Both Fontenot and Keppinger are 31 with career on-base percentages of .332, but the Giants see Fontenot able to play second, third and short and Keppinger as someone who could play first, second and third. That Fontenot would be cheaper (he signed for $1.05 million) was a factor.
--C Eli Whiteside was non-tendered and became a free agent, but he then reached agreement with the Giants on a one-year contract that will pay him $600,000 if he's on the major league roster and $175,000 if he's in the minors. C Chris Stewart appears to have the edge to be C Buster Posey's backup. The Giants' best catching prospect, Hector Sanchez, seems ticketed for Triple-A Fresno.
--OFs Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, acquired in trades with the Royals and Mets, respectively, are arbitration-eligible and were tendered contracts. Each is expected to make more than $4 million in 2012. In fact, all three of the Giants' projected starting outfielders were tendered contracts, including RF Nate Schierholtz.
--OF Aaron Rowand signed with the Marlins, meaning the Giants might get a break. They're still paying Rowand, who's in the final year of his five-year, $60 million contract. But if Rowand makes the Marlins' big-league roster and stays all season, he'd be paid the major-league minimum of $480,000 -- which would be deducted from what the Giants owe him next year. Still, the Giants owe Rowand, with whom they severed ties on Aug. 31, an awful lot of money.
--1B Brandon Belt is going to have to earn his playing time in 2012. He was the Opening Day first baseman last season, but ineffectiveness and injuries made it a forgettable year. He's healthy and a little more seasoned, and he's coming off a decent winter-ball stint. He hit .300 with 30 hits in 100 at-bats in 28 games for Leones del Escogido. He played both first and the outfield.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- Errors this year by new Giants outfielder Angel Pagan, who was no Gold Glover for the Mets. He called them "hustling errors," suggesting he was overly aggressive pursuing balls.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You have to make do with what the blueprint presents itself to be financially. That's what we're trying to do, we're trying to be creative within that." -- GM Brian Sabean on doing business with a $130 million payroll, knowing more than $30 million of it goes to ex-Giant Aaron Rowand and subpar pitcher Barry Zito.