Tuesday, November 28, 2006

2007 Giants 25 Man Roster - Thanksgiving Edition

{Updated sections on relievers due to my goof on Weathers plus C since Zaun signed so fast - damn Barajas, he will probably get a $1M contract for next season in February, you can't back out of a contract like this and not scare off most teams. He isn't good enough to do that.}

Given all the twists and turns that can and will happen in the construction of the 2007 Giants 25 man roster, I thought it might be interesting to give a periodic update where each position stands, rumors about that position, my thoughts on how the Giants should do it.

2007 Giants 25 Man Roster

#1 SP: Cain - Who else, he has to be the man this season, unless the Giants somehow re-signs Schmidt (which is possible if they don't retain Durham and get a cheaper alternative at 2B). Cain's 3.26 ERA in 99.1 IP with 99 SO vs. 40 BB and 8 HR, leaving batters gasping at .214/.296/.357/.653 after the ASG, shows that he's capable of being "da man" at the tender age of 22 next season.

#2 SP: Lowry - Between him and Morris, I decided to put him there because he's younger and been a better overall pitcher over the two years. The way Lowry pitched before his oblique injury clearly showed that he is a very good pitcher, capable of pitching like an ace for an extended period of time, and certainly good enough to be a #2. If he can learn to be consistent all season long, he could be co-ace.

#3 SP: Morris - Morris is here solely because he has had two bad years in a row, but as he showed in the first half of 2005 and for two months in 2006, when he is healthy and strong, he can be dominating enough to be a #2 or even #1 again. If the three can pitch to their potential, the Giants even with a poor offense, should be a team to watch out for.

#4 SP: Free agent - I had been hoping the Giants pick up either Schmidt or Zito, but after the blood in the water caused frenzied feeding, there is no way they can pick up either without hurting other position significantly. I was then hoping for Vicente Padilla, but then I read in McCovey Chronicles that he was arrested for drunk driving before.

Now, I'm thinking that they might go for Miguel Batista, whom I just recently found out was available, who has both started and relieved in the same season relatively frequently plus has been a closer before as well. He can start out as a starter, allowing Lincecum time to figure out AA or AAA hitters (or both) plus allowing Benitez to show that he is back healthy and performing. By mid-season, we trade Benitez for prospects and move Batista into closer role (or set-up if Wilson prove to be good too) and move Lincecum into the rotation at that time.

#5 SP: Jonathan Sanchez - Some have been saying that we should sign free agents to move him into the bullpen, both because we need LOOGY plus he didn't look good starting. I say that the future is now, just start him because we need to see if he can be the good to great starter that his pitching seems to indicate, and being the 5th starter, he could be pretty bad and won't hurt our chances if he can figure things out by mid-season - I saw the same thing happen with the A's for two seasons, Blanton is lost early in the season but then figures it out mid-season and they end up winning the division. If not, perhaps Lincecum can come up and start, if he is ready, and Batista can be the one staying in the rotation, moving Sanchez into the bullpen.

Closer: Armando Benitez - He's it until we find a sucker, er, taker of his wonderful services. Brian Wilson has been mentioned as a future closer and, as mentioned later, we have David Weathers around to slide into the role if necessary.

Set-up man 1: David Weather - apparently we are in line to sign him and, after missing out on Speier, hopefully we will. He has closer experience and has pitched well, period, so he would be a nice addition to the team, giving more flexibility in the bullpen. If we get him, that probably means that Brian Wilson will end up in AAA, unless the Giants go with one LOOGY.

Set-up man 2: Vinnie Chulk - he did really nicely for us when we first got him, faltered a bit, then recovered. He's been a good reliever throughout his career, despite doubt on Toronto's part last season, I was glad we got him in the Hillenbrand trade, because he replaced Accardo's production and allowed us to upgrade 1B at the same time - I like Accardo but we flipped him to improve 1B while keeping the relief about the same, great trade.

LOOGY 1: Free agent - After missing out on Mike Stanton, they could always try to re-sign Steve Kline. As nicely as Taschner came back last season, I don't think the Giants would be comfortable with him as the only lefty out of the pen. I have seen no one else rumored for our pen, but the Giants better hurry before Baltimore signs up everyone. :^) Well, everyone except Steve Kline, who had a horrible experience there.

