The Giants have acquired a new center fielder, and he will be in San Francisco for a long time. The team will announce this afternoon it has signed Aaron Rowand to a five-year contract. Terms were not immediately available. Rowand, 30, has spent seven seasons in the majors, five with the White Sox and the last two with the Phillies, and owns a career batting average of .286 with a .343 on-base percentage. In 2007, playing at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, Rowand established career highs of 27 home runs and 89 RBIs. He also has a reputation as a tough, gritty outfielder, perhaps best-remembered for a 2006 catch with the Phillies in which he crashed face-first into the fence in Chicago and broke his nose, all the while holding onto the baseball.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the value of Rowand's contract was
believed to have approached the five-year, $90 million package that Torii Hunter, another free-agent center fielder, recently received from the Los Angeles Angels reported by the Associated Press to be $60 million.
Regarding Mr. Fukudome
One Padres official told the San Diego Union-Tribune the negotiations came down to "Show me the money." The Cubs obviously have more money to spend than the small-market Padres and the White Sox offer was never seriously considered. San Diego immediately regrouped and signed second baseman Tadahito Iguchi to one-year, $4 million deal, and are expected to try and re-sign centerfielder Mike Cameron.
Update [2007-12-12 18:36:25 by The Cheat]: According to one report
, the White Sox (and maybe others) were the high bidder for Fukudome.
In particular, manager Lou Piniella paid off for the Cubs again... helping sway Fukudome away from the higher-bidding White Sox and others.
In other news,
Jim looks at the remaining CF options. BTW, Kosuke Fukudome's projections: PECOTA: .289/.401/.504. CHONE: .283/.373/.465. ZiPS: .293/.382/.460.
- The Astros acquired Miguel Tejada for 5 players (outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate and third baseman Mike Costanzo). Tejada has 2 players remaining on his contract. BTW, the A's sure like our relievers. And the Royals non-tendered OF Emil Brown.
- Hot Stove: Willie Randolph is considering Jason Marquis. And Omar wouldn't trade Milledge for Garland? -- The Padres signed Tadahito to a 1-year deal, and are after Mike Cameron, and Jason Bay. Scratch the Jason Bay part. -- The Rockies are targeting Luis Vizcaino. The Pirates too.