"That won't happen" Ramirez said. "Understand me, I have goals. I know that if I play six more years, I could get to my 3,000th hit and, who knows, maybe my 700th home run."Will Clark, the former star first baseman who recently rejoined the organization as a front-office special assistant, was more blunt in his assessment of Ramirez during a question-and-answer session during the KNBR 680/Giants FanFest. "We do not need a one-dimensional player," Clark said to considerable applause as he responded to a fan's question about Ramirez. "We do not need a guy who just hits ... Manny's a great hitter and all that, but that 'Manny being Manny' -- throw that out." Sabean reiterated another facet of the Giants' player-acquisition strategy: They could seize upon the nation's reeling economy and wait until the approach of the July 31 Trade Deadline, when teams that are both financially distressed and out of contention become willing to trade productive hitters for less than what they're worth. "We're going to be able to take a contract," Sabean said, reflecting the Giants' belief that they're on firmer financial footing than many clubs. Sabean hinted that the Giants already are compiling a "hit list" of players who could be available. "But we won't be the only team doing that," he said. "Any team with flexibility will be doing the same thing." Regarding the Giants' offseason-long effort to obtain a proven hitter who can start at either first or third, Sabean reiterated his frustration with both free-agent options and trade possibilities. Sabean indicated that the Giants would swap left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who's often mentioned in various rumors, only if they could receive a hitter with similar service time who wouldn't become eligible for free agency for another few years.
"Right now that doesn't exist," Sabean said.Sabean said months ago that virtually all available free agents who might help the Giants had "warts" -- that is, they'd be eligible for free agency after 2009, were saddled with injury issues or had reputations as poor defenders. "The warts haven't gone away," Sabean said Saturday. "That's the reason you see name players still out there." Multiple outfielders remain available, but Sabean expressed satisfaction with the Giants' projected outfield of Fred Lewis, Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.