LOOGY 2: Jack Taschner - he faltered last season after having a nice freshman season, but thinks that he has learned his lesson in preparation and was great after being send down and figuring things out. He also did some closing duties as well down there, so he might take on a set-up man type role along with Wilson and Chulk.

Relief: Kevin Correia - he did great in pitching many different roles last season and probably returns despite his strong desire to start. He could upstage Wilson and take the set-up man role in spring training, but could end up in long relief if Hennessey somehow forces his way into the rotation, pushing out Sanchez (I think that would be an interesting situation, how Bochy handles this, I personally think that Sanchez should start no matter what, almost, but Dusty started Jensen over Ainsworth when Ainsworth was clearly the future, just like Sanchez is clearly the future).

Long Relief/Spot Starter: Brad Hennessey - he did well in that role last season and might push his way into the rotation if he finally figures out how to pitch dominatingly regularly.

C: Free agent - With Greg Zaun out, not sure who is next in the Giants target. I still think Piazza would be a good, boosting our offense, plus he could play 1B regularly too, tri-platooning with Sweeney and Niekro, but apparently the A's are chasing him now that they've "given up" on Bonds, as if they were ever interested ;^) .

1B: Free Agent - have seen no rumors other than Pat Burrell throwing his name into the ring, out of the blue. Looks like Niekro might be getting another chance - I would be OK with that as long as we had someone who could play 1B regularly should he falter, he did really well in AAA after being sent down, he could be a good player for us if he can just hit consistently in the majors but he's been able to figure out each level up the minors so that's a good sign he just needs time in the majors to figure things out. Also, with the recent passing of his father, he might feel special incentive to "do it for Dad".

I think it could end up Niekro with Sweeney as backup/partial platoon buddy and he gets half a year to figure things out, meanwhile Ishikawa will be up in AAA and seeing what he can do there and could come up if Niekro falters again or, worse, have one of his regular injury breaks. He could get the call up if Niekro doesn't figure things out, but if Niekro is batting 7th or even 8th, he doesn't need to hit that well to stay in the lineup. He has shown the ability to learn to adjust so he has it in him, but he just needs to do it consistently and continually now.

I still like taking a flier on Craig Wilson at 1B, but there has been no news on him at all. He would be a nice bat to get, particularly if we do not resign Durham to play 2B. I still expect the Giants to offer arbitration for Durham and either get him for a year or set two draft picks for him. Then if we got Loretta and then Durham, Loretta would play 3B and Aurilia would be the super sub and Frandsen might be out of luck and in AAA.

2B: Free agent - Mark Loretta seems to be the most likely to take this role at the moment, though Kevin Frandsen is doing his damndest to push his way into the lineup with his great hitting in the AFL. He might get the start even if Loretta signs, as Loretta could start at 3B too, as he has been quoted as saying that he's willing to play other positions.

3B: Rich Aurilia - Looks like Richie is coming back but with no guarantee of a starting job. He's most likely starting here but could become the super sub if Frandsen gets the start at 2B or in the scenario above where we get Loretta and Durham. But if we don't get Loretta, the Giants would still need to get someone to play 3B, meaning another free agent signing or trade.

SS: Omar Vizquel - One of only two returning starters, there has been rumors of trading him to ChiSox, who almost signed him when we did, a sort of Matt Williams trade where we get starters at a number of positions for one great starter. One configuration had Juan Uribe, Scott Podsednik, and a prospect coming to us for Vizquel. I would want one of their 3B, either Crede or Josh Fields.

LF: Free agent - I still think it will be Bonds but there has been no news either way, other than the Giants have been close to signing Carlos Lee, who is only a LF, and purportedly in serious talks with the Red Sox for Manny to man LF. Plus there's always the Pat Burrell rumor, he can play LF, though not well, but that's pretty much over, the Phillies won't be needing to dump his salary after all, there's no free agents wanting to come their way thus far.

CF: Dave Roberts - He appears to be very close to signing to be our CF, though if Bonds does not sign, he could become the LF with Winn staying in CF and Linden in RF.

RF: Randy Winn - Second of two returning starters, his salary is looking better with every big signing.

Utility Infield: Mark Sweeney, Kevin Frandsen - Kevin, as noted, could end up starting at 2B, but in any case should see a lot of ABs as backup to 2B/SS/3B, whereas Sweeney probably will stick with being our premier pinch-hitter, as he was originally signed to be, with spot starts at 1B.

