Free Agent Round-Up: October 28

In a move that may douse the hopes of Southsiders for back-to-back World Series championships, Paul Konerko filled for free agency. Other notable filings are AJ Burnett (FLA), Billy Wagner (PHI), and one of those amazing flying Molinas I've heard so much about, just to name a few.

The Nationals made a few minor signings, the Mets let 'reliever' Danny Graves go, the Rockies made a minor signing, and a total of 62 players filed for free agency. You can find a comprehensive list here.

The biggest news (although in every story about free agency filings, it appears in about the third paragraph) is that the Giants exercised options on five major players, Jason Schmidt, Randy Winn, Ray Durham, Moises Alou and LeTroy Hawkins. If Schmidt stays healthy, he's clearly worth the money, and Alou has the potential to be a bargain at 4 million. It would be a mistake to evaluate Winn on his performance with the Giants after being traded, (a superlative .359/.391/.680) but he is a career .288 hitter, and good discipline and adequate power for a outfielder with decent speed. Durham has hit .286 with the Giants over the last three seasons, and with a bit of pop. Hawkins has been a disaster since he left the Twins, and even though his stats aren't awful, there is the perception that he cannot perform in high pressure situations. I think he's overpaid at 3.5 million, even if it's only a one year commitment.

These decisions mean, very clearly, that the Giants are once again deferring any major rebuilding until Barry is out of the picture. They are going to try to keep their team together as is and win just enough games to take the weak NL West. As I profile the needs of teams in the coming weeks, we'll take a look at whether or not this really gives the Giants what they need to compete.

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