Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nightmares do come true

BENGIE MOLINA RE-SIGNS WITH GIANTS.

21 comments:

John Patrick Tener said...

Just crushing. Beyond incomprehensible.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Now I know why the Giants have been so so cagey about Buster and his status! I could live with a no-hit, all-D backup type. But Molina? Starting? It's my worst nightmare.

Ron said...

And now Yorvit is going to the Mets? So, just like with Nick Johnson, we are left picking up the scraps after someone else gets who we supposedly wanted.

This move is only minutely OK, if there is an agreement with Molina that he will be second string by June. I doubt it, though.

Here's something bizarre: Neukom was in Vancouver, WA today to 'support' Lincecum in his appearance to pay his fine. Doesn't he have anything more productive to do? Or, maybe he's really here because there was another piece of business to attend: signing Lincecum to the long-term deal.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Rumor has it the Giants low-balled Lincecum ($8M) and he only asked for $13M. I'm surprised on both ends, but I expect he'll get $13M. The Giants figured they "saved" money by not having to pay $15-20M, and presto-change-o they could "afford' to re-sign Bengie.

This is not OK. This is a crock. This sucks big time for Buster. He HAS to play everyday, he HAS to get his reps. That means AAA until the old, slow, hack-master crashes and burns. Why pay a kid a $6M bonus to sit on the bench? Does anyone really believe Bengie will "mentor" our young buck?

Zo said...

I see that Bengie and the Mets couldn't agree on a two year deal. Does that mean Bengie jumped at an earlier Giants offer that was still on the table? It seems a little rich, considering that there were apparently no other suitors and some other catchers still out there. Apparently the Mets are interested in Yorvit, but no word yet on a signing.

John Patrick Tener said...

Am concerned about our "championship window" because of Matt Cain's "impending" free agency.

Years left under team control:

Tim Lincecum (4)
Jonathan Sanchez (3)
Pablo Sandoval (5)
Matt Cain (2)
Brian Wilson (3)
Posey, Bumgarner, Neal, Wheeler, etc. (6)

We need to get Posey into the mix sooner rather than later. We're not far off, but holding off on Posey would be easier to stomach if Cain was guaranteed to be around longer. I feel like he's gone in 2 years...meaning 2011 might have to be THE year, with Buster as the NL ROY!

M.C. O'Connor said...

I used to say "I can live with anybody on a one-year deal." Hmm, may have to re-visit that.

Molina is 35. He'll be toast by the ASB at the latest, Buster gets the call. That's my "best-case" on this thing. Man, I want to see him play--sending him to the minors stinks!

If the stars align, 2011 could be great. The Zito deal will have us hamstrung until 2014, so losing guys like Cain is more likely than not. I'd hate to see it, but it wouldn't surprise me if they trade him before then.

John Patrick Tener said...

Cain's a great kid. Would be a shame to lose him. He seems to have taken a liking to Bumgarner...would be wonderful if Cain would stay around to try to win a title as part of this rotation.

M.C. - question for you. What's the right play with Posey? Bring him along on the big club and give him 300 AB's? Or preserve (rather, postpone) his ML service time by playing him in AAA? Thanks.

Chris said...

I don't like this deal much.

I would have much rather spent the $4-5M on a 5th starter like Doug Davis.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I don't see how Buster goes anywhere but AAA. He needs playing time. Lots of PAs. We didn't sign a backup, we signed a starter. 35-year old catchers don't have a good track record for durability and productivity. Buster will get his call-up halfway through the season when Molina gets hurt.

Doug Davis? He's no Jason Marquis! Just kidding. Funny how the club seems to think a 20-year old with less than 300 IP of pro ball is ready for the rigors of starting, while a 23-year old Golden Spikes winner is not. I've been fighting the "5th starter" thing for some time, hoping we would sign some bats. Well, looks like we got our "hitters" and ran out of dough for another arm.

This organization really confuses me. Any one else out there see the Master Plan that I cannot?

Ron said...

The master plot is to continually be marginal while selling tickets. This is only slightly more ambitious the master plot of the Pirates & the Royals. And, from a franchise that CAN afford to do more.

I AM SICK OF INCREMENTALISM. Look at our lineup - it is pathetic. DeRosa & Huff forming the anchors around Sandoval??? We have lost our bearings, or, more likely, we have no real intention to win.

And now, Posey, who has a chance to be really, really good, will just have to shut up & either go to AAA or sit a lot? He could go all J. D. Drew on us & threaten to sit out, unless we deal him somewhere where he is appreciated. We have to find out how good he is, & we have to find out now. Not next year - now!

John Patrick Tener said...

Disappointing, indeed. A contact who works with the Orioles expects him to be called up this July (not June, because he was up with the club in September of '09). Then again, the Giants don't seem to care about arbitration clocks.

There truly is no master plan. This is a partnership. There is no true obligation to us, as we are not shareholders. We are just stakeholders (because we choose to be). If people keep going through the turnstiles, the partnership succeeds along with the few shareholders, such as Neukom. However, the group may not yet appreciate the "externality" of winning in October, and what that means to a franchise.

