Ex-Giant Winn among available free-agent outfielders

Tuesday, Dec. 7

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Randy Winn’s not returning to the Giants, but he intends to play somewhere.

Winn, who spent 2005-09 with San Francisco, is spending the winter in his Tampa-area home and training diligently while waiting to command interest from a team that needs a handy free-agent outfielder.

Winn’s agent, Craig Landis, acknowledged Tuesday at the Winter Meetings that his 36-year-old client probably will have to wait until late in the offseason to receive a deal.

“A lot of teams are focusing on the more expensive guys,” Landis said. “I don’t have a good feel yet on how the market’s going to be. But he definitely wants to play. He’s going to play somewhere.”

Winn’s career figures include a .284 batting average, a .343 on-base percentage and a .416 slugging percentage to go with 110 homers, 215 stolen bases and 662 RBIs. But his .239 average in 116 games last year with the Yankees and Cardinals was his worst for any of his 13 seasons, and his .307 on-base percentage equaled a personal low.

Winn also has the unlucky distinction of appearing in 1,717 games without performing in the postseason, most among active players.

“We’re going to have to try to find the right fit for him, where people can appreciate his switch-hitting ability, his ability to play three outfield spots and his ability to run the bases and steal a base every once in a while,” Landis said. “At this stage, he’s a smaller cog in the process. But the fit [with a team] is more important.”

Chris Haft


Really appreciated Randy’s professionalism and hustle when he was with the Giants, but he always seemed to be a bit of a downer during his plate appearances: usually wore a scowl, would pound himself or his bat for fouling off fat pitches, etc. I’m not inside the clubhouse and perhaps that wasn’t a negative factor for his teammates, but I’d hope – if he comes back to the big leagues for one last contract – he’d at least appear to stop and smell the roses every so often. Smile Randy, you’re doing one more tour in the big leagues!

Mr Haft,
What do you think of the crazy idea to use Barry Zito as the opening day starter? That would give our other 4 pitchers an extra day of rest. Plus, it would line them up versus the other team’s 2 through 5. In addition, might the Giants use a 6 man rotation for a month or two to also ease the staff into the year after the shortened off-season? – Mark

markjovial, there are a lot of off days in the first half, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about the pitchers’ arms. Even though they had a shortened off season, they were all throwing below their potential speeds (Raggs has done well to get these fireballers to pitch at about 90% and have better control). That alone can save an arm. But with all the off days in the first half, I think that can only help…for everybody. No need for a sixth man. Keep the offense up and defer to our excellent pen a little bit earlier, and there shouldn’t be any problem.

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