The Frandsen deal created much-needed room for the Giants on their 40-man roster, since non-roster pitchers Guillermo Mota and Todd Wellemeyer are likely to make the Opening Day staff.
Moreover, the Giants consider themselves well-stocked with infielders. Matt Downs and Ryan Rohlinger occupy roles similar to Frandsen's, and outfielders Mark DeRosa and Eugenio Velez can double as infielders.
But Frandsen wasn't dwelling on the minutiae of depth charts or roster management as he exchanged farewells with his suddenly former teammates. The 27-year-old from San Jose, who grew up rooting for the Giants as a youth, was absorbing the reality that his unique, unbroken and dual connection with the club -- as a fan and as a player -- had been severed.
"I'm so thankful to have been in this organization," Frandsen said, his voice husky with emotion. "Maybe the exact opportunity that I wanted wasn't there. But I got the opportunity to play in the big leagues with the San Francisco Giants, and not too many Bay Area people can say that. I lived a dream for a lot of people that are Giants fans and I cherished every minute of it."
That dream began for Frandsen when the Giants drafted him in the 12th round out of San Jose State in 2004. He impressed then-manager Felipe Alou during his first visit to big league camp in 2005 and made his Giants debut in 2006. Frandsen divided his time between the Majors and Triple-A Fresno that year and the next. He ended 2007 by hitting .367 for the Giants in his final 32 games and seemed to be primed to claim an everyday role the following season. But Frandsen missed virtually the entire 2008 season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in Spring Training, then was beaten out by Emmanuel Burriss in last year's competition for the second-base job.
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Citing pressure Frandsen might have faced after enduring the Achilles injury and while trying to make his hometown team, Giants general manager Brian Sabean said, "Frankly, I think Kevin is going to benefit from a change of scenery."
The Red Sox needed Frandsen for middle infield depth, particularly at shortstop, since Jed Lowrie has mononucleosis and Bill Hall's ability to handle the position is questionable. Frandsen will find at least one familiar face when he joins the Sox: second baseman Dustin Pedroia, his friend and constant offseason workout partner.
But the Giants wouldn't let Frandsen go quickly. He received a bear hug from pitching coach Dave Righetti, another San Jose native who bestowed his jersey No. 19 upon Frandsen for several years. The number had multiple sources of significance relating to Frandsen's older brother, DJ, who died of cancer in 2004.
Special assistant J.T. Snow, who played briefly for the Red Sox in 2006, asked Frandsen to tell Red Sox manager Terry Francona hello. First baseman Aubrey Huff, who has spent most of his nine-year career in the American League, informed Frandsen that if he plays well in baseball-mad Boston, he'll be deified.
"It's a great, great clubhouse," Frandsen said, expressing regret over leaving the Giants.
But he also said, "I'm going from one class organization to another class organization. I'm pretty lucky."
Among the players demoted to the Minors, the most intriguing one was Ford, who hit .500 (10-for-20) with four stolen bases in five attempts and wowed the Giants with his speed. Though Ford has never played above high-Class A, Bochy wouldn't rule out seeing the 24-year-old in a San Francisco uniform at some juncture this season.
"It's very hard to say that he surprised us, because he's a good player," Bochy said. "But he exceeded our expectations of what he can do."