Free agents Scutaro, Affeldt, Pagan keenly aware of their value

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Free agents Scutaro, Affeldt, Pagan keenly aware of their value

SAN FRANCISCO Its impossible to reassemble every part ofa World Series team. Just look at how quickly the lineup from the Giants 2010 club, aside from Buster Posey, scattered to the wind.

But there are three integral members of the 2012 champions who will hit free agency at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning -- second baseman MarcoScutaro, left-hander Jeremy Affeldt and center fielder Angel Pagan -- and GM Brian Sabean said he will attempt to re-sign all three.

All three of them said would like to return as well. But theykeenly aware of their value, too -- especially Affeldt, after the Dodgers just signedright-hander Brandon League to a three-year contract that will average 7.1million per season.

I did see that, said Affeldt, who made 5 million thisyear. Theres a market established there, and it is what it is.

The Giants will have to move quick if they hope to getanything done with any of the three players during their exclusive negotiatingwindow; the expectation is that all of them will test the open market, however.

The market should be vigorous for Scutaro, who hit .500 onhis way to NLCS MVP honors and posted an incredible .362 average in 61 gamesafter arriving in late July in a trade from the Colorado Rockies.

Lest anyone forget, Scutaro lined a smooth single to drivein the tiebreaking run in the Giants World Series-clinching Game 4 victory at Detroit.

I am looking for 15 years, three thousand-million dollars,Scutaro said, with a wicked smile. How you like me now?

The Phillies will be among the teams expected to showinterest in the 37-year-old, but GM Brian Sabean said he considers theNo. 2-hitting second baseman a top priority. He was making 6 million in thefinal season of a three-year contract he signed with the Boston Red Sox, andlikely will command a deal a bit sweeter this time.

Asked if he could see himself coming back? Scutaro furrowedhis brow.

Is that a question? he said. Of course. This team isgreat. This city is great.

Affeldt, 33, finished his fourth season as a Giant with adominant run in the postseason. He didnt allow a run and held opponents to a.139 average over 10 playoff games while striking out 10. He struck out theside in the eighth inning of Sunday nights clinching Game 4 victory inDetroit, whiffing both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

Affeldt allowed just one home run while posting a 2.70 ERAin 65 appearances during the regular season.

If it works out, Id like to come back, Affeldt said. Butwhatever happens, Ill never have a bad word to say about this organization. Itwont ever be a situation where I wouldnt come back because I didnt like ithere. These guys are obviously frontrunners. They have to be.

Pagan is expected to be the most difficult to re-signbecause the market is thin on outfielders and hell be in great demand after hitting.288.338.440 with a major league-leading 15 triples, which also set a SanFrancisco-era franchise record.

Pagan scored 95 runs and stole 29 bases in 36 attempts, andcaught fire after returning to the leadoff spot Aug. 9. He also won the countryfree fast-food tacos by stealing a base in the World Series; he enjoyed hisspoils at one of the restaurants in Redwood City on Tuesday.

Hell get much more than tacos this winter.

I have no words to describe how special this is, saidPagan, after his parade vehicle reached City Hall. A lot of people told mebefore I came here how great the fans were. To actually experience winning achampionship here, theres no words. I hope I come back here next year.

But will he?

"There will be negotiations, he said, smiling.

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

MESA, Ariz. — The Giants went 0-62 last season when trailing after eight innings. Chris Marrero wasn’t around for any of that, but it’s a stat that could help Marrero as he tries to lock up a bench spot. 

The first baseman/left fielder crushed a three-run shot in the ninth inning Tuesday, wiping out a two-run deficit against the Cubs. Marrero also has two walk-off homers this spring. 

“This kid, you see it when he goes up there. He’s got great focus,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s intensity and determination. From day one, you could see it in his at-bats. Late in the game, he seems very comfortable. He wants to go up there.”

Tuesday’s homer, which shot out to right-center, was the eighth of the spring for Marrero. That ties him with a guy named Bryce Harper for the MLB lead, and the vast majority of Marrero’s bombs were no-doubters. 

“It’s been a great spring for him,” Bochy said. “The last game here, it seems fitting that he would do something like that. He’s already done it a couple of times. This kid has done all he can. I love his swing and the work that he’s put in.”

