Giants don’t offer salary arbitration to 7 players |

Giants don’t offer salary arbitration to 7 players

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The San Francisco Giants declined to offer salary arbitration to any of their seven eligible players as a Tuesday night deadline passed.

The players are: infielder Rich Aurilia, reliever Bob Howry, catcher Bengie Molina, starter Brad Penny, infielder Juan Uribe, outfielder Randy Winn and pitcher Randy Johnson.

That means new teams can sign them without losing draft picks. Teams had until midnight EST Tuesday to make arbitration offers to their former players who became free agents.

While general manager Brian Sabean hopes to re-sign Penny, it’s unlikely Aurilia, Molina, Winn or Johnson will be back with the team in 2010. Molina is seeking a multiyear deal, but the Giants have Buster Posey in line to become the starter soon.

The 46-year-old Big Unit, who in June became the 24th pitcher with 300 victories, went home after the season to decide whether to pitch a 23rd big league season or retire. He missed more than two months with a shoulder injury.

The five-time Cy Young Award winner acknowledged that pitching more than five innings and being effective as a starter would be tough at this stage of his career.

The Giants are also facing a potentially complicated and expensive arbitration process this winter with ace Tim Lincecum, who has won back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards. He went 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA in 32 starts and 225 1-3 innings this year.

San Francisco went 88-74 last season, winning 16 more games than in 2008, and were in the playoff chase well into September.