Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I know it is silly to talk about 2009 when we just started 2008, but this armchair-GM'ing and wannabe sports reporting we do is pretty damn silly anyway, ain't it? Since I'm all for silliness, let's talk about MMIX.

There's a wonderful blog called COT'S CONTRACTS which has the details for all the MLB teams. If you want to see how big Da Beezy's contract is, check Cot's.

So here's the deal, or I should say, here are the deals. The 2009 Giants will be led by that dynamic duo, Boch & Sabes. Both signed though '09. So, of course, is our "starting" OF of Winn, Roberts (both through '09) and Rowand (Gulp, signed through 2012! That's right, 20-and-fookin'-12! FOURTEEN strikeouts so far this year for the big lug. Wow!). But we knew this. Now add Sr. Clutch, El Gamerino Himself, the man who would lose a footrace to both JT Snow and Marc Hill, Benjamin Jose Molina. Yep, signed through '09.

Da Beezy, of course, is signed through 2013. We won't go there. FIVE FOOKIN' WALKS TODAY? FIVE? Yeesh. OK, OK, OK, he's having a "rough patch." Noah Lowry is signed though '09 with a club option for 2010. No problem with that. Get healthy soon, Noah. MATT CAIN, and this is the GOOD NEWS, is locked up through 2010 and there's a club option for 2011. As long as the Giants don't do anything stupid (I mean more stupid than usual), RMC will be around for the duration. We got yer back, M.C.!

So that's it, amigos and amigas. Zito, Lowry, Cain. Rowand, Roberts, Winn. Molina. And a whole pile of young 'uns. (Are we going to sign The Franchise to a multi-year deal? Shouldn't we? Why haven't we? We want The Enchanter. We want him FOREVER!)

Also: tip o' the tam o'shanter to me bhoyo JCP for the grand postings about the Tim-ster. Monday's "Sweaty Tim" brought RMC to 100 posts! You get the game ball, pal.


Zo said...

Who is NOT signed through 2009, thank god? First Baseman Richie Gamer-attitude, the guy who misses the first two pitches by 2 feet (each) and then glares at the ump on a called strike three (Monday, first at bat). This is what scares me about Mr. Sabean's statement (referred to twice now in the Chron) about getting a first baseman. At the end of the season, there is a bunch of free agents available. Among first basemen, there are: Ben Broussard TEX, Carlos Delgado* NYM, Nomar Garciaparra LAD, Jason Giambi* NYY, Wes Helms PHI, Kevin Millar BAL, Richie Sexson SEA, Mark Teixeira ATL, Frank Thomas* TOR, Jim Thome CWS, Daryle Ward CHC. (All from Cot's Contracts, *signifies a club option for 2009.) There is one name that stands out here, and one guy that is under thirty. They are Mark Texiera. So if Mr. Sabean is "getting" a first baseman now, the questions are who, and for whom? You begin to see my fear. We either trade for a first baseman, and don't let our younger players (now including Bowker) try out for the position in 2008 (already being referred to in some circles as "the lost year"); we do let our young players try out, find out one is OK and save money or a player in the off-season; or we chase a free agent in the off-season. Seems like only one really bad choice here.

CJ said...

Is it too much to hope for that we re-sign Lincecum and Lowry (get better soon!) for moderate amounts of money and contend in the mediocre National League with three core pitchers (those two plus Cain) and a bunch of kids in the field?

I mean, haven't the Marlins won 2 World Series in their short existence pretty much that way (without even such dominant pitching)?

M.C. O'Connor said...

The '97 Marlins had Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, and Moises Alou to complement (rookie) Livan Hernandez, Kevin Brown, and Robb Nen. The '03 Marlins had Derrek Lee, Pudge Rodgriguez, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, and Dontrelle Willis. But your basic point is right--you CAN compete if your young talent comes through at the right time. Florida had good years from the vets while the young talent was emerging. Our problem is our aging vets are well past their primes, and can only help the team by getting hurt. Even if we sign Lincecum, we are still three years away--2008 and 2009 are gone. By 2010 we might be competitive. And the NL West is strong, with scary pitching (Webb, Haren, Peavy, Young, Maddux, Bell, Owings, Billingsley, Broxton, Saito, Lowe, Penny). And Colorado won the pennant with the weakest staff! The Giants have a looooooong way to go.

