Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Offseason Discussion II

We need a new thread.

Ishikawa? Yea/Nay.

Speak, and thus be heard.



nomisnala said...

Not sure if Ishikawa is a good roster fit, but going with the giants theory of trying to keep the team together, which does seem indeed to keep morale high, the giants are offering him 800,000 in arbitration. I thought he might be a minor league contract, but he has been a good giant and I am glad to have him. Lets work on his ability to play left field. Or if he can play first and be productive, Belt's ability to play left field. They are both good fielders at first. Belt has the better arm.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Everyone on the "non-tender" list was "tendered." So, Ishi is back.

That's two lefty first basemen who can play a little left field! Weird.

The list was Blanco, Belt, Ishi, BCraw, Hanchez, and Petit. To me Ishi was the only one on the fringe as he was on a minor league deal last season. But, the Giants liked what they saw at the end of the season and he was certainly a huge part of the championship.

M.C. O'Connor said...

6 years and $138M is reportedly the offer for Lester (from the Cubs).

Yikes! If the Giants did that he'd be their highest-paid player. Like I said, if the team is willing to overpay and over-extend I'd rather them do it on the pitching front. Probably take $25M/year to land him.

Only the Giants know what they can "afford" but it seems out of character for them to go big with a free agent like this one.

So--Lester? Yea/Nay.


nomisnala said...

Maybe they are going big on Lester to keep him away from the Dodgers. Kershaw, Greinke, Lester, Ryu, and a fifth starter would make the bums awfully tough. Just hoping that pitching to Posey, for at least a couple of years, should mean something as Lester makes his decision.

JC Parsons said...

I'm surprised the Lester thing has gone on this long. I figured he would return to the Red Sox, a no brainier. My thinking is that he is just using us and the Cubs to drive up the price. Isn't he a franchise icon? Isn't he the symbol of there Championships? Isn't he kinda like their Matt Cain?
No, I don't think we end up with Lester. So I'll wait to even think about if it's a good move

Ron said...

I agree with Jon, & I thought that we were done signing ex-Oakland Pitchers to huge, multi-year deals. I am not a big Lester fan, & now, LA is apparently involved, too. I still think that it's Boston or the Cubs, though. Peavy's possible inclusion in 'the package' is probably what queers it for the Red Sox.

Even though his multi-colored eyes freak me out, I'd rather see Scherzer as a Giant. However, I don't think that that's on the agenda, either. It'll end up being an Ervin Santana-type of guy.

Should we care about Brandon Moss? I'm mixed. He has certainly had some big clutch moments which have made the highlight reels, but he must suck against left-handed pitching, because, to some extent, he is a platoon guy.

Ishikawa's minor deal is not very significant & does not confirm his inclusion on the Opening Day ML Roster. It's nice that he's still around, but he was clearly out of his element in LF - I can't see that improving much. If Pagan is back, & we don't acquire anyone, we are going to be sticking with Blanco / Perez in LF. Ishikawa would be strictly a PH or even stashed in the minors.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Markakis went cheaper than I expected but still got a four-year deal. Looks like $44M. Braves traded Jason Heyward and then signed Markakis to presumably play RF instead of Heyward. Wouldn't you rather have Heyward?

Brother Bob said...

That was my battle cry all through the end of last season. In my opinion "Travis Ishikawa" is the greatest name in the history of sports.
I say trade Belt and put Ishikawa back at first. Maybe we could get a reliable lefty starter for Belt.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I can live with Blanco/Perez. Rumor has it O's are interested in Morse. DH in a AL park is a good fit for him.

As far as making up for lost power in the lineup goes, I can see the Giants dumpster-diving for that. Ol' Sabes will find a diamond in the rough. The FA list isn't too enticing. Melky Cabrera? Colby Rasmus?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Belt is a stud. Even if you are yanking my chain, BroB, no. 9 is going to be huge for the Giants next year. A full, healthy season from the young lefty will make up for the loss of Panda in the lineup. It would be nice to get a full season from Pagan, too!

