Giants avoid arbitration with Ross; A's sign four

264918.jpg

Giants avoid arbitration with Ross; A's sign four

Jan. 18, 2011

URBAN ARCHIVE
GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
A'S PAGE A'S VIDEO

Programming note: Watch the 'Hot Stove Show,' hosted by MLB Insider Mychael Urban, tonight at 10 P.M. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area!
Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants playoff hero Cody Ross headlined the list of Bay Area big leaguers who avoided arbitration Tuesday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal worth a reported 6.3 million.Ross, an outfielder wholl be a free agent at the end of the 2011 season, made 4.45 million last season with the Marlins and Giants.

Also avoiding arbitration with one-year deals Tuesday were all but one of the remaining eligible Oakland As: recently acquired outfielder Josh Willingham (6 million), left-handed starter Dallas Braden (3.35 million), third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (4.75 million) and reserve outfielder Conor Jackson (terms unavailable).
RELATED: A's officially announce contracts for Balfour, four othersLefty reliever Craig Breslow is Oakland's only unsigned arb-eligible player.
UPDATE at 6:40 P.M.:
TheGiants also came to terms with lefty starter Jonathan Sanchez andrighty reliever Ramon Ramirez. A team source told CSNBayArea.comthat a one-year deal with Andres Torres will be done in 24 hours and reliever SantiagoCasilla's one-year deal is said to be 'all but done.' None of the contract figurescould be immediately verified.Leftyreliever Javier Lopez will be the lone arb-eligible player unsigned bythe Giants once the Torres and Casilla deals are done, but Lopez andthe team exchanged proposed salary figures for 2011 on Tuesday, withLopez submitting 2.875 million and the club countering with 2 million. Ross, who was acquired by the Giants on waivers from the Marlins on Aug. 23 in an effort to block the rival Padres from picking him up, ended up being one of the biggest steals in the game. He worked his way into the starting lineup with consistent offensive production before going on a tear in postseason play.
WATCH: NLCS Game 6 Postgame -- Cody Ross
His sixth-inning home run to break up Derek Lowes no-hitter in Game 4 of the National League Division Series helped send the Giants to the NL Championship Series, in which Ross hit three home runs -- two in Game 1 on the road against Phillies ace Roy Halladay and drove in five runs on the way to claiming series MVP honors.He went deep twice more in the World Series against the Rangers, finishing the playoffs with five homers and 10 RBIs to cement cult status among Giants fans.

49ers acquire running back, draft pick in trade with Broncos

49ers acquire running back, draft pick in trade with Broncos

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers acquired running back Kapri Bibbs from the Denver Broncos in general manager John Lynch’s fifth trade of the draft.

The 49ers also picked up Denver’s fifth-round selection, No. 177 overall, in exchange for the 49ers’ fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Bibbs, who was not selected in the 2014 draft, carried 29 times for 129 yards last season. He caught two passes for 75 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown catch-and-run against the Raiders.

Lynch worked out the trade for Bibbs (5-11, 203) with Denver general manager John Elway. Adam Peters, the 49ers’ vice president of player personnel, previously served as Denver’s director of college scouting.

Bibbs joins a 49ers running back group that consists of Carlos Hyde, Tim Hightower, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis and Raheem Mostert.

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — In a quiet moment in the dugout Friday, manager Bruce Bochy tried to figure out a nickname for his new budding star. During a week where Christian Arroyo has made the game look so easy, this has turned out to be the most difficult part. 

Bochy briefly settled on “Yo” before that was scuttled because the team’s video coordinator is Yo Miyamoto. Joe Panik said some players have tried C.A. or YoYo, but admitted that neither is all that good. The team’s Twitter account spent a few days trying to make Boss Baby a thing, but Arroyo wasn’t thrilled with that one and the experiment appears to be over. In a back room of the clubhouse, there’s a printout showing Arroyo and Buzz from “Home Alone,” but that comparison is much better made with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman. 

Perhaps the answer is as simple as the path Arroyo’s bat takes to a fastball. As he watched Arroyo field grounders during batting practice, Dick Tidrow was asked about the 21-year-old. Tidrow, the team’s senior VP of player personnel, has seen and worked with Arroyo since he was drafted. 

“We always just called him The Kid,” Tidrow said. “He would turn around when I called him Kid.”

The Kid is growing up quickly. Arroyo’s second homer of the week was the game-winner Friday, an eighth-inning blast that put a lead in Mark Melancon’s hands. The new closer made sure the new third baseman’s homer didn’t go to waste, clinching a 4-3 win that got the Giants out of the National League West’s cellar. 

The homer might have surprised Arroyo as much as anyone. He came here with a reputation as a mature and talented hitter, but power is not his calling card. 

“I’m not trying to hit a homer there,” he said. “Get the head out, see a pitch over the plate, barrel something, just keep the line moving. I got a good pitch, elevated it, and fortunately it went out.”

Arroyo already speaks like a hitting coach, but he is not afraid to admit that there are things he doesn’t know. It’s easy to get film on opposing starters, but there’s little a rookie can do to prepare for late-inning pitching changes. Arroyo consulted Buster Posey and Conor Gillaspie before facing Ryan Buchter, who has been in the division for two years. Gillaspie told him Buchter’s fastball has some late life and gets on a hitter. 

“I wanted to see it and the first pitch was a little low so I got a good read on them,” Arroyo said. 

The second one was right at the belt and Arroyo pulled it down the line for his second big league homer. He had just three last year in Double-A, but the Giants felt the 36 doubles showed that power was on the way. 

“He’s got pop,” Bochy said. “He’s not a guy trying to hit homers. He tries to put a good swing on it. But he drives balls and you saw it tonight. We see him more as a gap guy, but he’ll get more power as he gets older. We’re not asking him to hit homers, trust me, but it’s good to see him letting it go.”

The homer secured a win on a night when a lot went right. Jeff Samardzija was sharp, paying for one pitch to Ryan Schimpf that left the park but otherwise pitching seven strong. Panik and Brandon Belt ignited the offense early and Michael Morse came through with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the fifth. Derek Law and Mark Melancon closed it out, with Melancon getting help from Panik, who made a spectacular tumbling catch on a flare to shallow right-center. It was a big first out given that Melancon was pitching for the third straight day. 

“It was going to be in no man’s land,” Panik said. “You give it everything you’ve got. Fortunately the ball stayed in the glove.”

When it was over, the youngest Giant was in for another round of interviews to cap a hectic week. On Monday he made his debut and on Tuesday he picked up his first hit. Wednesday brought the first homer and Thursday was the first multi-hit game. What will the weekend include? Maybe a real nickname? 

For now, the Giants are fine with leaning on The Kid, because many of them didn’t even know how young the star of the week was until he was a couple of days into his big league career.

“I was thinking he was 23 or 24,” Samardzija said. “This has been really impressive.”