Not that he would say anything different during the Giants championship victory parade, but free agent first baseman Aubrey Huff was pretty emphatic in saying that he wants to return to San Francisco next season.
From the Associated Press:
“Oh, absolutely, without question,” Huff said. “I won a World Series here. I’ve been in last place my whole life. I won a World Series. The fans are crazy. You’d be an idiot not to want to come back here. I love it. I’ve been on five different teams. I liked them but I didn’t love them. I love this place.”
It was the first playoff appearance for Huff in his 11-year career, so you could understand why he would be eager to return. He was a steal for the Giants this season, leading the team in home runs, RBIs, runs and OPS while playing on a one-year, $3 million deal. He’s in line for a nice raise, though his age (33) should keep his asking price reasonable.
As for the Giants, they have a host of free agents – Huff, Juan Uribe, Pat Burrell, Jose Guillen and probably Edgar Renteria – who could be gone from what was already a patchwork lineup. Frankly, no one needs Huff, and his victory thong, more than they do.
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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.