Baer says he’s open to signing Fielder or Pujols
Take this for what it’s worth, but according to an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times late Thursday night, San Francisco Giants’ new top executive Larry Baer says he is totally down with signing a premier free agent, like Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder or St. Louis’ Albert Pujols, this winter.
Baer, the team’s President since Peter Magowan stepped down in 2008 (and COO since 1996), will be taking over the managing general partner position vacated by Bill Neukom, who suddenly announced his “retirement” (after news leaked that he was getting ousted). Neukom sent out a letter to Giants fans late this afternoon thanking them for their support.
Immediately upon hearing about the change in the front office, many fans speculated that a conservative spending approach might be in order for 2012, particularly after the Giants dumped center fielder Aaron Rowand and his $12+ million contract a couple of weeks ago.
Baer, however, told reporters in a press conference Thursday that — while his focus will still be on grooming homegrown players from within the Giants’ farm system — he’s not opposed to cranking out the checkbook to make sure the team has a bona fide hitter for its horrible offense next year.
Neukom and Baer will work together during the transition, until Dec. 31, when Neukom will ride off into the sunset.
The 69-year old Neukom — described as charming, thoughtful, provocative and highly competitive — brought San Francisco its first World Series title last fall, three years after taking over a team riddled by the steroids controversy brought on by Barry Bonds.