Among the highlights of Friday’s San Francisco Giants workout was a previously unannounced visit from Andres Torres, who was a beloved member of the team from 2009 to 2011 and 2013. Torres was not re-signed following last season and is currently a free agent, but considering how much he has professed his love for the Giants organization, it was not surprising to see him on the field interacting with the team.
The 36-year-old Torres had his 2013 season ended early by a heel injury which required surgery. He said Friday that he will be done with rehab in May or June, but considering his age, lack of sustained production, inconsistency in the field, and .232 batting average over the past three seasons, it’s far from a sure thing that a team will have a spot to offer him during the middle of the season.
With that said, Torres has been a great asset for the organization during his time in San Francisco, and if no one decides to give him a chance on the field, the Giants should definitely offer him the opportunity to join the organization in some capacity. He said Friday that he is planning to move to the Bay Area full-time, so things would seem to fall into place easily if Torres is left without a playing opportunity this year.
First of all, Torres has always been talked about as an important part of the clubhouse. His consistent passion, as well as the lightheartedness he brought to the team with his eccentric, tight-fitting outfits, were quality contributions to the clubhouse environment.
In addition, he’s shown an exceptional amount of loyalty to the Giants organization time and time again, and the feeling seems to be mutual with both the fans and members of the organization. Even after the Giants traded him to the New York Mets for the 2012 season, he was ecstatic to return to AT&T Park as a visitor in July, hugging former teammates, coaches, and even security guards. When the Mets failed to make the postseason that year, Torres attended the NLCS as a fan at AT&T.
He took a big leap of faith as a free agent last offseason, rejecting advances from the Los Angeles Dodgers which could have at least given him the opportunity to earn a higher salary in San Francisco. Torres just wanted to be part of the Giants organization, though, calling it a “dream come true” to return.
Now with his career as a player possibly over, the Giants would be wise to bring him in as an ambassador for the organization. His willingness to come to spring training after the team showed no interest in retaining him as a player shows how much he loves the Giants. For someone who endeared himself to fans over the years and did a lot for the organization as a player, it only makes sense that he should be given the opportunity to truly be a Giant for life.