Friday, December 17, 2010

It's a business

Edgar Renteria won't be a Giant next year. After declining his rather hefty option ($9.5 M), the club offered him a million bucks to be Miguel Tejada's backup for 2011. Renteria was apparently insulted. I actually get that--the major league minimum is around $400K, and a 15-year vet with his track record certainly expects to be paid a lot more than a rookie. I've heaped my share of abuse on Renteria on this site, and he shut me up with a tremendous performance in the post-season and the biggest hit in San Francisco Giants history. But there is no way the team can take a risk on a guy with his injury history and his age. He was very well-compensated for his 777 plate appearances and 1624-2/3 innings at shortstop. His 67 OPS+ in 2009 was his career low, as was his 72 games played in 2010.

I've learned a lot writing this blog. Criticism, while fun, often blows up in your face. Professional athletes aren't like normal people. Managers and general managers know more about baseball than I do. So I have nothing to say to Renteria, other than thanks for the big bomb off Cliff Lee. You will always be a part of Giants lore. Baseball is a business, and I have no problem with that.


p.s. I received my DVD set in the mail yesterday. I'm going to spend my holiday reveling in Giants glory. If you've been debating the purchase--don't. The set is nicely packaged and will make a great gift for your favorite Giants fan. (There are two more I'll be ordering soon!)


Ron said...

I'll respond to Mark's comment on my post by commenting on his post.

If Edgar Renteria had not been WS MVP, the discussion would be a bit different. However, being WS MVP is not to be trivialized. This is one of the 4 players in the history of baseball to have 2 WS-winning hits, not-to-mention his overall success (offensively & defensively) in the pressure-cooker of the World Series.

Comparing the Edgar situation to the Uribe situation is not quite fair:

- Uribe wanted multiple years at a high salary; Edgar does not have that aspiration.

- Uribe wants to be an everyday player; I think that Renteria knows that he is not, but can step in on an everyday basis, when needed.

- Both are relatively old. Although Edgar appears to be more banged up, he is also in better condition than Uribe.

A few other points:

- Tim Kurkjian just wrote an article which, without saying so explicitly, proves that we grossly overpaid for Huff. According to his compilation of stats, Huff is just below the average 1B, offensively. Even if we don't really believe that that is the player Huff is, we probably overpaid Huff to the tune of $3M/year. In the afterglow of our one & only Championship, I am OK with that.

- Again, we get more revenue than necessary from idiotic advertising angles. Edgar Renteria was a cornerstone player during our only Championship run. Sell another dopey mid-game promo, & throw a little more money Edgar's way. He has a role on this team - just not a full-time starter's role.

Brother Bob said...

We always called him "The Rental," right? He did a wonderful thing and we'll always remember him, but for most of the time he was a Giant, he was decidedly NOT appreciated here @ RMC.
I think Tejada will be a serious upgrade.
Re: Huff- If you compare him to current first basemen, then yeah, he's probably below average. But remember how many amazing 1Bs are active today. Pujols has a chance to remembered as the best ever.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Huff is coming off a career year and he played every day. He delivered almost identical value to Adrian Gonzalez. It is more likely that A-Gon will deliver that season several more times, and less likely for Huff. But Huff was fairly compensated. Replacing him with a free agent was going to cost at least $20M. In fact, if he stays healthy, the Giants got a bargain. Sure, he could pull a Renteria and have his worst-ever years, but that's the risk you take. I disagree with Kurkijian--Huff outperformed the most expensive 1B in the game (Ryan Howard)! Aaron Rowand is "grossly overpaid--Huff is getting pretty close to "market rate."

I have nothing against Renteria, but it is unrealistic to consider him for any role but backup. He's even contemplating retirement! the Giants spent $18+ M on him for two years of well-below average performance. They're smart not to take a risk on him again. Of all the players on the 2010 roster, which one's "intangibles" are the most valuable? The team decided it was Huff's. Hard to argue with that.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see how much more he'd get from the only other teams that are interested in his services. The Cardinals are going to pinch every penny to make sure that they sign Pujols long term and the Marlins are the Marlins. I don't see him being offered anything higher than $2.5 million (maybe $3 million, but only if he writes the check himself).

We overpaid him right after he had his down year in Detroit. He did even worse for us (outside of the World Series where anything can and did apparently happen). I don't even think we got 2 WAR out of him after two years. He's an offensive liability, his defensive value has gone down, he doesn't particularly run anymore, he's injury prone, and he's already like 35. 1 million looks about right to me.

Ron said...

