Friday, October 16, 2009

A Modest, Although Somewhat Risky Proposal

Brian Wilson will be either arbitrated or signed to a long term deal. We all know that. His pertinent numbers for 2009 are: 38 saves, with 7 blown saves. He threw 72.1 innings in 68 games. He made a little under $500,000. He will not win the Fireman of the Year award, but was pretty good. Being a closer is coming into ball games in high pressure situations, and a good closer is not just valuable, but a must-have for a winning ball club. Good closers make a lot of money, and Brian Wilson will make a lot of money soon. So here is the proposal: Consider giving him his arbitration award, and then trading him. The success of this gambit hinges on two things that both must work out, 1) you have to find someone who needs an established closer, and 2) You have to find someone to replace him. So what do you think, is there a closer in Affeldt/Runsler/Romo that is at least as reliable at Mr. Wilson? Whom do you think would want an established closer? Chicago? Texas? What do you think he would net in return? Too much apple cart upsetting?

I'm just trying to think outside the box here. By the way, Fuck the dodgers.

15 comments:

M.C. O'Connor said...

I thought we should have traded Wilson when he was an All-Star in 2008. He was at his peak in terms of visibility and would have netted a nice return. Alas, he was WAY too valuable this past season. In an offense-starved, pitching-dependent team, the bullpen is CRUCIAL. We had a great 'pen in '09 and it was a key part of the 88 wins. Bullpens are notoriously flaky and we could see some backsliding next year.

Are we a "contender" next season? If yes, you keep Wilson. Are we "re-building" next year? If yes, then trade whoever the fuck you want that will get a decent return.

My feeling is that we have 5 guys worth something: Lincecum, Sandoval, Cain, JSanchez, and Wilson. That's it. That's the Big Five. The rest are meat. I like Romo quite a bit, and Runzler is very promising, and I'd prefer to keep them both. But right now we have FIVE bona fide major league high-value guys, and I think that's who we should build the team around.

The thing you should ask yourself before the word "trade" crosses your lips is "CAN BRIAN SABEAN GET A FAIR RETURN FOR ANYONE WE TRADE?" I would rather not have that guy touch anyone of value to our club. His recent track record for trades is a sick, twisted joke. Things like signing Jeremy Affeldt and Juan Uribe are things Sabean can do. But trade? And a young pitcher? No way. No bloody way. Keep that clown's hands off the fookin' merch, thank you very much.

giantsrainman said...

So you don't think Posey or Bumgarner are worth something? Are you really saying they are just meat? I am betting (and hoping) that this is just an oversight on your behalf.

giantsrainman said...

Above ment for MC not Zo.

Bob said...

There's something awful happening when both the Dodgers and the Yankees win playoff games on the same day. I think I'm going to tune it all out now.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Five guys on the ML roster. Obviously Posey and Bumgarner are our top prospects, but neither of them has been given a job by the team--yet. The Big Five all have jobs next year, the same jobs they have this year. No one else on the squad has a lock except the overpaid guys (Rowand, Renteria, Zito) we are stuck with. Every other spot is--or ought to be--open. I wish we could trade Rowand and Renteria and free up some space. But I don't believe anyone wants them or that the Giants would risk the holes in the lineup. "Better the mediocrity you know than the replacement player you fear." For the record, I hope Posey is Rookie of the Year material in 2010 and MadBum is the Second Coming. But I'll be patient with both of them.

Zo said...

MOC, you make a good point that contenders do not trade away closers. In doing so, you are actually supporting my theory of incrementalism, in spite of your expressed opposition. The problem is that we do not have much to offer in terms of trades that we would be willing to trade, ergo, don't make them. The Schierholz/Lewis/Guzman/Burriss/Ishikawas of the world, and the vast majority of our minor leaguers are all throw-ins, not centerpieces of a trade. It's a fair criticism of the proposal, but what you are left with is either the same offense we had last year or a free agent signing. I actually think a carefully chosen free agent could help, but...ahem.....rowand.

Zo said...

Check this out as a fanpost on McCovey Chronicles: http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/2009/10/8/1076123/the-quest-for-a-league-average

M.C. O'Connor said...