I love Scherzer. He'd be awesome. D-Backs were nuts to trade him. Why don't you like Lester, Ron? I can see not liking the price tag/years it would take to get him, but what's not to like otherwise?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Of course Scherzer already rejected a 6-yr/$144M deal so I don't see him being any cheaper than Lester, and Scott Boras is his agent so it could take until April for his situation to be resolved.

Santana rejected a QO ($15.3M) from Atlanta and supposedly wants a five-year deal. Good luck with that, Ervin.

Brandon Moss? Lefty 1B/LF/DH type? Just what the Giants need! Besides, Belt is younger and better. And Moss is not a FA.

Zo said...



All in all, looks grim. And we still need a third-bagger. Mike Morse, anyone?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Giants have Duffy, as well as Adrianza and Arias. They don't need a third baseman. And Belt will make up for the loss of Sandoval. I don't want Chase Headley. I mean, he's a good ballplayer, but being a FA he's going to cost years (the Giants have dollars). I want Duffy to get a shot and don't want some 30-year old blocking him. The Giants don't need some shiny bauble unless he's a front-line pitcher.

I know the Melky rumors are out there and I don't buy them but I'm wrong a lot, so we'll see. But I like Melky and he was awesome in SF and is overall, I think, a very underrated player. He has that all-rounder vibe the Giants like and is a switcher. Supposedly he wants five years (don't they all?) which would be nuts.

Ron said...

Lester: I don't like him, because I just don't like something about him - hard to put my finger on what it is. Probably just because he was an omni-present Boston Red Sox player - they get on my nerves. Mostly, I don't trust the way that he did his little mercenary routine with the A's, then choked, while pitching exactly the game for which they acquired him.

Regarding 3B ... The more that I consider Headley, the less impressed that I am. However, Matt Duffy has never played at AAA, so counting on him to be an everyday ML 3B shows unjustified confidence. I suppose that it is 'put up or shut up' time for Adrianza - he has succeeded at the AAA level & has had a couple of shots at the ML level.

I just wish that, between SS & 3B, we could count on a few HR's. Due to his occasional well-placed big fly, I have always thought that Crawford could turn into a 15 - 20 HR guy. If that were to happen, I could be OK with a slap-hitting stick-like speedy 3B. On the other hand, I'd also be cool with a 10 - 12 HR guy at each position.

Your point about Belt's (hopefully) full-time availability taking up some of the power vacuum is a good one, too.

Mostly, we need some starting pitching options, & I really hope that Vogelsong is not expected to fulfill that role. Our bullpen needs some definition, too. Hunter Strickland has not shown me anything yet. This year is probably the last opportunity for Kontos. Lopez is starting to fade a bit. For those reasons & others, I wish that they were still engaged in talks with Romo & others outside of the organization.

M.C. O'Connor said...

All ballplayers are mercenaries. Any free agent is a mercenary, by definition. In the immortal words of Don Sutton: "I'm the most loyal player money can buy." (And you can't judge a ballplayer by one game, or one week, or one month. Sheesh. Buster Posey hit .154 in the Series and his lifetime post-season OPS is .644. What a choker!) Regardless, you most likely won't have to agonize over Lester as the Giants, it seems to me, are longshots.

Yep, starting pitching. I think they have the 'pen guys as I am high on Kontos and Strickland. Again, don't judge him on a week of games. He's hardly had any ML experience yet Boch was ready to use him in big spots. That ought to tell you something.

Ron said...

I can't believe that you are comparing Lester to Posey.

A Starting Pitcher with a superior reputation's job is to win a baseball game every 4 or 5 days & certainly not to blow a large lead late in a game. That is why it is appropriate to characterize Kershaw & Lester as 2014 playoff chokers - hell, even they would probably call themselves that.

