Giants Fortify Infield Ranks With Cubs' Fontenot





The Deal
The Giants acted quickly to address an injury to their starting shortstop by trading speedy low Class A center fielder Evan Crawford to the Cubs for reserve infielder Mike Fontenot. Entering play on Aug. 12, San Francisco sat 2 1/2 games off the Padres' pace in the National League West, but Edgar Renteria's trip to the disabled list forced the Giants to shuffle roles. They installed Juan Uribe as everyday shortstop and acquired Fontenot to spot for second baseman Freddy Sanchez and third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

A lefty hitter, Fontenot regressed from his career-year 2008 as the Cubs asked him in '09 to face a larger share of lefthanded pitchers, against who he's batted .235/.286/.348 in 149 career plate appearances. This year Chicago relegated him to a backup role with the emergence of rookie Starlin Castro. Even a trade of second baseman Ryan Theriot at the deadline did not free up more playing time for Fontenot. The Cubs acquired Blake DeWitt, a similar but younger player in that deal with the Dodgers.
 
Cubs Acquire
Evan Crawford, cf
Age: 22. Position: CF (108 G).
Born: Aug. 5, 1988 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 167. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Indiana.
Career Transactions: Selected by Giants in ninth round of 2009 draft; signed June 23, 2009.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Augusta (SAL) LoA .255 109 432 64 110 12 12 4 29 35 108 24 .319 .366

Crawford's game centers on top-of-the-line speed, as evident by his 38 stolen bases in 49 career attempts (78 percent success rate). At this stage, he's a non-factor as a hitter because he slaps at the ball and relies on his footspeed to leg out hits. Crawford has trouble identifying and hitting breaking balls, and his 108 strikeouts in 109 games bears this out. He has a chance to be a plus defensive center fielder if his instincts improve, but even if they do, his bat profiles well short of regular status in the big leagues.
 
Giants Acquire
Mike Fontenot, 2b/3b
Age: 31. Bats: L. Remaining Commitment: Signed 1-year, $1 million deal with Cubs in January, avoiding arbitration. Three arbitration years (2011-13) remain prior to free agency.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Chicago (NL) 2008 .305 119 243 42 74 22 1 9 40 34 51 2 .395 .514
Chicago (NL) 2009 .236 135 377 38 89 22 2 9 43 35 83 4 .301 .377
Chicago (NL) 2010 .284 75 169 14 48 11 3 1 20 10 28 1 .332 .402
3-Year Totals .267 329 789 94 211 55 6 19 103 79 162 7 .337 .425

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