LOS ANGELES, CA: Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants reacts after being hit in the head by a pitch from Vicente Padilla of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The players are all wearing number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
The Giants isn't dead. Not yet.
Now six games out of first place, though, they're definitely on life support. But they're not giving up, as today the club has made a series of big moves, one of which includes eating roughly $14 million. From the official press release:
The San Francisco Giants have recalled outfielder Pat Burrell from a rehab assignment and have reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list and have purchased the contract of infielder Brett Pill from triple-A Fresno, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today. To make room on the roster, the Giants have designated outfielder Aaron Rowand and infielder Miguel Tejada for assignment.
Rowand is still owed roughly $2 million this season ... and $12 million next season. Talk about your dead money, right?
After a subpar 2009, Rowand has been sub-subpar in 2010 and '11, with a combined .231/.277/.363 line. As is often the case, the issue becomes not so much the money, but the wasted roster spot. With the Giants ranking No. 30 in Major League Baseball in scoring, Rowand's been a big part of the problem rather than a small part of the solution. So, $12 million next season or no $12 million, he had to go. Finally.
Tejada's been even worse than Rowand this season, though at a far smaller price ($6.5 million).
Brett Pill wasn't on anyone's prospects list six months ago, but the 26-year-old first/second/third baseman exploded this season, his second with triple-A Fresno: .312/.341/.530.
Well, relatively exploded. Pill's numbers really aren't that great for a defensively challenged utility infielder who can't play shortstop in the Pacific Coast League. But he's probably better than Tejada, and not nearly as annoying.