With Michael Morse down, Marrero is the best remaining option as a power right-handed bat off the bench, a glaring need a year ago. Justin Ruggiano, another one in the mix, followed Marrero’s shot with one of his own. The homer was Ruggiano’s second of the spring. 

Ruggiano is a better fit defensively in the outfield, but Marrero has been solid at first and Bochy said he’s fine with what he’s seen in left field. “He’s still working on it,” Bochy said, noting that Marrero will play left field during the Bay Bridge Series. 

LEADING OFF: Denard Span saw a wild pitch bounce off the bricks behind home plate, and he never slowed down. Span sped around third in the second inning and slid in ahead of the throw. The notable part of the play wasn’t that a quirky bounce allowed Span to take 180 feet on a wild pitch. It was that his legs did. The 33-year-old has been a different guy in his second spring with the Giants. Last year, Span was coming off hip surgery. This spring, his old game has returned.

“I’ve just been able to do the things I’ve always been able to do,” Span said. “I have more control of my body. I’m stronger. I had a full offseason and a full spring training to get my legs up under me. The last couple of weeks, I’ve felt much better and more confident.”

A healthy and spry Span would be a big boost to a lineup that often looked flat in the second half last season Span showed off every aspect of his game Tuesday. He blasted a leadoff homer on Jake Arrieta’s second pitch, and during their second matchup, he put a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single. Span stole second easily before his race home. 

“He’s playing terrific baseball and he’s been a real inspiration, being our leadoff hitter,” Bochy said. “That’s what we needed — energy at the top of the order.”

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez (shoulder) is feeling much better, and Bochy said he’ll play third base during the games at AT&T Park before getting four or five innings at shortstop on Saturday. Joe Panik (drilled in the back on Monday) said he’s feeling fine. 

POSITION BATTLES: Here’s the latest on Matt Cain, and here’s an update on Aaron Hill and Jimmy Rollins. 

ICYMI: Big news today from NBC Bay Area. Matt Williams, Javier Lopez and Cody Ross have joined out pre- and post-game shows. You can find stories about those guys on our homepage here. Those shows will also now be an hour long on both ends of the game, adding an extra hour of Giants coverage to your day. Which is good. 

That’s all on the way during the regular season. If you missed any of our spring coverage, you can find a bunch of features here, and podcasts here (spring pods included Mike Morse, Matt Cain, Mac Williamson, Jimmy Rollins and others, with one more coming this week). And in case you’re new to our coverage, the Twitter account is here and the Facebook page is here. Next stop, San Francisco … 

 

Giants appear to have decided between Hill or Rollins for roster spot

Giants appear to have decided between Hill or Rollins for roster spot

MESA, Ariz. -- Aaron Hill didn't play in the final Cactus League game, but he didn't need to. By simply being on the flight to San Francisco on Tuesday, Hill got good news. 

The veteran infielder was due a $100,000 bonus on Tuesday, and while the Giants haven't formally announced their roster, you don't pay a man that much money to come play three exhibition games against the A's. Hill appears to have made this club as a second backup infielder, along with Conor Gillaspie. Another veteran, Jimmy Rollins, got the news that the Giants are headed in a different direction. 

Team officials spoke with Rollins this week about their future plans. He was not on the travel roster Tuesday and did not attend the game against the Cubs. 

"We're waiting to hear back from him," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He knows the scenario and the situation. We're waiting to hear back."

Rollins, 38, showed the Giants that he can still handle shortstop defensively, and he was a quick learner when he moved to second. But he hit just .119, falling behind Hill, Kelby Tomlinson and others in the mix for bench spots. It would seem unlikely that Rollins would want to get additional at-bats in Triple-A, but that feeling hadn't been fully conveyed to team officials Tuesday. There was a hope that Rollins, an East Bay native, might join the team for the Bay Bridge Series, which finishes Saturday in Oakland. Rollins grew up an A's fan.

Rollins and Hill were part of a crowded infield group at the start of camp. Gordon Beckham also had a retention bonus and he asked to be released when he was told he wouldn't make the opening day roster. David Hernandez, the third player due a bonus, also was released. He promptly signed with the Atlanta Braves.