JC Parsons said...

This a great topic and one that I have recently been thinking alot about. How long is "rebuilding"? Two years? seems short. Four years? too long? I really don't know and I am sure that Sabean does not either.
The key to ALL of this is Lincecum. (yes I am biased) If we don't sign Tim (like we did Matt)then it is all up for grabs. Our ONLY chance to contend is during Tim and Matt's ascension to stardom, which could be agrued has already begun. I think we have to do some free agent action to compete in this time frame. If we wait for our low minor talent (Villalona, Noonan, Bumgartener)we may not have Tim anymore.
Man I am SICK OF Rowand. The strikeouts are horrible (he already has a 4 K game and two 3 K games!!)but his defense is a JOKE. I have seen several mental errors (inexcusable) as well as weak throws and sloppy fielding. The thought of Rowand, Roberts and even Winn as our outfield is SICKENING. Especially since OF is the only place we have prospects. Our only hope is more injuries! Get out the voodoo dolls.

CJ said...

I guess both Marlins teams had more 'names' than I remembered. I should really google these things before I post...

But Cain, Lincecum and probably a healthy Lowry all belong on that list of scary NL West pitching.

Maybe the best we can hope for is that Bonds' departure freed up some salary $ to go with the multiple lockers he used to occupy. I think 1 or 2 *smart* signings next off-season, combined with the kids we're developing this year could make us at least respectable next year.

Too optimistic?

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob said:
I can't get into this armchair GM thing but I'm eager to share a few random thoughts. Did you enjoy our 2 days of not being in last place? It may not happen again this year. The Snakes look great; they could go all the way. I wonder if The Large Unit will win the 16 games he needs to reach 300? I say probably not, but it will be a good story. Jon wants me to take the Jonathan Sanchez beat, because he thinks I'm gay for him. I DO think his little pachuco chin hair is precious. BTW, I think "EL Lefty Bueno" is an awful nickname, but I'm not much of a nickname guy. Anyway he held his own the other day after a shaky beginning, ate up enough innings and showed some maturity. I say Lowry can take his time coming back. I'm very happy about what Fred Lewis is doing, obviously Bowker is a phenom and should definitely learn to play first base. Zito is an embarassment, Cain will be lucky to win 10 games. Valdez' ERA is at 1.35 and I hope we use him a lot from now on.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Give Rowand a break. He was a hitting machine until he got hurt. The problem is he should either have sat or gone on the DL (prefer DL) until he got well. The injury affects his hitting and his fielding, so cut him some gamer-slack here. He really shouldn't be playing right now, I think he'll be much better once he's healthy.

About Lincecum, we control him until 2013, contract or no contract, he is the Giants property for six full seasons (so waiting to bring him up until May bought us another year, under my understanding). Now, we might pay him an arm and two legs come arbitration time, but he's around for a long while (assuming he's not traded...).

I assume he wants a big contract to sign now and that's why Sabean did not hint at all during the off-season that a deal will be hammered out (as he hinted at with Cain before). But even without a contract, we control him.

And Lowry is already signed to a long contract for moderate amounts of money. As much as I like Lowry and think he is a good pitcher, I don't see him as a core pitcher. If he were healthier, I think he would have been traded already for a hitter. I certainly would have traded him already. I think Sanchez has shown that he can be core, he just needs more consistency, and Alderson, Bumgarner, and Henry Sosa are all capable of being core starters, and they should all be making noise in the majors by 2010.

About the talk about trading for a lefty 1B, I'm hoping that Sabean was mainly doing that to light a fire under Ortmeier. If they were not going to give him an extended chance, they would have signed one of the litany of 1B rumored coming our way (like Tony Clark, Eric Hinske, or even Shea Hillenbrand) as backup.

Besides, that was before Bowker started hitting the ball a mile, I assume with the JT Snow training, he's going to get the chance to play there once he's ready (enough, I would have to think) defensively. He's not going to trade for a 1B and take away an avenue for Bowker to start. I think the 1B trade talks will be dead until the end of May, then they will reassess Ortmeier and Bowker.

