As expected, third baseman Pedro Feliz elected to make the most of free agency by declining the Giants' offer of salary arbitration on Friday night. This doesn't sever Feliz's ties to the Giants, the only organization he has played for in 14 professional seasons. He can continue to negotiate with them, although Giants general manager Brian Sabean has maintained that he won't grant Feliz's wish for a three-year deal. Had Feliz accepted arbitration, he would have been considered a signed Giant. Now, if Feliz signs elsewhere, the Giants will receive draft-choice compensation, since he's a Type B free agent.
Feliz made $5.1 million in 2007, when he hit .253 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs and played Gold Glove-caliber defense. Despite his .708 OPS (.418 slugging percentage, .290 on-base percentage), arbitration likely would have set him up for a raise -- money the Giants would prefer to allocate elsewhere. The Giants have shown little desire to retain Feliz, focusing most of their player-acquisition efforts elsewhere. Options they've explored include trading right-hander Tim Lincecum for Toronto outfielder Alex Rios, inquiring about Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui and expressing interest in Japanese free-agent outfielder Kosuke Fukodome.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.