Monday, December 8, 2008

A Giant Offseason (The Fat Guy)

5 Moves the Giants Should Make

A wise man once said, “There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.” (I don’t understand this quote but I might just be an idiot) C.C. Sabathia is so tantalizing. I was going to say the Giants should sign C.C. for $120 mil. Sign Adam Dunn to play first and trade Jonathan Sanchez for A-Rod. Then the absinthe wore off. The reality is the Giants are not World Series contenders heading into next season and probably not in 2010, either. Much has been said over the last couple of years about going with younger players and I’ve said this myself numerous times. But like the Giants, the free agent market has been lacking talented young position players for years. This limits the Giants options for upgrading the offense for the future, so I say sign some older guys to short deals while we wait Bumgarner, Alderson, Posey, Gillaspie, et al. Pitching and defense will be the key for the Giants to be competitive over the next two seasons. They have good pitching, but need to improve the defense. No contracts should be offered for more than three seasons to anybody

1) Sign Derek Lowe

He’s a sinkerball pitcher in a division with many HR unfriendly parks. He’s got a 2.17 ERA at AT&T the last three seasons(5 starts). At 35, he had a 3.24 ERA last year and should be open to three year contract offers. According to Baseball Reference’s Similarity Scores, four pitchers with Giants connections are listed (Don Robinson, Danny Darwin, Lindy McDaniel and Dick Tidrow).Don Robinson? Caveman? C’mon. You cannot argue that the Giants need less Caveman(s). The caveat to signing Lowe is that he’s waiting for Sabathia to sign a contract and set the market for pitchers and his agent is Scott Boras. Lowe could be contemplating a massive five year deal with a True Religion Jeans contract to boot. If that is the case, I take a flyer on Brad Penny.

2) Don’t trade Matt Cain

He’s younger than LinCYcum and his value is down after a bad luck season. Buy low, sell high, or something like that. He’s under Giant control for a few more years at a good price so there is no need to rush any trade. Trading him would mean the Giants are trying to win in 2009, which they should not be because they are not one player away from contending. Let things play out this season. We know he’s got potential, so wait to reap the benefits whether it’s for the Giants on the field or through a trade. If Cain was traded now, who would fill his spot in the rotation this season? Lowry? Misch? Please.

3) Sign Casey Blake

Look, there aren’t a lot of premier corner infielders on the free agent market. In fact, there is only one who is under 30, Texeira, and he’s going to be a pricey piece of pie. Sure, Adam Dunn is under 30 and he “could” play 1B, but he’s not the right fit for the Giants. Blake is old, 35, but he’s solid defensively and can swing the bat a little. His three year splits, .275/.346/.457. Again, his age will let the Giants offer a shorter deal, two or three years max, and Sandoval can play first base. I think Blake even played some first for the Dodgers last year, but I have to believe Blake at third and Sandoval at first is better than the other way around. Plus, Baseball Reference lists four(!) former ROTYs with matching similarity scores thru age 35: Chris Sabo, Ben Grieve, Marty Cordova AND Eric Hinske. That means something, right?

4) Trade Randy Winn/Sign Pat Burrell

Baggs talked to Sabean the other day and he doesn’t envision the Giants signing another outfielder, which is totally understandable. Can we give one back? Dave Roberts, anyone? Winn is in the last year of his contract and as a decent MLB outfielder making $8.25 mil the Giants should be able to move him. This one might not happen until summer. If the team could move Winn, that would open a space to bring in Burrell. Now, I’m not even close to ga-ga for Burrell. In fact, I’m much closer to whatever the opposite of ga-ga is about Burrell. The fact remains that the Giants cannot have a 3-4-5 of Rowand-Molina-Sandoval. Pat the Bat would strike out a ton of times, but he’d be at “home” and he can hit the ball really hard. Burrell is 31, so I wouldn’t want to see anything longer than three years. The silver lining of a recession is that guys who used to demand five year deals, and get them, will have to settle for three year deals.

5) Kick the tires on O-Dog

As of this minute, second base will be fought over by Eugenio Velez, Kevin Frandsen, Manny Burriss and whoever won the Play for the Giants Spring Training prize from the KNBR/BAYSHOF auction. Frandsen is the only one who “should” have a chance at earning the spot and he’s coming off a torn ACL. All the others need more seasoning, minor league seasoning. Orlando Hudson is an above average defender and a decent hitter. He’s 30 years old and has played more than 145 games only once in his six year career. He’s the best second base free agent this winter and he is likely going to be looking for a deal of more than three years. However, there is always a possibility he would be willing to settle for a short term deal if the price is right.

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