SAN FRANCISCO -- Contrary to a report issued Monday by New York radio station WFAN, the Giants have not signed free-agent shortstop Edgar Renteria to a two-year contract. "It's false," one of Renteria's agents, Barry Meister, flatly stated. Said a Giants official, "If we have a deal with a player, we're going to announce it, I assure you."
The Giants have seriously pursued middle infielders in free agency. They've been among the most ardent suitors for shortstop Rafael Furcal, widely considered the top shortstop available in free agency. They've expressed interest in second baseman Orlando Hudson, another premier free agent, and utilityman Juan Uribe. Another of Renteria's agents, Jeff Lane, said last Friday that his client and the Giants have exchanged contract proposals. But proposals aren't agreements. A source familiar with the talks between Renteria and the Giants said the parties are "nowhere near" finalizing a deal. Hence, WFAN's report that Renteria had signed a two-year, $18 million contract evaporated within hours. Renteria, 33, hit .270 last season with Detroit, his lowest average since he posted a .260 figure with St. Louis in 2001. He also totaled 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 138 games for he Tigers. A career .290 hitter who's also a five-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, Renteria earned $10 million last season. Though the Giants entered the offseason bent on finding a hitter to play one of the infield corners, they've apparently decided that free agency is fertile ground for offensively skilled middle infielders. The Giants' second basemen ranked last in the National League with five home runs, 14th with 78 runs and 12th with a .707 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 2008, while their shortstops ranked last in the NL in batting average (.228) and OPS (.576) and tied for last in home runs (one) and runs (51). The Giants are also known to have expressed interest in left-hander CC Sabathia, though reports that they've made an offer are believed to be overblown.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.