Monday, December 8, 2008

A Giant Offseason (RT)

A Giant Off-Season

(In round two of the never ending battle between the Fat Guy and me, we are discussing the top 5 things the Giants should do this off-season)

Let’s get something out of the way right now – the Giants are not going to the playoffs in 2009. There are too many holes and not enough money and/or prospects to fill them. With my eyes on 2010 and beyond, I give you the genius which is RT’s top 5 things the Giants should do this off-season:

1) Acquire Jake Peavy

Allow me to give you rule #1 in baseball, if a #1 starter, who is a power pitcher and is under 30, becomes available, you do whatever it takes to acquire him. There is no exception to this rule. It is worth the gamble every single time. It doesn’t matter how good your prospects are because, after all, they are just prospects. Ask Theo Epstein while he is shining his two World Series rings how much he regrets trading the best young player in baseball (Hanley Ramirez) for Josh Beckett. Ask Brian Cashman how smart it was not to trade Phil Hughes for Johan Santana last year.

(That move was made for the Yankees and they screwed it up.)

This is the trade that makes sense to me:

Posey, Gillespie and (either Bumgarner or Alderson – whichever one they want) for Peavy.

What’s that you say: Peavy has a no trade clause he does not want to play for the Giants? I think voiding his current contract and giving him $20 mm over the next 5 years seems to make sense. Money has a way of changing player’s minds.

2) Trade Cain for Prince Fielder

They should have been done months ago. Fielder would be perfect fit for the Giants at first base for the next 10 years and his upside is ridiculous. He is only learning how good he can be and there is that whole – “We have a big left handed hitter that can put the ball into the water” – marketing plan. He will put butts in seat because of the way he plays and that is important over the next couple years. Fielder makes sense from a business side and a baseball side. Furthermore, the Giants have to trade Cain before his stock drops through the floor. Please allow me shed light on why there is an urgency to trade Cain.

(I will use bullet points so I don’t get too wordy.)

* He is an ever other pitch pitcher. Seriously, go back and watch any of his games. His first pitch hits the target and the next one bounces in front of the plate or sails over the catcher’s head. If you think this trend is going to change, you need to put the koolaid down.

* His motion is about as compact as a Cadillac Escalade. He did not exactly go to the Greg Maddox school of pitching mechanics. As a result, he will never be an elite pitcher because he does not have the command required to be dominant.

* At best, he is a poor man’s Nolan Ryan. In English that means, he will strike out a bunch of guys but is never going to be a consistent winner.)

3) Don’t sign C.C. Sabathia, Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett … Sign Brad Penny

I am feeling the bullet points so let’s keep using them

* C.C. = Why pay a guy Johan Santana money when A) he has never won anything on the
big stage and B) he is not feared by elite hitters?

* Lowe = I will admit it – about 10 years ago I learned how to read people’s minds so let me tell you what Lowe is thinking this off-season: “I play in a league where all money is guaranteed so I busted my butt over the last 4 years so I could sucker an idiot GM into thinking I will care during my twilight years.. Little does that GM know that I really just want to party and I have no motivation because this contract is my last big pay day. It’s not like I have not won a World Series. Now, if I could only get a rich guy to buy the Marlins … I love Miami Beach.”

* Burnett = Trivia time: If A.J. Burnett was an NBA basketball player, what would his name be? Jamal Crawford.

(Extra Credit: If he played in the NFL, what would his name be? Jeff George.)

* Penny = Has something to prove (check) Hates the Dodgers (check) Has HUGE upside if he get through his injury (check). Seems to make sense to me.

4) Trade Jonathan Sanchez for Jorge Cantu

We can all agree that Sanchez will be pitching out of the bullpen in two years. Trade him away while he still has some value. Cantu is an up and coming player who hit 29 home runs while playing in one of the hardest parks to hit home runs in. He is not a bad fielder and he is only 27. Of course, I could be the only person in the Giants fan base that thinks trying to find a long term solution at third is a bad idea.

(That’s right, I have just acquired left handed power hitting vegetarian and a player on the Mexican national team. Who said I don’t know anything about marketing!?)

5) Trade Molina and Winn to the Mets for a bag of potato chips and some dip to be named later

Now that we are paying Peavy $20 mm, they need to cut some payroll. The Mets are the perfect team to take these two guys off our hands. Who cares what we get in return!? We need to save money for next year when we ….

6) Sign Matt Holiday

(Dear Fat Guy: I realize this is cheating but I couldn’t help myself)
Think about next year’s offseason for a second. The United States will be reaching the bottom of the current recession we are in. (I work in finance for a living – we are not close to the end of this economic downturn). Matt Holiday will have underperformed (think Johnny Damon in 2001) because nobody can hit in that ballpark and he is playing in the American League. Ticket sales will have cratered for all the teams not names (Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees) during the 2009 season and nobody will have the money or the desire to pay a player $20 mm a season. The combination of all of these factors will create the “perfect storm” for us to sign the left fielder we have needed since 2004 and we will get him for a lot less than he would have received this year. (Not to mention, we will piss off the A’s fans to no end. You have to love that)

After all of these moves, here is the 2009 (and 2010) Giants:

2009 Rotation: Lincecum, Peavy, (damn that is sweet), Penny, Lowery and Zito

2009 Starting Line-up:
1) Lewis, 2B
2) Renteria, SS
3) Sandoval, C
4) Fielder, 1B
5) Cantu, 3B
6) Rowand, CF
7) Schierholtz, RF
8) Burriss, 2B
9) Pitcher

2010 Rotation: Lincecum, Peavy, (still sweet), Penny, (Bumgarner or Alderson), Zito

2010 Starting Line-up:
1) Burriss, 2B
2) Lewis, RF
3) Sandoval, C
4) Holiday, LF
5) Fielder, 1B
6) Cantu, 3B
7) Rowand, CF (the worst 5th hitter in the league just became the best 7th hitter)
8) Renteria, SS
9) Pitcher

If you are looking for me at the World Series, I will be sitting in the GMs box. I figured they give it to me for a reason.

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