The Giants signed veteran middle infielder Ryan Theriot to a $1.25 million contract, plus $750,000 worth of possible incentives.
Officially, he's a backup and Crawford is the starting shortstop.
But obviously the Giants wanted an insurance policy in case Crawford crumbles.
All they had in reserve before the Theriot signing were Mike Fontenot and Emmanuel Burriss. The insurance policy with Theriot is especially handy against left-handed pitchers. Crawford swings left-handed and often looked lost last year against lefties.
Fontenot swings left-handed, too.
It seems unlikely Crawford, Theriot, Fontenot and Burriss -- along with starting second baseman Freddy Sanchez -- all will make the team, and it could be intriguing if the final utility spot comes down to Theriot and Fontenot, who were teammates at LSU and with the Cubs.
Theriot hit .247 with one homer and 47 RBI in 132 games for the Cardinals. He made 87 starts at short and 17 at second.
The preference is for Crawford to win and keep the job, especially because he's the superior defender. But his bat is the issue, so it seems he'll have to hit his way into the lineup.