As a Catcher, Posey contributes in myriad ways every single day. His impact on the the entire postseason was very positive, & he accomplished a lot in the World Series, even though he didn't hit well. I'm sure that MadBum & Bochy would agree.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Of course Posey is awesome. I was just using him as an example--even great players have down stretches. I just can't accept that one performance makes a guy a choker. After all, Lester was awesome in the post-season before this season's wild card game. This choker label seems to come and go on a whim. If the Giants make a decision on Lester they will look at the long term and not one game. After all, MadBum "choked" in the 2012 LDS and LCS by your criteria. Somehow he managed to pitch OK after that.

Ron said...

Rental Player, Biggest Job to Do, Most Important (& Final) Game of his Oakland Tenure - Failure. In a couple of shitty innings, he made the trade to acquire him a complete & utter waste. Yoenis Cespedes gone. Lester gone, too.

Obviously, with a long term player (like MadBum or Kershaw), there are ups & downs, & for those 2, mostly ups. Although, MadBum would tell you that he 'choked' in the field, when he lost the one game that he did lose this year.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I can't put Lester down for his playoff performances. Overall, his number of quality starts in the playoffs is in the 60%'s, which is very good. Even his A's start was very close to a quality start (per PQS), just one less hit or one less out would have netted him a DOM quality start.

Peavy has been horrendous in the playoffs, he has 9-10 career starts and not one quality start per PQS.

I love how Peavy plays in the regular season but if we end up paying him more than Hudson, I don't think he's worth it, just because of how bad he has been in the playoffs, I would rather we give Petit a shot at the job.

With Lester, I have every belief he would come through for us in the playoffs more times than not, up there with Bumgarner (he actually had a spotty playoff record before 2014), Cain, Lincecum.

nomisnala said...

Are the dodgers going to use their large purse to sweep away Lester, or are they just trying to run up the price for the giants and cubs? I like the idea of Melky, unless he and Posey really do not get along. Melky a switch hitter, who during his tenure as a giant was pretty darn good, and better in the field than many a naysayer had led us to believe. It would be nice if he could learn how to communicate in English by now. Just as a factor that would help him get along with more players. The leche man needs to come back. I would be much more ok with 3 or4 years than 5.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Well I'm gonna need a scorecard to keep the chokers sorted from the studs.

campanari said...

The Giants have a #19 or better first-round draft pick that I would think it reckless for them to forfeit, as they would if they signed Melky, Santana, Liriano, or anyone else who got a QO. I'd just drop those names from consideration. Scherzer is the one possible exception.

Ron said...

It's nice to read how objective everyone commenting on Lester can be, when it was another Team who got Lester-ed. But, ask yourselves this:

What would you be calling Lester, if it had been the Giants making the trade deadline deal, & he had pitched similarly for us in a Wild Card game, then bolted as a FA? I have a feeling that there would have been some choice adjectives used to describe both Lester & Brian Sabean.

A couple of recent reminders:

- Sidney Ponson, who actually didn't choke in the playoffs, but was jobbed by Jose Cruz, Jr.'s miserable OF play.

- Carlos Beltran & his amazing disappearance after his acquisition.

Zo said...

Today's Chronic sez they are considering Melky, but 3rd base and pitching are priorities.
Bobby Evans says that the Giants are engaged with Chase Headley but mentions Adam Duvall as a 3rd base option, and says that the interest in Cabrera is "too early to engage in that level of detail." Not sure what this last means. Didn't know Adam Duvall could play third.

campanari said...

Not sure what your last means. Duvall may not be able to play third but that's where the Giants org has been placing him in the minors. A level of sarcasm here that I can't get even after periodic visits to MCC over the years?

M.C. O'Connor said...

What would I be "calling him"? A good pitcher. A very good pitcher with a long track record of success including success is big games in a big market. I don't give a shit about Lester in particular, I give a shit about the Giants getting a good pitcher. Max Scherzer gave up five runs in his start against the O's in the ALDS. Should we not consider him because of that "choke" performance? Good grief.

