Creativity, Japan, and Lunch Meats.
The Giants find themselves in the middle of a tough situation. They have openings at major positions such as 1B, 2B, 3B, and OF. Oh, did I mention that the phrase 'Good Hitting Giants Prospect' hasn't existed in any Giants fans vocabulary for years. So don't go counting on any help from the minors to fill these vacated positions. Lance Neikro you can go home now.
Brian Sabean is going to have to get creative to fill these positions, either through trades or other means. But where else can you look when the free agent market is so bare?
This is where Akinori Iwamura comes in. The 27 year old put up a line of .311/.388/.543 in 2006. Smacking 32 homers and 27 doubles. Akinori Iwamura in all likelihood will end up being posted. Posting is the system that is used when a Japanese ball player wishes to play Major League Baseball. Teams make silent bids on the player with the highest bid winning the right to negotiate with the player. The winning team then has 30 days to work out a contract. The Japanese team, upon completion of the contract, receives the silent bid as a transfer fee. Sounds simple but why is he a good fit for the Giants?
- San Francisco has a fantastic Asian community. People went nuts for Tsuyoshi Shinjo. It would be great to see another Japanese ballplayer in San Francisco. The Giants were the first team ever in the majors to use a Japanese baseball player. Masanori Murakami pitched for the Giants through 1964-65 and had great success before leaving back to play in Japan.
- Akinori Iwamura has recently said that he would play 2B, SS, 3B, or OF for the team that employs him. The added versatility will help the Giants find replacements more easily for the other positions they need to fill.
- If Akinori is posted he would most likely be the best hitting third basemen on the market behind Aramis Ramirez. Even though some are skeptical of the quality of Japanese Pro Ball it can be compared to AAA or even slightly above.
Will Sabes kick the tires on Akinori? I hope he does because it makes a lot of sense for the Giants. I don't want to eat bologna sandwiches all next year.