The Giants' behavior this off-season continues to mostly depress me, with occasional rays of hope quickly dashed by official or unofficial statements. We are a cash-rich team, fresh off the paraphanelia-sellling, 81-game consecutive sellout aftermath of our first Championship in the SF era. This Championship was primarily built upon a fantastic young Starting Pitching staff & Closer, all of whom were paid much less than their true value, due to their relative youth. Unlike some other recent winning teams (e.g. both of the Florida Marlin winners), they were not a group of mercenaries, quickly assembled for instant glory, off to better pastures in the free agent market. When a Team is already pretty wealthy & is blessed with this type of good fortune, there should be solid motivation to do whatever it takes to keep winning, including investing some of the windfall into the sustained winning. The word ‘dynasty’ rightfully crops up.
Instead, we are treated to occasional news about contact between the Team & Agents for Lincecum & Cain & lukewarm crap about maybe trying to re-sign Carlos Beltran, along with endless links between the Giants & a cavalcade of marginal second or third-tier players. We don't deserve this. We have been long-suffering, but loyal, for years. We got the Championship, & we deserve a sustained effort to continue competing for the Championship. Yet, the Team has retreated back into poor-boy incrementalism. The Giants can afford much, much more.
The level to which this has degenerated was illustrated by how excited I got yesterday morning to hear that the Giants were going in for a Japanese SS who was a complete mystery to me. At least it was someone out-of-the-box, a SS with a bit of pop who could platoon with Crawford. Mostly, it was because it wasn’t some 38-year old guy with a lifetime OBP of less than .300. If a success at the ML level, maybe Nakajima could slide over to take over from F. Sanchez at some point in the future. The Crawford/Nakajima double-play combo was going to be an anchor of the franchise … my mind was racing. That hope was dashed in about 5 seconds, when I immediately read that it had been reported that the Giants had denied the report. Later in the day, just to squash my hopes entirely, a credible source confirmed that the Giants had denied the report.
The Pujols/Fielder thing should have never been 'out of the question', but I will accept that it is. One has to draw the line somewhere, I suppose.
The Reyes/Rollins thing should have never been 'out of the question', & I am quite peeved that the Team won't go there. Reyes signed a contract that was in the realm of possibility for the Giants, meaning that Rollins will sign a contract that is definitely something that the Giants could afford.
The re-sign Beltran thing is a 100% no-brainer - we should be in that one with both feet. As I've said before, I can't think of a hitter whose swing is more perfectly tailored to our ballpark. The kind of money being talked about for Beltran is well within our capability to pay & much less disruptive to our salary structure than a Pujols / Fielder / Reyes / Rollins move. He instantly makes our lineup legitimate, & that should be our goal - a legitimate lineup to go with our superior pitching.
The long-term deals with Cain & Lincecum will probably happen, although I'm a bit worried about Lincecum's desire for an 8-year deal. Having gone through the Zito episode, the Giants are going to be hesitant to go there. Still, somewhere in my heart, I have to believe that the Giants know that they must secure Cain, Lincecum, &, eventually, Bumgarner for the long haul. Sandoval is a probable future long-term deal that must be made, although I am looking for confirmation that he is serious about year-to-year conditioning & that his right-handed swing has returned to normal.
I live in Portland, Oregon. Giants’ gear is all around me, easily surpassing any other Team’s gear, including the ‘local’ Mariners. I root for one of the richest, most recognizable Teams in MLB. The Giants need to sign Beltran to a nice 3-year deal, while continuing to push for the Cain & Lincecum deals. That is my agenda. That should be the Team’s agenda. I will not listen to any economic reasons not to do that. They owe us this. They owe us a legitimate lineup.