Saturday, December 5, 2015

No Greinke, What Now?

It looked like a fresh post was in order since we have moved out of the dream portion of the off-season (where we land the biggest and most beautiful FA's) and we have moved into the harsh, boring Giants reality of "making do" and grabbing for sloppy seconds.

The easy choices are done.  Yes, I think Price and Greinke were no-brainers and they automatically help their teams, even at the crazy high prices.  We needed to get one of those two in order to be sure that we were ready to match up with the doggers. Especially nice would have been Greinke, since that means LA loses him (oh, he also had the best year pitching since Gibson).  BTW he is 7-0 against us in the last couple years, so getting him gone from LA is a big help.

I guess I really am having trouble with the "too much money" for that guy idea that pops up all the time.  The market value of these guys is pretty clear and predictable and it exists within a very clearly successful industry.  In other words, no one in Giants land is losing money and we have more to spend all the time. So why care if one guy deserves it or not?  If we need Greinke, 10 or 20 million dollars should not get in the way of that.  Didn't we all learn that even HORRIBLE deals can easily exist in championship situations?  Aren't we richer after throwing $ away at Barry Zito?

So I say we spend like there is no tomorrow. (There actually are a lot of tomorrows but you must admit that we have a window right now that we must take advantage of!).  Leake seems like the next easy choice due to his age.  He was disappointing for us at the end but his first half was super strong.  We MUST HAVE more starters, at least one big one, and



Ron said...

Samardzija - not my 1st choice, but <$100M, leaving more $ for more moves.

JC Parsons said...

Yikes! I guess my wish came true. We paid much, didn't we? BFD! For the guy who gave up the most earned runs in the AL. Boy are we going to hear about this! It is RISKY and EXCITING and it gives us a ton to talk about. Funky looking dude that just screams comparisons with Tim. Heavy sigh.

JC Parsons said...

Boy howdy, Sarmardzija truly sucked last year. He does seem to eat up innings, though. Maybe Righetti can fix him, right?

I truly don't care about the stupid $ (although I am sure we are all going to be sick of hearing about it real soon) but it does suck to lose the draft pick. I suppose that is was unavoidable, but still, that stings.

Next move? Leake to a similiar deal? Longer?

M.C. O'Connor said...

I like the Samardzija deal. He's a good pitcher who has mostly been on crappy teams. With our defense and in our park he's a plus. This also gives the Giants some flexibility. $90M for five years is "reasonable" in the context of the FA market. Good move. I like it. And I'm with JC, these guys cost what they cost and I don't give a shit how much. I give a shit about the Giants keeping the payroll open enough to get the guys they need. (BTW I think this makes a Leake deal moot.) As far as Greinke goes, HE'S NOT ON THE DODGERS!! That's what matters here. HE'S NOT ON THE DODGERS. And the Giants didn't have to spend $200+M to improve the team. Arizona wants to be a player in the division and I say "Bring it on, Snakes!" This makes the the West a more open race. I wonder how LA will respond since Greinke was their stated "no.1 priority."

<a href=">Here's some good nerd talk from FanGraphs on our newest Giants pitcher.</a> If you want to skip the lengthy and stat-babble-heavy read, just note these quotes from author Tony Blengino:

Moving forward, what do we likely have in Jeff Samardzija? He clearly deserves to receive high grades in the athleticism, durability and raw stuff departments.
. . .
Jeff Samardzija, a modestly above average starting pitcher who can be relied upon for 200 innings per season, might be the one sub-Greinke/Price level free agent pitcher who projects as some combination of athletic/durable/dominant/precise enough to pay off a four-plus year, $18 million per year contract.</i>

It's going to be hard to type his name and his nickname is "Shark" and Blanco has the corner on that market so I guess I'll go with "Jeff." Jeff, unlike Timmy, is a big dude (played FB in college). Funky, sure, but not really Tim-esque in my view. He pitched really well for the A's when Beane picked him up with Lester for their ill-fated stretch run. Like I said, it's a solid acquisition and he's going to pitch the best ball of his life with the Giants. He was not primarily a baseball player, everyone thought he'd go to the NFL as a wide receiver, but his "second sport" became his first by the time he left Notre Dame. Late bloomer, in good hands with Righetti and Bochy, winning clubhouse culture to thrive in, great D behind him, it all adds up for me.

Trust in Bobby-E, baby!

M.C. O'Connor said...

I meant to set off those quotes in italics, sorry, and my web link doesn't seem to have worked.

Zo said...

Jon, funny how you mention Barry Zito. Wasn't one of the big attractions about him was the fact that, before coming to the Giants, he consistently threw 200+ innings? I know, Jeff Samardzija is not Barry Zito. I don't really have a feel for the guy, but I know he has pitched well against the Giants. So, I guess we'll see.

We have five starters if you count Madison, Jeff, Matt, Jake and Heston. Can you count all those guys?

Zo said...

Also, I am sure that dogger-fans are equally astonished (if not more so) that Greinke is not either on their team or in San Francisco. I think it is huge that the Giants struck first. One more guy off the market and a little smaller pool for LA to search in. And, if anything, they probably need to find a FA pitcher more than the Giants did. There are still teams out there that want one of these guys. The Cardinals, the Angels, the Yankees. Cueto, Fister, Maeda..... I'm glad the Giants weren't the ones left without a chair when the music stopped.

Brother Bob said...

I'm opposed to players with name that are difficult to spell. So "Jeff" it is. Zito was easy to spell. That's one of his few redeeming qualities. That, and he seemed liked he would be a cool guy to share a bong with. Don't try to tell me Zito wasn't a disaster. So he had a handful of adequate starts in '12. I don't want to hear about it.

nomisnala said...

zito was a good number 6 starter in a league that each team uses 5 starters

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Zito was a great #4 starter, around averag-ish pitcher when healthy, until his last season with the Giants. Slotted behind Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, it worked out well, and fate delivered Vogelsong to us by placing Zito in a car accident leading to his injury, and Vogelsong's opportunity in the rotation.

The value of having a #4 pitcher who we could rely on for a load of IP is not worth Zito's contract, but unfortunately the contract created blinders for a lot of people who could not at least see the value of what Zito did provide. There is a difference in perspective between not getting enough value from what you paid and the value you actually got, no matter what you paid. You can chose to either cry over spoiled milk or make the best of the cheese that was made from that.

And we don't win the championship in 2012 without Zito. He was no Bumgarner, but he gave us two great well-pitched games, overall 1.69 ERA, two quality starts (per Game Score), more than any starting pitcher not named Bumgarner gave us in 2014. I hated his contract, but at least we got a championship out of it, he was 15-8 that season, and the Giants 21-11 in his starts, that was most of our lead over LA that season, then his great games in the playoffs.