Marlins paid for a lot of their primo position players, that's the model that Tigers are using (Dombrowski put together both Marlins teams before doing the same for Tigers), and they are the model Sabean referred to during the offseason as a model for the Giants going forward: great pitching internally generated, fill in free agent position players (Ordonez, I-Rod, others), trade prospects for other big pieces.

Others in NL West have strong pitching but we have probably the best rotation overall, 1-6, than any of them. That's going to win us some games, Lowry is our #4 pitcher but he's regularly a below 4 ERA pitcher during his career - that's what #2 pitchers do. Our bottom rotation guys will rake in the wins easily pitching against the dross on the other teams back of the rotation.

Colorado, I think, got lucky last year. I thought that they will have a fall-back year and thus far they have. (of course, I thought the same about Arizona and they have been gang-busters!) Too many young players did well in 2007, odds that they will all continue to do well the next season is not great normally.

About our timing with Cain/Lincecum, yes, the younger prospects are far away, but the Giants have never been shy about jumping levels when they are producing. Villalona is up there in overall rankings with how Justin Upton was rated when he was younger, so as long as he continues to produce, we could see him up in the majors by September call-up in 2009 or 2010.

And that's another reason why the Giants won't give up much for a 1B right now, they know Villalona might be coming up relatively soon, so they would not want to block him with a big contract.

And while I would worry about the Giants chances to keep Lincecum beyond 2013 (not a big worry, but he's shown that money does drive him), I think that Cain will be signed to a big contract before this contract is over, basically tearing up this contract and extending it out a bunch of years. It will probably be similar to Zito's contract. He loves it here, as always talked well about the team, so I don't see a problem unless we are still losing big time when his contract is up. I don't think that will happen with Villalona and Noonan coming up, and maybe Fairly, plus whoever we pick up at #5 pick in the draft this year (Smoak? Unfortunately, all the top hitters this year are 1B-men).

People need to be patient about the OF. Sabean is looking to trade Winn and Roberts, I'm sure of it, but you don't want to just trade him for the sake of trading, you want to build up your prospect talent as well. So you have to wait until there is a team competing for division title who either has an underperforming or injured OF and need someone to either tide them over or take over for the rest of the season. That's where Winn is perfect, he's a consistent hitter who can play all three OF position adequately or better, and his salary is good for his skill set, it is a fair amount for his talent.

As much as many fans clamor for our young position guys to get playing time, none of them has had a superior performance in the minors in a full season, except perhaps Bowker in 2007, Linden in his 30 HR season with Fresno. If they cannot hit the pitching in AA/AAA like they are gods, and barely hit enough in the minors to start in the majors (that is, they mainly hit high 700/low 800 OPS in the minors, doing that in the majors is only average, but they are only hitting that in the minors, how can they hope then to hit just as well in the majors where a lot of the pitchers are good and way better than the pitchers they face in the minors.)

Per CJ's post, I have been saying all off-season that if we can add 1-2 good hitting position players in the off-season (whether by development or free agent signing or trade), we can totally be competitive in 2009. We don't need a great hitting lineup top to bottom to be competitive, we mainly need good hitters who we can hit atop the lineup plus some complementary players elsewhere.

I agree that Cain, Lincecum, Lowry belong on that list of scary pitching. I think Sanchez and Correia could add their names based on how Sanchez can dominate and Correia's great stretch of starts last season.

No googling, just use, great site for this type of research.

Say, is that card for Cain real? Is he really 246 pounds? He doesn't look THAT big.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Rowand's an OK player, I wouldn't call him a hitting machine, but a steady above-average run producer. The problem is his "peak" offensive production is probably behind him. The mean OPS is about .780 for MLB 2000-2008, Rowand is a lifetime .800. He had a great year in 2004 and another in 2007. He might give us 1 or 2 such years in his 5-year deal. The rest of the time he will give us "average" production. He has also missed large chunks of 2003 and 2006 due to injury. I expect that will happen, too. Rowand is the kind of guy you plug in to complete an already-competitive team, not a "cornerstone" to build around. A five-year deal for a guy like that is nuts, especially since he will be 31 this August.