Next year, Aubrey Huff will wear orange and black and play near the Bay. Of course, it'll be the San Francisco Bay, and his cap will have an "SF" insignia, as he just signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Giants. That's a 63% pay cut from his 2009 salary, but them's the breaks when you're a 33-year-old slugger whose OPS dropped 218 points from one season to the next. Still, I wish the Manhorse (read the second paragraph here) well, and I thank him for doing the O's one last favor.
By signing with San Francisco, Huff damaged the leverage of fellow free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, who seems to have severely overestimated the market for his services. With a short-term vacancy at first base and a need for more power in the lineup, the Orioles would seem to be a good fit for LaRoche, who is in his prime at age 30 and should be counted on for 35-40 doubles, 25 home runs, and strong defense. But the ex-Brave and Pirate has been seeking a three-year, $30 million contract, which is too long and too rich for GM Andy MacPhail. Just last week, Adam reportedly turned down two years and $17 million from the Giants. Now he has one less bidder, and it's more likely that he could have to swallow his pride and take a one or two-year deal for a few less bills. I'd be fine with that, though I'm glad that the Birds never got around to trading Brian Roberts for LaRoche back in the middle of the last decade, as they planned to before owner Peter Angelos nipped it in the bud. Yikes.