Here is what today's market is giving veteran part-time position players. All of these transactions occurred this week. I could make a case for Edgar Renteria being more valuable than any of these guys. However, he is certainly more valuable than any of the guys listed below who are making $3M or less:

- Lyle Overbay, age 33, occasionally productive 1B, $5M

- Ty Wigginton, age 33, utility IF, $4M/yr (2 yr deal)

- Xavier Nady, age 32, perenially mediocre OF, $1.75M + $1M in performance-based incentives

- Edwin Encarnacion, age 27, career underachieving 3B who can't field, $2.5M

- Matt Diaz, age 32, meh OF, $2.2M/yr (2 yr deal)

- Henry Blanco, age 39, crappy Catcher, $1.25M

- Dioner Navarro, age 26, mediocre C, $1M

- Gerald Laird, age 31, mediocre C, $1M

- Matt Treanor, age 34, mediocre C, $0.85M

JC Parsons said...

Great discussion guys! The double post thing that happened was excellent. Makes me want to chime in...Been awhile...

In order to remain true to almost every post or heckle I've ever made, I feel I must remind everyone that EVERYTHING about the 2010 Giants revolved around PITCHING. Including the post season. All those MVP's that weren't Tim, Matt or Brian were rather silly, if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean any disrespect for Renteria or Ross, they were awesome at the best time ever. I will love them always...but aren't they just, well, pawns. Interchangeable pieces. Transient Giants. (Yes, that does mean that I have no faith that Cody Ross is good enough to be a regular RF and that it would be silly to give Edgar anything more than a couple mill.)

Our heroes of the recent past and our hope for the near future are the pitchers (and, OK, I'll throw in Buster). I don't feel like the media/public came close to appreciating the specialness of what our pitchers did. I enjoy all the discussion and hubub about the rest of the squad but it often strikes me as wasted breathe. It is, however, eloquent and insightful breathe.

Sorry...I just had to get that off my chest.

JC Parsons said...

yeah...breath not breathe, sorry again.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Take the catchers off the list and I'll listen. I don't care how shitty they are. Catchers are valuable.

So--if Renteria is so goddamn valuable, why isn't some team scooping him up? Where's the "mystery team"? Where's the high-dollar suitor demanding his intangibles?

Lyle Overbay gets $5M and Huff is "overpaid"? I'm confused. Maybe "the market" values 1B differently than utility infielders/backup SS (which is what Rental would be).

Sorry, ranting. Last day of work + 4 pints beer = sentence fragments.

Renteria is replaceable. Bring me Crawford! Bring me Burriss! Bring me Ehire Adrianza! "Miggy & The Kid" works for me.

Lincecum, Cain, Posey, Wilson, JSanchez, Bumgarner. Sandoval, Romo, Runzler. That's the core. Those are the guys. Maybe Belt and Wheeler, too. The rest are mercenaries. Likable ones, to be sure, but interchangeable. If we could grow 'em we wouldn't have to hire 'em, but we can't so we do.

Anonymous said...

I'm liking some guys on the farm; particularly Peguero, Surkamp, Casilla. I still believe that Neal is real and that Gary Brown could turn out like a Jacoby Ellsbury-type player.

I still can't believe that Andres Torres did not get a single MVP vote. When things were starting to look bad, he was the beacon of hope. I recall many people complaining about Andres taking ABs away from Eugenio, but once he got that first hit, it seemed to take off from there. He was the 5 tool player from out of nowhere that no one speaks of...and yet, he made the World Series the most possible.

I'm not sure what the relevance was of my second paragraph.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Andres does not get enough love. The guy was the best CF in baseball in 2010.

M.C. O'Connor said...

One day after Renteria was quoted in an ESPN Deportes story as stating that the Giants' offer of approximately $1 million showed "disrespect" toward him, Bobby Evans, the club's vice president of baseball operations, said Friday that the 15-year veteran shortstop remained "very favorable" about returning to San Francisco.

Evans said he was told by Barry Meister, Renteria's agent, that the article was "not accurate" in portraying the sentiments of the World Series Most Valuable Player.


Anonymous said...

One of Edgar's best achievements was to change Cody Ross's stance just before the playoffs. Also when listing 34 somethings salaries, how about Pat Burrell at 1 million. If Edgar wins the WS again that will be over 300 grand, plus the giants could put in a clause based on numbers of games. I almost cannot see me typing on this blog for less than 1 million.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to get misquoted these days apparently.

Zo said...

I'm with Jon. The whole thing sounds to me like public negotiation.