With qualifying offers made, Giants' rotation targets come into focus

With qualifying offers made, Giants' rotation targets come into focus
November 4, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Signing free agent Bronson Arroyo would not cost the Giants the No. 14 overall pick in the MLB Draft. (USATSI)

SAN FRANCISCO – Hoping for Bronson Arroyo? You’ll like what we’re about to tell you.

Dreaming of Ubaldo Jimenez? You’re about to feel a pinch.

Jimenez was among 13 players who received qualifying offers (one year at $14.1 million) by Monday’s deadline. The list includes two other pitchers, Ervin Santana and Hiroki Kuroda.

What does this mean? Well, it more or less establishes the market for free-agent starting pitchers that the Giants plan to explore in a bid to round out their rotation.

Signing Jimenez, Santana or Kuroda would cost the Giants their first-round pick (14th overall), which they have to appetite to sacrifice.

Arroyo didn’t get a qualifying offer from the Reds. Neither did Dan Haren, Paul Maholm, Ricky Nolasco, A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon or Scott Kazmir. If you want to take a shot on recapturing past glory, you could thrown in Roy Halladay, Josh Johnson and Johan Santana.

Then there’s Tim Hudson, who is coming off major ankle surgery. He wasn’t extended a qualifying offer from the Braves but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that they want to re-sign him. The AJC also mentioned the Giants among the teams that have inquired about his interest.

Figure on Hudson staying put.

But Hudson’s former batterymate, catcher Brian McCann, is expected to be on the move – likely to the Texas Rangers, who have long coveted him. The Giants like McCann as well, and no wonder. He’s a favorite of Giants manager Bruce Bochy because his hit gave the NL a victory in the 2010 All-Star Game -- and the Giants home-field advantage in the World Series.

Signing McCann would force the Giants to do more than move Buster Posey to first base and Brandon Belt to left field. It also would cost the Giants a draft pick. McCann was extended a qualifying offer, along with Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran, Kendrys Morales, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew.

Choo and Ellsbury were considered the two best fits for the Giants, who need an outfielder. But both were expected to price themselves beyond what the Giants were comfortable paying, anyway. Now they’d cost them a pick, too.

The Giants didn’t need to extend any qualifying offers because they already re-signed Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum. They want to bring back left-hander Javier Lopez as well, but they certainly weren’t going to extend $14.1 million to him.

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