I don't judge players by one game, one week, one month, even one season. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Carlos Beltran is still a great player even though he didn't deliver in SF. Sidney Ponson was never a great player. He was a decent pitcher (with a long career) who got a shot in a big series and it didn't work out. I don't need to call him names, any more than I'd call Jose Cruz names. He blew a play in huge game and he will always be remembered for that and not for the excellent work that preceded that moment.

Players have ups and downs. Good moments and bad. No one is totally clutch or totally choke. Every player in the bigs, no matter how marginal, is capable of great championship accomplishments--just ask Travis Ishikawa. Every player, no matter how great, is capable of spectacular failure--just ask Clayton Kershaw.

Pablo Sandoval, for all his Senor Octubre heroics, played himself off the 2010 post-season starting roster. Players, all players, to paraphrase Whitman, "contain multitudes." Athletic performance is not a simple, mechanical thing that always works all the time. Fans have ridiculous expectations that their favorites will always deliver no matter what. Sometimes the OTHER player is the hero--that's how it works!

I refuse to paint players in broad strokes. And I like to think about what a player CAN do and not what he can't. When I say I don't want Chase Headley or Josh Donaldson or Nick Markakis it is because I think the Giants have players who can bring what those players bring, not because I think there is something wrong with them or I have some bias against them because they once choked on TV. And because I want to see the young players in the system get a shot. I'm suspicious of free agency because you hardly ever get your money's worth, but that doesn't mean those players can't be part of a winning team.

After all, the Giants won the World Series with Aaron Rowand and Barry Zito, the two most-maligned FAs in team history. I've heaped my share of abuse on Rowand, but if I ever saw him in real life I'd shake his hand and thank him for the 2010 title. Hell I'd shake Johnnie LeMaster's hand and thank him for all the memories even though those were last place teams and the laughingstock of the league.

Zo said...

@ campanari -
I simply did not know that Duvall was a possible third base candidate. I only saw him sub at first. But one more option is good.
This is the quote from the Chronicle (credit Henry Schulman): "We have to explore options, Evans said. To the extent that Melky's past dealings are part of the discussion, sure. That's fair. But it's just too early to engage in that level of detail." I don't know what that last sentence of Mr. Evans means. What level of detail? Melky's past dealings? A contract? Wouldn't you want to deal with Melky's past dealings first? If not, what are they doing with him?

Anyway, the idea of Adrianza/Blanco/Perez/Ishikawa, that is, the Giants bench players that have been so valuable as fill-ins and role players, stepping into full time player roles doesn't inspire me with confidence. I think that if they were capable, the baseball brains that run the club would have made that happen already. Also, It serves the Giants well not to appear desperate (not suggesting that they are, just stating that when you swim with sharks, better not to call attention to your bloody spots). I also am not overly impressed by any of the hitter free agents after Pablo. Melky is probably the best guy out there, but of course, there is the history. In the long run, though, it is pitching, among starters and relievers. We have done awfully well with great pitching, there is no reason to believe that we would continue to do well without great pitching.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Duvall has 371 games in the minors at 3B and over 1000 chances. I had him pegged as a 1B type but apparently he has the experience to play the hot corner. Great. The more the merrier!

Melky, of course, has PR and "clubhouse" baggage. I've no idea if that matters or not--it doesn't to me. He did the crime, he did the time, I can move on. Can't answer for anyone else.

I think the point campanari made about losing a compensatory draft pick is a good one. Giants don't waste too many draft picks. Guess I'll just have to relax and let the FO guys do their thing. It's worked out, overall, these last few years to have faith in B & S and see what they come up with.

Ron said...

Duvall may have 371 games at 3B, but, fairly consistently, he has averaged an error every 4 games - that's an outrageous 40 errors in a full season. He has a lifetime .917 fielding percentage at the position. Adam Duvall does not appear to be the answer at 3B, even part-time.

If you still like your 3B to be big, right-handed, & lumbering, Chris Dominguez has played over 400 games at 3B over the years, averaging an error every 5 games, with a .926 field percentage. So, a little better.

