Giants sign OF Roberts to three-year deal

Dec 2, 2006 - 7:14 PM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) - Dave Roberts has followed Bruce Bochy to the Bay Area.

The Giants on Saturday signed the veteran outfielder to a three-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the deal is worth $18 million.

Roberts, 34, played under Bochy the last two seasons with the San Diego Padres.

This past season, Roberts hit a career-high .293 with two homers and 44 RBI. He never has provided much power, but made up for it in 2006 by striking out just 61 times in 499 at-bats and bringing an element of speed to the game that few players can match.

"We are certainly thrilled to add a player of Dave's caliber to the top of our lineup," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. "Dave's speed and ability to get on base can alter many innings, and adds a new dimension to our offense."

One of underrated leadoff hitters in baseball, Roberts has stolen at least 39 bases in four of the last five seasons. He swiped a career-high 49 bases this past season to rank fourth in the National League.

Roberts also stole one of the most famous bases in baseball history in 2004, when he swiped second against New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in Game Four of the ALCS as a member of the Boston Red Sox. He came around to score on a single by Bill Mueller.

An eight-year veteran, Roberts is a .270 career hitter with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Red Sox and Padres. He has 207 lifetime stolen bases in addition to being a strong fielder, bunter and clubhouse presence.

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