Aubrey Huff Remains in San Fran

By R.J. Anderson //

The San Francisco Giants secured the services one of their unlikely 2010 heroes today, re-signing Aubrey Huff for two years and $22 million (with a club option for a third year). I took a look at what Huff’s real world value to the Giants meant at FanGraphs, so in the interest of new material, let’s focus on solely his fantasy value.

Over the last three seasons, Huff has teetered between good and bad offensive player to the extremes of which are nothing shy of a rarity. With the Orioles in 2008, he hit .304 with 32 home runs and 108 runs batted in. That kind of production made his 2009 season even more of an unexpected disaster, as he managed a .241/.310/.384 line with just 15 home runs while splitting time with the Orioles and Tigers. Nobody knew what to expect from Huff entering 2010, and as a result, the Giants were able to secure him at a relatively low cost. He made them quite the return on investment, hitting .290/.385/.506 with 26 home runs in a pitcher’s paradise.

Taking an average of those three seasons nets you a .280 batting average with 24 home runs and 93 runs batted in. Take into consideration Huff’s age (he turns 34 turns before Christmas) along with the ballpark, and Huff is unlikely to replicate those numbers. That means a safer expectation for next season is a slight decline in each category; i.e. a .270 average instead of .280, 20 home runs instead of 24, and 80-to-85 runs batted in instead of 90-plus. That means he still holds fantasy value, especially if eligible at multiple positions.

The one consequence this re-signing holds for the Giants is that top prospect Brandon Belt is blocked for the foreseeable future. Eno Sarris will have more on what that means for Belt’s value later this week.

For more on Aubrey Huff and other free agents, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Front Office.

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