The Giants rid themselves of two veterans on Wednesday, designating Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand for assignment. The Giants owed Rowand $12 million for 2012 and will have to pay him that entire amount.
San Francisco is activating Pat Burrell from the disabled list and call up first baseman Brett Pill. Pill was hitting .312/.341/.530 with 25 home runs and 107 RBI at Triple-A Fresno -- and if he can do half of that in San Francisco, he'll still help the Giants' anemic offense. Burrell has been out since July 14 with a foot injury.
Tejada, 37, was hitting just .239/.270/.326 with four homer ins in 91 games for the Giants, while Rowand, 33, was hitting .233/.274/.347 with four homers in 108 games.
"After much deliberation, including a long deliberation last night and sleeping on it, we felt this was the right time to set them free," general manager Brian Sabean told reporters (San Francisco Chronicle). "We appreciate their efforts. We're sorry it didn't turn out, but again, it's about managing the roster. There are only 40 spots. That has a lot to do with it, including giving Pill a chance."
And that's the key -- the 40 man spots. Even though rosters expand on Thursday, a player needs to be on the 40-man roster to be called up. Also, if Pill can hit like he did in the minors, he would be a valuable addition to the postseason roster, if the Giants can make it that far.
Those are the overt moves, the other side could be the team sending a message to underperforming veterans -- it doesn't matter how much you've done in your career (Tejada) or how much money you're owed (Rowand), if you don't perfrom (both), you're out. And there's been a lot of not performing of late. The Giants started the month a game up in the National League West and could find themselves seven games back at the close. Before Wednesday's game, the team is hitting .231/.283/.338 this month and averaging just 2.6 runs per game -- which no matter how good of a pitching staff you have, isn't going to cut it.
This may not be the end, either. Sabean said if the team's slide continues, more young players could be coming to replace the veterans.
"We're running out of games," Sabean said (San Francisco Chronicle). "We've all been on teams or seasons that turned on a dime. Nineteen ninety-eight was an example. Last year, too. Strange things happen. We're down to that."
Rowand told the Chronicle's John Shea that he understood the move and felt no ill-will toward the team (which will still pay him approximately $14 million for this yearand next, so why should he?), calling it "probably the right move for both parties. For myself and for the team."