Thursday, November 5, 2009

Welcome to the off-season

The Yanks were the best team all year. They won it all. They deserved it. Congrats to Mr. Matusi. OK, enough of that.

The real excitement for Giants fans is that we have the off-season! Hot damn! What over-rated free agent will we throw money at this year? Oh, wait--we got a guy already. Do this: go to this FanGraphs page. It is sorted for "second basemen in 2009" by wOBA. Look at the list. Then change the pull-down tab to read "2008." Then try "2007." You see, the problem with contracts for guys like Freddy Sanchez is THEY HAVE TO REPEAT THEIR CAREER-BEST YEAR IN ORDER TO BE ABOVE-AVERAGE. Hey--he might do that. But the odds are against it. At least it is only a two-year commitment, I can live with anyone for two years. I expect FSanchez will be an net positive for the club, but so what? He can't walk or hit homeruns. He doesn't run and he's an average defender at best. Sounds like an infield version of Aaron Rowand. The Matt Holliday/Jason Bay circus will play out soon, and someone will give them 4 years and $60+ million. I hope it is not us. We could use the bat, but both of these guys will be good for two years, max, before they become just another drain on the payroll. This FA class is not much help, and the thought of Sabean trading one of our core guys fill me with dread.

How do we improve the team, guys? And should we expect our lights-out league-dominating run-prevention to be the same in 2010? What happens if we have a drop-off, even a slight one, like Matt Cain posting a 3.50 ERA? Or Jonathan Sanchez getting hurt? Or the bullpen having a few hiccups? Last season our pitching had to be damn near perfect to win. Can we reasonably expect that to work again? Finally, who is going to get the walks and homeruns it takes to win in the major leagues?


Zo said...

I expect FSanchez will be an net positive for the club, but so what?

MOC, I don't understand the above sentence. Why is a net positive for the club not a good thing? In fact, your philosophy has consistently been to 1) not sign free agents and, 2) not make any trades. (Although, in fairness I give you credit for wanting to ditch some players in favor of minor leaguers, even then you seem hung up on "not getting fair value" for our overpaid vets.) Unless the Giants plan to do something you don't want them to do, we will simply not improve at all. We went into last season with question marks at virtually every position. We have, at least, answered some of them. Of course FSanchez is being hyped by management. It is like being proud of an ugly baby, what choice do you have? At least we now have one more position answered. We only have six more to go.

Bob said...

Sports contracts are always a reward for past performance. Then you just hope for more of the same.
Zo makes a good point about M.C.'s "philosophy." I guess that leaves only a lot of drafting of future superstars.
And the "ugly baby" comment is priceless. If FSanchez keeps breaking down we can add him to the long long list of bad Giants moves, but I think he'll be fine.
PS Fuck the Yankees

M.C. O'Connor said...

My philsophy is "fear and frustration." Fear that our GM cannot evaluate talent. Frustration that our big coup is signing a league-average player.

FSanchez is better than Emmanuel Burris or Kevin Frandsen. Thus we have a net positive. Compared to Juan Uribe he's a wash, though. His net positive is damn small. He can't hit HRs. He doesn't walk. He doesn't run. He's an average fielder. He beats out minor-leaguers for value, but a whole pile of teams have better second basemen.

Until we get a minor-league system that produces hitters we are doomed to mediocrity despite our great pitching because the only people we can buy are Aaron Rowand types.

I want someone to explain to me how we are going to turn the league-worst offense around next year.

Zo said...

We turn it around by making net positives at enough positions until it makes a difference.

Don't like that answer? Then we turn it around by trading one of our precious pitchers for big beef and lose in defense what we gain in offense.

Still not happy? Then we pay whatever it takes to score a free agent even if he is a minor upgrade. Them's the choices. All of them.

M.C. O'Connor said...

We'd probably have to give Matt Holliday 5 years and $100 M. He would give us a legit 3-4 combo with Sandoval. It ain't Utley-Howard or Teix/A-Rod but it ain't bad. I don't think that will happen.

A smart GM could have parlayed Barnes and Alderson into something more than Garko/Sanchez, but that is a pointless discussion.

We need either a 1B or 3B (and a corner OF). Who? Adrian Beltre? Chad Tracy?

I think we are stuck with this pathetic excuse for a lineup until all the young hitters mature and emerge from the system. Even then, I'm underwhelmed. Posey seems like a sure thing, but where are the 5-tool guys? The Power Hitters? It's all dink-dink-dink. What the fook is that shite?

Zo said...

Seriously, I think we need to go to the free agent or trade pool for power at one position and upgrade for better OBP everywhere else we can. I think that is the best we can do FOR NEXT YEAR without ripping the heart from our team.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I wonder what it would take to get a guy like Adrian Gonzalez? New ownership in SD, Peavy is already gone, I wonder . . .

FA-wise, I expect we'll "kick tires" on Joe Crede, Adrian Beltre, Nick Johnson, Xavier Nady, Chone Figgins, Wilson Betemit, Adam LaRoche, etc. and stay far away from the Bay/Holliday bidding war. Someone of the "type B" or lower variety might be had for a two-year deal. It's not the prettiest list (too many old guys and too many one-dimensional players), but at least a FA signing doesn't throw away talent (except compensatory picks).

M.C. O'Connor said...

Check out BtB's profile of free agent 1B.