"I'm definitely excited about joing the Giants," said Winn, acquired for Giants backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba and right-handed pitcher Jesse Foppert. "I'd love to come back there, and the Giants are a very good ballclub, right in the thick of the race in National Leauge West."
General manager Brian Sabean said he will turn his attention to getting a solid starting pitcher, but felt acquiring Winn will be a definite boost to the club.
"He was very attractive to us," said Sabean. "He's played all of the outfield positions but the timing is good for us, not only for what we're trying to do this year, but as we move foward in the future."
The Giants currently have outfielders Moises Alou, Marquis Grissom, Alex Sanchez, Michael Tucker and rookie Jason Ellison on the roster, and Sanchez is expected to be released once he recovers from a sprained left elbow.
Winn brings excellent defense to the club along with gap power, a premium at expansive SBC Park, and the Giants hope his presence can boost them into the playoffs.
"When you look at his track record, he has no errors this season and is a National League [type] player who's very well rounded, fast and has run production. The doubles are very attractive and he can steal bases," said Sabean.
"He has a pretty good resume for a switch-hitter who can impact the game."
Winn will make $3.75 million this season and the team has a $5 million option for 2006. He can also take $3.75 million next year via a player option or become a free agent.
For Torrealba, 27, it was almost an expected move. He'd been with the organization all his professional life, starting in 1995 at Bellingham, and had been playing second fiddle with the Giants since 2001.
An excellent defensive catcher, this is an opportunity, especially with Gold Glove backstop Mike Matheny inked to a three-year contract. In another move Saturday, the Giants purchased the contract of Triple-A Fresno catcher Yamid Haad.
"I'm really excited about it and hopefully I'll get a chance to play," said Torrealba. "Obviously, there's a reason they want me to play every day. Now it's time for me to move on, but I don't know what's going to happen."
In 34 games this season, Torrealba was batting .226 with one homer and seven RBIs.
Foppert was the Giants' No. 2 selection in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft from the University of San Francisco and pitched briefly this year after recovering from 2003 Tommy John surgery. A neck strain put him on the disabled list; the 25-year-old is still in rehab mode but healthy.
Winn, an American League All-Star in 2002 for Tampa Bay, realizes coming back to his roots has some drawbacks, particularly with more family distractions.
"I still have family and friends in the area, but you have to set your boundaries," said Winn. "I'm there to work first and foremost and that gets my focus, to help the team win."
The Giants were desperate to acquire a strong left-handed bat with the absence of slugger Barry Bonds. Neither regular outfielders Grissom nor Ellison would comment until they learned more about the situation, although the pair can play all positions.
Losing Foppert was tough, according to Sabean, as the 25-year-old had showed promise by winning eight games in 2003 until he required ligament-transplant surgery that September.
"It's never easy," said Sabean, "especially when there's somebody homegrown and gone through things with injuries and getting back in the saddle. It's just a business, but not cold-hearted. There's aches every time."