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Giants sign Rowand


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SAN FRANCISCO -- Aaron Rowand agreed to a five-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, giving the club the starting center fielder it sought this winter.



Aaron Rowand


Center Field

Philadelphia Phillies




2007 Season Stats GM HR RBI R OBP AVG

161 27 89 105 .374 .309


The 30-year-old Rowand is expected to bat fifth for San Francisco after spending the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.


He is coming off his best season yet, earning his first Gold Glove award and All-Star selection while helping the Phillies to the NL East title. He batted .309 with 27 home runs and career bests of 89 RBIs, 105 runs, 189 hits, 45 doubles in 161 games.


While manager Bruce Bochy had said Rajai Davis would get a chance to earn the job come spring training, Rowand was brought in to start in center. That means Dave Roberts likely will shift from center to left field to replace departed home run king Barry Bonds, Randy Winn will stay put in right while Davis and some of the other young outfielders share time in a reserve role.


"Aaron is an all-around player who is coming into his prime and helps us check off two boxes -- an extremely talented defensive center fielder and a middle of the order presence," general manager Brian Sabean said. "His ability in center field definitely plays to our ballpark and will help provide more stability to our pitching staff."


The Giants haven't reached the playoffs since 2003. They re-signed 11-time Gold Glove shortstop Omar Vizquel last month, but still have a hole to fill at third and possibly first. If the Giants don't bring back Pedro Feliz at third, Kevin Frandsen or Rich Aurilia might wind up playing that spot.


The Dodgers (82-80) and Giants (71-91) brought up the rear in the NL West for just the second time since division play began in 1969.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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I like the signing very much.. But yes, the Giants need a lot more than this, so I'm hoping there are more moves to follow. They need a 3b and 1b... With this signing, we now have a surplus of outfielders. Rajai Davis, Fred Lewis, and Nate Schierholz are the young guys available for trade. I wouldn't be surprised if Dave Roberts or Randy Winn are traded either... But they can now package one of those guys with a young pitcher if they needed to get a big bat to play 1b or 3b... Personally, I'd hate to see Fred Lewis go... And Randy Winn has been very consistent... It'll be interesting to see what Sabean is planning on doing next.

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