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Free Agents Begin Signing

And the first to go is reliever Jeremy Affeldt, to San Francisco for two years and $8 million. Leaving aside the question of whether the Giants have any sort of plan, this is a good deal for them. Affeldt used to be a really frustrating young starter with great stuff and debilitating blisters, but now he's just a good reliever. That might not be as exciting, but it's more useful. He had the best season of his career in 2008 as a Red, racking up 80 strikeouts and tons of grounders against 25 walks. He was dominant outside the Reds' homer-happy ballpark. He's not old, so he's a decent bet to put up two very good seasons for the Giants. The Reds, meanwhile, actually had one of the better bullpens in the majors last year; they'll miss Affeldt, but maybe not as much as you might think. Plus, they'll get a compensation pick for him--Affeldt is a Type B free agent.