The Giants just don't like guys from Puerto Rico. That's got to be it. No Jonathan Sanchez, no Andrés Torres, and probably no Carlos Beltrán. Maybe if the island became the 51st state things might change. But for now I see a clear institutional bias, and I think an exposé will launch my investigative reporting career. But that's for later. Right now I have to say "adios" to a truly beloved Giant, Andrés Torres. He was the best CF in baseball in 2010 and a huge part of the championship team. Even as a mere 5th OF he won the hearts of fans with acrobatic catches, timely bombs, and pesky steals. We loved his athleticism, enthusiasm, and humility. I cried when he was given his richly-deserved Willie Mac Award. His long career, bouncing around the minors and majors before finally finding success in San Francisco, is storybook stuff. Losing JSanchez was definitely an "ouch" moment. He was a true Giant, and part of the Youth Corps that led us all to the land of milk and honey. But losing Torres is a gut punch. I loved that guy. It was impossible not to! When Aaron Rowand would stink, I'd grumble and moan and holler "get rid of the bum!" When Torres struggled I winced in silent pain and prayed that he'd look better the next time he was up. So long, Andrés, I wish you well. (You know he will go 11-17 with 2 HR, 4 SB, and 3 impossible catches when the Mets come to town next season. You just know he will.)
The Giants also gave up Ramón Ramírez in the trade. He pitched in 66 games last year and is a pretty solid guy to have in the bullpen. In 2010 he allowed only TWO earned runs in 27 IP during the stretch run after some rather rocky times in Boston (21 ER in 42 IP). That World Series roster is getting whittled down: JSanchez, Torres, Ramirez, Burrell, Ishikawa, Rowand, Uribe, and Rentería are all gone. There's a good chance that Mike Fontenot and Cody Ross will not return in 2012. Guillermo Mota is also on the bubble, maybe he'll be back with the open spot in the 'pen.
Ángel Pagán projects to be the Opening Day CF and that will likely move newcomer Melky Cabrera to LF. The UZR crowd will be happy (how can anyone trust a metric that rates Nate Schierholtz as a poor defender?). He looks like a good acquisition. We'll lose a little on defense (nobody fields the 8-spot like Torres) but probably gain a bit on offense. He turned 30 in July. A quick check of his B-R page shows he's from--wait for it--Puerto Rico!! So much for my thesis.