'Incrementalism' my middle name, me bucko. Seriously, I know you can't make over an entire team in one fell swoop. My fear of the 'THE BIG I' is not 'I' itself, mon, but de mon with his finger on de switch. I worry that the GM will trade away talent for league-average players in return, or sign another mediocrity to a long-term deal. Even a good FA might not improve us that much, despite the arguments of "Mr. GiantFan." It seems to me he's assuming absolutely nothing changes with our run-prevention ability. In other words, if we stay at the top of the league in that category, a league-average offense will suffice. Agreed. To me, "balance" is just that--no weaknesses. You might not have "superior" in every category, but you have no "well below the standard" either.

Right now we are way below the standard for a winning offense. And our historically-great pitching season may be hard to repeat. I think the 88 wins are a bit of an illusion--we aren't quite that good. We won't necessarily be able to count on the run of good luck we enjoyed. We had a shot, mid-season, of getting some help for the stretch run and we got an injured guy who couldn't play and a mediocre guy they never let play. Go figure! If we were indeed "in it" we should have been bolder and "gone for it." If we were truly "rebuilding" we should have done nothing at all. Instead we threw away two prospects. What kind of management is that?

Our only real tradeable assets are the guys we want to keep--Tim, Matt, JSanchez, Pablo, Wilson (and Buster & MadBum). I'm terrified to let them go. I'd rather work with FAs we can get short-term and an endless stream of prospects until we find some real talent.

Who, other than Pablo, has come out of our system ready to hit ML pitching? I mean since Clark and Williams. Bill Mueller? Why can't we produce major-league hitters? It seems like we used to: Jack Clark, Chili Davis, Chris Brown, Larry Herndon, Gary Mathews, Gary Maddox, Chris Speier, Robby Thompson, Dan Gladden, Bob Brenly, I'll even throw in Mike Aldrete. I'm sure there's a few more spanning a--mostly--very lean time in SFG history. What happened during the good times? Did we really neglect the farm system that badly? Or hire the wrong guys?

It's a mystery, and I don't think the club will ever be competitive until we can produce some ML-ready hitters in greater numbers.

Kevin O'Brien said...

Closers are important, but they are not worth big money except in the rarest cases (e.g. K-Rod, Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera).

I think the Giants have plenty of options available that can replace Wilson. Romo, Runsler and even Joaquin are all viable options to replace Wilson in my mind.

That's not to bash Wilson. He did very well last season, but I just think that with the shelf life of most closers, paying a big contract to one if usually foolish.

M.C. O'Connor said...

That's a reasonable point. But with a team as dependent on pitching as we are, the closer is a bigger deal in my mind. We've groomed this guy, he's done the job, and he's worked to improve his game. I think he's pretty valuable in the big scheme. I'm guessing we'll need Romo and Runzler et. al. for all those other high-leverage situations you need relievers for!

Bryce said...

I'm worried about what happens to Wilson when he can't throw 100mph anymore... I know he's relatively young and in great condition, but I feel like he's going to lose this superpower sooner rather than later.

mom's basement said...

Matt Herges. Dustan Hermanson. Tyler Walker. Armando Benitez. Mike Stanton. Brad Hennessey. That's a list of guys whom the Giants relied on as closers since the last 30-save closer (Tim Worrell, 2003) and Brian Wilson. So no thanks on going back to the uncertainty of trying to find someone to close.

Wilson isn't going to be that expensive -- first-year arbs are typically well below the open-market rate. And the way his service time works out, Wilson is under team control for 4 more seasons. If you want to trade him, do it 2 or 3 seasons from now and take the time to groom someone else to do the job. Winning teams, especially run-challenged winning teams, need a shutdown closer, and there's no reason Wilson can't continue as one for the foreseeable future.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Tim Worrell made good closer until the 2003 LCS! But we've seen stud closers get hit hard in these playoffs. And I remember even the Great Mariano blowing a save in the World Series.

I used to think any decent relief pitcher could get the last 3 outs, but I think the position has evolved. You need some guy to be DA MAN in the 9th. Wilson, I like. I think he's a reasonable investment. But I wouldn't be shocked if someone like Romo could develop into to that role. It sure helped getting a great year out of Affeldt this past season--he got some huge outs to get us to the 9th. It seemed like every week he had a tense appearance late in the game.

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