Thursday, October 8, 2009

Any keepers?

Cot's Contract's has a list of free agents for 2010. Let's take a look at it and see if anyone would make a good fit for the Giants. I'm sure we'll hear the usual B.S. from the Gang of Four about the team's needs, and the payroll, and yadda-yadda-yadda, but at least WE can do some window shopping, if just to pass the time and avoid having to think about the LAtriners in the World Series.

It is not an exciting list. In fact, when it comes to 2nd base, Freddy Sanchez looks pretty good. We'll give him 3 years and $20 million, of course, which is an abomination, but he'd be OK on a one-year, incentive-laden deal. I note that David Eckstein is available. Hard to believe he's not on Sabes' radar as a "true gamer in the Bengie tradition." He turns 35 in January and has a .706 lifetime OPS--a perfect fit.

Matt Holliday and Jason Bay look like the prizes in this group, but they will be courted by a lot of teams, and their cost as Type-A free agents (compensatory draft picks) may not be in the Giants best interest. Drafting seems to be what we do well. Please, please don't let Brian Sabean trade away our prospects for mediocre players anymore, mmm-kay? Both of these guys, sadly, would be good fits and provide some real hitting, but shiny baubles are not as important as a long-term deal for Tim Lincecum. Neukom & The Suits are in a cost-control mode, so don't expect much.

There are some interesting nuggets on the list of free agent pitchers. We paid Randy Johnson $8M to be 45-years old and get hurt. What would we be willing to pay for, say, Kelvim Escobar? You NEVER have enough pitching. Getting another good arm to keep the rotation strong might be smart. If we have any backsliding, or regression to the mean, or injuries, our lack of depth will be exposed. Despite our desperate need for offense, expecting the team to have another historically great pitching season might not be the best thing. I could see us trolling for another starter. Penny has the inside track, I suppose, but I'm not sure he can still bring it for a full season.

So, mates, are there any guys out there we should take a run at? Or will we have to make do with what we've got? Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz will have to become All-Stars, but monkeys fly out of butts regularly, right?


Zo said...

A couple of phrases from Brian Sabean's open letter to Giants fans on the Giants website at

"Most pressing will improve our offensive production and on base percentage and to create a more consistent one through five line up."

There you have it. "On base percentage" straight from the mouth/pen/fingers/ghostwriter of Brian Sabean. Of course, some lowly stat-minder could be getting fired right now for sneaking that into the letter (could the Giants have Bill Fremp in their employ?)

"We will approach the off season with a philosophy of continuing to develop players from within, while identifying possible strategic trades or free agent signings that could significantly improve our team."

There you have it, again! "develop players from within" AND "signficantly improve our team." What's not to like?

Ron said...

I'll study the Free Agent list some more later, but I must first comment that the following from yesterday's irritating thread:

"... the bloviating and sidestepping and platitudinous garbage these guys put out makes it hard to trust them"

was the greatest single phrase in the history of blogging. Mark, you have raised the bar so high. You are, indeed, this season's MVB - perhaps immediate induction into the BHOF is warranted.

One of the reasons that I lose interest in baseball from time-to-time is when impersonal financial considerations outweigh or overshadow reason, rectitude, or the beauty of the game. There are so many examples. A few of the more overtly horrendous are:

- When the radio play-by-play misses pitches because of advertisements or segueway music ... blccch.

- "Tonight's first pitch is brought to you by Ken Burns' Mini-Series 'The National Parks: America's Best Idea'"

- The completely nonsensical "Tonight's GM Professional Grade is Ryan Rolinger".

Despite your efforts in infuse an element of old-fashioned 'look what Tim did for us ... let's not piss him off ... he wants to be a Giant' passion into the discussion, it kept coming back to bullshit bean-counting posturing crap about playing the arbitration process & who makes the first move.

I am not naive - I know that there is more & more of that & that is state of baseball (& the World) in 2009. But, there have to be exceptions. Tim is the exception - keep the peace with your franchise player, keep the peace with your support base, sign him long-term at above market rate. That good faith will come back multi-fold.

Ron said...

Free Agent List:

C: If we have enough sense to go with Buster & let someone else sign B. Molina to a big deal, then we could get Yorvit back. Lots of adequate back-ups available - how about Jason Kendall?

1B: No big upgrades. Russell Branyan has good OBP, but too many whiffs.

2B: No upgrades. Placido Polanco would be equivalent, if we can't sign F. Sanchez to a 1-yr deal.

3B: Juan Uribe is as good as anyone on that list. Beltre is about the same.

SS: We are stuck with Renteria, so why pay for anyone else, if there are no big upgrades. There are not.

OF: Obviously, Bay. Holliday is the second best. Carl Crawford has been one of the most exciting players in baseball for a few years. I think that Vlad has a few more great years in him.

SP: Bedard or Penny, sure. How about Joel Pineiro?

RP: J. J. Putz may be available, even though the Mets have an option. Rafael Soriano is another one. Howry is worth trying to keep.

Zo said...

Isn't Jason Kendall older than I am? I like Bay better than Crawford because we need the pop, but Crawford is 4 years younger and might be cheaper. Steals a lot more bases, too. Bay - .267 ba, 36 hr, .384 obp, .537 slg; Crawford - .305 ba, 15 hr, .364 obp and .457 slg. I think there is enough flexibility among the infielders to go for the best hitter we can, even though we have a surplus of outfielders.

Ron said...

Bay would be better than Crawford - for sure. But, if the competition is too stiff for Bay, Crawford has had seasons when he piles up the extra-base hits, plus has the speed thing going.

Jason Kendall as a back-up only.

Jimmy Leg said...

First Basemen
Hank Blalock TEX
Russell Branyan SEA
Nick Johnson WAS (B)
Adam LaRoche ATL (B)

Any of these guys are an offensive upgrade at first for us.

I`d rather have Hudson than Sanchez at second base.

Chone Figgins would be a GREAT leadoff man and can play left field.

Funny to see Dave Roberts on that list, if by funny you mean horrifically sad.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Hudson was available, and cheap at the start of this season, but the LAtriners grabbed him on a one-year deal. I'd be in favor of any upgrade (Figgins is a fine player, I'd love to have him) as long as we didn't have to commit too many years. Anybody over 30 and you are taking a big risk with 4-5 year deals.