July 31, 2005
By Rich Draper
MILWAUKEE, WIsc. -- The Giants' outfield has been crowded this season, and on Saturday night it just got deeper, and hopefully stronger. Former Seattle outfielder Randy Winn, 31, is expected to join the Giants on Tuesday when they return to SBC Park to face the Colorado Rockies, and for the speedy veteran, it'll be a return home.
The switch-hitting Winn, batting .275 this season with six homers, 37 RBIs and 25 doubles, grew up in the East Bay and attended Santa Clara University. He is expected to assume regular duties in center field for San Francisco.
"I'm definitely excited about joing the Giants," said Winn, acquired for Giants backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba and right-handed pitcher (and former San Francisco Dons standout) Jesse Foppert. "I'd love to come back there, and the Giants are a very good ballclub, right in the thick of the race in National Leauge West."
General manager Brian Sabean said he will turn his attention to getting a solid starting pitcher, but felt acquiring Winn will be a definite boost to the club.
"He was very attractive to us," said Sabean. "He's played all of the outfield positions but the timing is good for us, not only for what we're trying to do this year, but as we move foward in the future."
The Giants currently have outfielders Moises Alou, Marquis Grissom, Alex Sanchez, Michael Tucker and rookie Jason Ellison on the roster, and Sanchez is expected to be released once he recovers from a sprained left elbow.
Winn brings excellent defense to the club along with gap power, a premium at expansive SBC Park, and the Giants hope his presence can boost them into the playoffs.
"When you look at his track record, he has no errors this season and is a National League [type] player who's very well rounded, fast and has run production. The doubles are very attractive and he can steal bases," said Sabean.
"He has a pretty good resume for a switch-hitter who can impact the game."
Winn will make $3.75 million this season and the team has a $5 million option for 2006. He can also take $3.75 million next year via a player option or become a free agent.