Of course, neither Duvall nor Dominguez has shown much at the plate in the major leagues, so it's still looking like Duffy / Adrianza / Arias to me, unless some other pieces move around somewhere.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

If Lester gave us a great 2.35 ERA in 11 starts like he did, with great K/9 and K/BB, like he did, and then got blown up in the WC before taking off, I would thank him for getting us to the point that allowed us to get into the playoffs. He came through for us when we needed it in the regular season and just had that hiccup in the WC game.

And frankly, I put that on the manager's and GM's head. GM because if he had a better bullpen, his manager would have felt better about taking out Lester sooner, before it went to hell. On the manager because he put in a reliever Gregerson who blew a ton of saves for the A's in 2014, he pitched in many high leverage situations, highest on the team, yet his 8 blown saves was double that of the next worse, Doolittle who had 4 blown saves (but saved 22 games). Cook probably would have been a better choice, high K/9, low H/9 makes up for high BB/9, 7 holds and 1 save vs. 2 BS, great ratio. Would have been a great time to have a $5M reliever come in and save the day, they could have signed Affeldt instead of the Giants.

Lester leaving is on the A's FO for doing the deal anyway when they knew he was going to get big bucks.

Beltran, on the other hand, I'm still mad at him. He went into a slump when we got him, then got injury and dogged it when the Giants needed him, the Giants forced him to come off the DL when he did because he wanted to stay on there longer.

Plus we didn't even give up that much for him. I know people like Wheeler, but I didn't think much of him when he was in our system, and while I wouldn't say he's bad and would agree that he's valuable, he's not exactly a front-line starter, which is my litmus test regarding trades: don't lose the great talents who can do big things, Wheeler so far has been about what I thought, an average type of pitcher. Nothing wrong with that, something I can live with given that we led by a good number of games at the time of the trade and what lineup can't use the boost of the one of the best hitters in the game?

The talk when the trade was made was that the Giants would need to replace Wheeler's talent, and frankly I think they did with Petit emerging as he has.

nomisnala said...

I like Wheeler, and I think Beltran was hurt for a few weeks after we got him, but then came back and played quite nicely. The fact that the giants did not go after him for two years 24 million, or little more, still seems to me to be quite idiotic. We won without him anyway in 2012 and 2014, but the Cards got a Pujols replacement and then some.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

You are forgetting about the context nomisnalla.

Boras likes to force teams to be have to bid for his top players, so he often starts negotiations in January.

Sabean hates being leveraged by free agents (see Rod Beck, Dusty Baker) and likes to get his roster set up earlier than later.

So Sabean traded for Melky and Pagan, filling up their OF, no space for Beltran.

Meanwhile, Boras overplayed his hand, most teams were already set and unwilling to wait for an oft-injured prima donna, albeit great hitter, and so there were not many bidders left then. And the Cards, having missed on Pujols, now had millions burning in their pocket, plus they could easily move Berkman from RF to 1B since he played there a lot in his career.

But they didn't have to, and they leveraged Boras/Beltran into a cheaper deal than they were looking for.

Sure, the Giants could have waited for Beltran, but then if he would have signed with the Cards anyway, they would have been stuck with no viable starting RF, scrambling to fill a spot, because KC most probably would have traded Melky to someone else for a starting pitcher.

So I don't blame the Giants for not signing Beltran, Boras wanted to wait, Sabean and the Giants didn't, and yes Beltran was a good deal, that's because Boras screwed up for his client and that probably costed Beltran $5-10M in total (they probably wanted one year, but Cards forced them into two year if they wanted deal with them, I'll bet, because he probably would have gotten even less AAV for a one year deal from another team, and he probably wanted to land with team with chance to win).

If he and Boras didn't want to screw around and get top dollar and accepted a fair contract with the Giants, he might have had two rings right now, as I think while the Melky trade probably don't get done, the Pence one would still have been done, since Huff disappeared on us, and I think he was key to the two titles.

Though Beltran had a poor 2014, whereas Morse did more, so perhaps we might not have gotten into the WC (but with such a big lead, probably still), plus then there is no Ishi moment or even Perez moments in LF.