Giants aim to shore up infield

Needing offense and an overhaul of the left side of their infield, the San Francisco Giants have signed shortstop Edgar Renteria to a two-year, $18.5 million contract, a deal that was first reported by Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.

The Giants, intent on upgrading their anemic offense, have also discussed a trade that would send left-handed starter Jonathan Sanchez to the Florida Marlins in exchange for third baseman Jorge Cantu.

Sanchez, 26, was promising but inconsistent in 29 starts in 2008 for the Giants, whose offseason strategy is to part with young pitching to add bats through trades and sign arms via the free-agent market. Released by the Reds last December, Cantu, also 26, turned his career around with 29 home runs, 41 doubles and 95 RBI for the surprising Marlins last season.

The Giants dabbled in the possibilities of adding Rafael Furcal or Orlando Cabrera, but instead gave the 33-year-old Renteria a two-year, $18.5 million deal. Renteria struggled in Detroit last season but has always hit better in the National League.

“He is a complete player on both sides of the ball, a clutch performer and a winner,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said in a statement. “He has the hardware to show it with the awards he has garnered and a World Series ring. We look forward to seeing him in a Giants uniform.”

The Giants have been the most active team so far in the free-agent market, signing relievers Bob Howry and Jeremy Affeldt in addition to Renteria.

Cubs remain in hunt for Peavy

Despite reports to the contrary, the Cubs remain engaged in talks to acquire Jake Peavy from the Padres.

Indeed, a Padres source said the club had uncovered two teams which could provide the players to complete a trade. The Orioles are believed to be one.

Negotiations are expected to continue into next week’s winter meetings.

Tim Brown is a national baseball writer for Yahoo! Sports. He co-authored with Jim Abbott the memoir “Imperfect: an Improbable Life”.   Follow him on Twitter.   Send Tim a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008