Wow that was a weird post...

Zo said...

JPT - thanks for the contributions, and I would only say that posts are weird because of weird times. I may be able to shed a little light on the Giants Master Plan.

Basically, when Neukom took over after 2008, he gathered the ownership and top brass together and the MP (simplified) came down to this, "We will build from within and be a younger, more aggressive team."

After 2009, (again simplified), "Fuck that."

Just out of curiosity, I thought I would compare the ages of the starting line-ups in 2009 and 2010.

C - Molina 34, ditto 35
1B - Ishi 25, DeRosa 35
2B - Burris 34, Sanchez 31
SS - Renteria 34, ditto 35
3B - Sandoval 21, ditto 22
LF - Lewis 28, Huff 32
CF - Rowand 31, ditto 32
RF - Winn 34, Schierholtz 26

2009 avg. age = 30.125
2010 avg. age = 31 (assuming my math is correct). If you take out the dittos who have all aged one year, the average age becomes 30.25(2009) and 31(2010). I guess, until they decide to sign Jermaine Dye to play right instead of Shierholtz, it doesn't make a significant difference. The problem with the lineup is not the guys that they signed, it is the guys that they hope don't suck quite as bad as they did last year, Renteria, Molina and Rowand. Really, Molina didn't suck, he put out one of his top offensive years. Let's face it, though the guys our new signees replaced absolutely sucked, and an average bunch of Joes is undoubtedly better. The other problem is - Posey. He probably does need more minor league seasoning. The question is whether the Giants would be better or worse with him in the lineup. Guess we won't have a chance to find out this year.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Burriss, I assume, was 24 not 34. Typo?

Yes, we'll likely have an upgraded offense. Assuming the 88 wins we got last year can be EXACTLY REPLICATED this year due to our historically great pitching continuing to make history, we will win more games than 88 and thus take the West. There are no flaws in this argument.

John Patrick Tener said...

Zo,

Do agree and thanks for your thoughts. No question that we are lucky to take the bats of Winn, Ishikawa and Velez out of the lineup. But I would argue that Molina's .285 OBP is pretty harmful. His cumulative stats obviously look fine.

Now, you bring up a good point about the "youth movement." The system has not been able to produce above-average position players for a long time. We hope that changes with Posey, Neal, Kieschnick.

---

Colleagues, if you can, go back and re-read Joe Sheehan's piece on the Giants from 7.27.09 entitled "Going For It." If you can't access it on Baseball Prospectus, an MS Word copy can be emailed to you by me, or I could even post it here, if that's acceptable to site operators. It is worth reviewing at times like these, even if it brings up feelings of regret.

Bob said...

There was a reason Posey rode the pine for such a long time when he was called up last season. Believe it or not, Bruce Bochey knows a lot more than any of us do about what it takes to be a major league catcher.

John Patrick Tener said...

Bob,

Good point. Not debating catching and game-calling ability. No one can put a dollar value on that, and Bochy obviously played the position.

However, the organization sees so much potential in this Minor League Player of the Year. How can he really be so far off? And they tell us Bumgarner's ready?

Additionally, I just can't trust a manager that insists on Edgar Renteria's presence in the lineup on a daily basis. Bochy is a classic - a guy who thinks he can evaluate production well just because he played baseball.

Zo said...

Uhh...correct on Burriss. Which proves what I thought would be the case, that the lineup has gotten older.
2009 avg. age = 28.875
2010 avg. age = 31 (assuming my math is correct). Less dittos ages are 27.75(2009) and 31(2010).

M.C. O'Connor said...

I guess it is time to say "We are what we are" and "It is what it is." Your 2010 Giants are pretty well set. Get out your Huff Hankys and your Rowand Rags and get to rooting!

At least we have some Tim and Matt and JS and the Panda. And between Runzler and Joaquin and Wilson we have some SERIOUS flamage in the 'pen. We are going to see some smoke next year!

M.C. O'Connor said...

Uh, I mean THIS year!

John Patrick Tener said...

Yep, at some point you just have to get pumped up for 2010. Kinda liked the following:


from “Brian” on fangraphs:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/im-with-popo-molina-returns-to-the-giants/#comment-123548


"Quick and dirty:

Not signing Molina, and assuming Posey is a 2.0 WAR player in 2010 and progresses by +0.5 per year, he’s looking at salaries conservatively of $4M in 2013, $6M in 2014, and $8M in 2015 before hitting free agency in 2016.

Signing Molina, bringing up Posey in June, he makes $3.5M LESS in 2013 as he wouldn’t be eligible for arb and would make around $500K, maybe $1.5-$2M less in 2014 and 2015, then you’d also have the value of 2016 being his third year or arbitration rather than being a free agent. That’s $7M+ in value for having him in AAA for 2 months in 2010. And you only lose maybe 0.5 WAR in 2010 by having Molina as your starter for 2 months rather than Posey.

Feel free to tear my numbers apart. I’m sure I’m missing something, and these are big assumptions on a huge unknown in Posey."