"We're working on it and we're certainly much, much closer, but nothing is done," said agent Barry Meister.
A source told ESPN.com that Renteria is looking at a contract in the two-year, $18 million range with San Francisco. WFAN radio in New York reported 10 days ago that Renteria had agreed to a deal with the Giants. But Meister had characterized that initial report as untrue.
Renteria, 33, is a .290 hitter in 13 big league seasons with the Florida Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers. He's won two Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger Awards in his career and produced the winning hit off Charles Nagy in Game 7 of Florida's 1997 World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Renteria hit a disappointing .270 with a .317 on-base percentage for the Tigers this season, and Detroit declined to offer him salary arbitration earlier this week. As a result, the Giants will not owe the Tigers any draft pick compensation in return for signing Renteria.
Last year Omar Vizquel, Emmanuel Burriss, Ivan Ochoa and Brian Bocock all spent time at shortstop for manager Bruce Bochy. San Francisco's shortstop contingent ranked 29th among the 30 major league teams with a .576 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Only the Baltimore Orioles' shortstops were worse.
The Giants and Oakland Athletics have been mentioned as leading contenders for Rafael Furcal, widely regarded as the top shortstop on the free-agent market this winter. But Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer, told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark earlier this week that he doesn't expect Furcal to sign with a club before the winter meetings, which begin Monday in Las Vegas.
Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for ESPN.com.