this, so heres the clear: The D-Backs will either pay Byrnes about 11 million this year to do nothing, or theyll have to pay him more than 10 million to play for another team. That other team would have to pay that minimum -- which in this case would be in the 800,000 range. Understand that Im not saying the Giants need another player in his mid-30s. In fact, my opinion is quite the opposite, but examine the offseason moves. The 2010 team is going to be older than the 2009 team, for better of worse. But this situation is different, mainly because theres absolutely no risk. The Bay Area native and former A's outfielder has said he wants to sign here, and at the very least hed be a nice little spring diversion story. Whats the holdup? --Mychael UrbanWhat's on your mind?EmailMychael and let himknow. He may use it in his weeklyMailbag.