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Renteria to the Giants? Premature Exclamation

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Shall we file this one under "And That Happened"? (With appropriate nods to ShysterBall, of course. And John Mayer.)

How badly do fans of the Detroit Tigers want to get rid of Edgar Renteria? The Tigersosphere surged with reports of Renteria signing a two-year, $18 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. Oh, the draft picks that would follow! (Two, to be exact, since Renteria is a Type A free agent.)

To quote football savant Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend. What we had here was a case of premature exclamation.

Just so there's no misunderstanding, I'm not saying I wouldn't have posted something about this, and also followed with an update/retraction later. The only reason I didn't was because I wasn't near a computer from about 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

The news was initially broken by Sweeny Murti of New York's WFAN. Should that have raised an eyebrow? Not Murti's reporting, but a New York radio station getting the story on a San Francisco baseball team signing a shortstop. Maybe not, but it doesn't seem like something you see (or hear, as it were) very often.

Then the San Francisco press did their own reporting, and our old friend Henry Schulman of the Chronicle talked to the Giants' director of player personnel, who said that no such deal had been agreed upon. Strike one.'s Jerry Crasnick then passed along a message to MLB Trade Rumors, noting that Renteria's agent was telling him the same thing. There was no contract. (However, there may have been a proposal, which could be how this whole rumor developed.) Strike two.

Finally, both Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted the unlikelihood of Renteria signing before December 1, by which time the Tigers will have to decide whether or not to offer him arbitration.

If Renteria were to sign before next Monday, if I'm understanding this correctly, the Tigers would then offer arbitration, knowing full well that it wouldn't be accepted, and get the Giants' second-round pick, in addition to a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. (Goold was also told by Renteria's agent that he'd check back with the Cardinals before accepting any contract offer from another team.) Strike three?

(All of this comes from MLB Trade Rumors, which became very busy chasing this story.)

Given the amount of smoke swirling around the Giants and Renteria, I'd be surprised if a deal didn't still take place between the two sides. That depends, however, on where Rafael Furcal decides to sign. If it's not with San Francisco, Renteria immediately becomes the next choice. (The same thing might also happen with the Oakland Athletics, though they appear to be the early favorite to win the Furcal auction.)

Regardless, it certainly looks like Tigers fans can now comfortably accept that Detroit will have a new shortstop next season. Renteria appears to be set on returning to the National League, where he's had his most success, and there hasn't been any talk of the Tigers making an offer to him (though they would surely wait until after Dec. 1 to do so).

I'm just grateful for the opportunity to run that photo of Renteria at least one last time. That's one of my favorites.