MLB: Giants complete 1-year deal with Huff
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Baseball Writer
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants completed their $3 million, one-year contract with Aubrey Huff on Wednesday.
The first baseman passed a physical after the sides agreed to terms during the weekend.
General manager Brian Sabean made it known finding a left-handed power hitter was a priority before the start of spring training next month.
Huff struggled offensively last season and batted a career-worst .241. He was traded from Baltimore to Detroit in August and the switch didn’t work out well. He wound up with 15 homers and 85 RBIs in 150 games between the two teams.
The Giants are counting on Huff returning to his 2008 form, when he hit .304 with 32 home runs and a career-best 108 RBIs.
Huff will likely start at first base, but gives manager Bruce Bochy flexibility based on the fact he can also play third and the outfield.
San Francisco will be eager to have Huff’s offensive punch. The Giants ranked 29th out of the 30 major league teams for home runs in 2009 with 122, ahead only of the New York Mets (95). They also were 26th in runs with 657.
Sabean considered bettering the offense a key to the club ending a six-year playoff drought.
San Francisco was in the NL wild-card chase well into September, but hasn’t been to the postseason since 2003. At 88-74 in 2009, the Giants won 16 more games than in 2008.
Huff joins recently signed infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa. He received a $12 million, two-year contract to join the Giants in late December. He is expected to play left field considering the depth in the infield, but also can play first or third.