Utility OF: Todd Linden, Dan Ortmeier - both have been seen at various times by prospect hounds as potential MLB starters. With maybe Roberts and hopefully Bonds in the OF, both should see a lot of ABs in 2007 and hopefully show the team that he deserves to start in 2008. Ortmeier can play CF too, plus has shown surprising speed for a big man before, so he could paradoxically be our speed off the bench, even if Frandsen is around.


  1. Wow, I barely get the post out and Greg Zaun signs with Toronto after their tentative deal with Barajas went south when he changed agents and refused to come for a physical. Dumb move on his part to wait until now to do all that, should have been done beforehand, now he's known for a crap move like this and teams will team with him more gingerly now. I would also place this on the head of his new agent too, he obviously talked Barajas into this, hope he's as good as he think he is.

    OK, scratch him. Plus apparently the A's are looking at Piazza for DH, so my idea of signing him seems out now too, no way the Giants can outbid an AL team for him unless, that is, he doesn't want to DH and still wants to catch or play 1B.

    According to rumors, Schmidt has been offered 3 years, $44M by the Cubs. However, another rumor said that the Yankees, which were interested in him, is looking elsewhere because Schmidt is "apparently intent on staying on the West Coast" (Ben Maller/FOX Sports rumors). Which works for the Dodgers, who reported are interested in signing him too, though apparently his agent is waiting until after the GM meetings next week to see how much the Yankees pay for pitchers, which would set the price for pitchers like Schmidt and Zito.

    Also, other clubs purportedly interested in Manny's services are the Padres, Dodgers, Texas, Angels, Phillies, Orioles, and Mets.

    Also, Ray Durham's agent has described the Giants interest as "tepid" in the latest SF Chronicle, though he's not sure if that is because the Giants are trying to do something else and put them on hold, which he said is fine, or if the Giants have something else in mind. The issue appears to be length of contract, SF shorter, Durham longer. I smell an arbitration offer coming soon...

    Also, rumor that the Giants are still interested in signing Julio Lugo, though for what position, I'm not sure, but he probably can play 2B, SS, 3B, and OF, positions he played last season, though he is looking to start at SS.

    Lastly, the Giants reportedly did not bid on Kei Igawa, who did not excite Giants scouts. Good.

  2. Perhaps you don't realize this, but David Weathers is not left handed.

  3. Ooops, thanks, sorry, had it in my memory banks as a lefty, should have checked! But as the time stamp shows, I was rushing a bit to get to bed...

    I'll fix up the main article, much appreciated!

  4. Hello Martin -
    1) Big disappointment on Zaun. I thought he was perfect for us.
    2) I agree Sanchez should be a starter, unless he is terrible in ST. I think his poor starts last year were due to how he was used out of the bull pen, and never really getting into the 5 day rotation, despite being sent down to "stretch out his arm."
    3) I think - or hope - Linden and Frandsen each get significant, non-starting time, playing, say 5 days a week, w/ 400 ABs - and the chance to take the starter's role away from a vet
    4) The Scott Eyre contract looks pretty reasonable today.
    I don't know what the Giants will/can do. They can no longer compete with an $85/90 million budget. I don't know iif or how they can come up with another $10 million. But, signing Spier would have been a good move. Yes, expensive compared to last year, but this time next year he is going to look cheap - and Eyre will look dirt cheap. Clearly, looking at Manny Ramirez's contract NOW, Soriano's contract will be a bargain in 4 years. I think the Gs will have to be prepared to overspend next year if they can get a real quality guy. Soriano would have qualified, but not Lee. But V Wells, A Jones are likely, over the life of the contract, to be both valuable and worth the price (see Bonds, Barry).
    6) Paying Durham what he wants for 2 years, after due consideration, makes sense. This assumes Barry comes back. This is shaping up to be anot too bad of a team. The only hole, is a bat behind Barry, which is the role Durham can fill.
    7) Rather than too much Niekro (with Ishikawa in reserve) I would be in favor of bringing back Hillenbrand and let Niekro compete with him for playing time. I don't think an evaluation based on Aug/Sep is fair/rational, anymore than it was for R Winn in 05. I would expect Hilly to approximate his career numbers.
    8) I hate to count on Taschner. I'm not opposed to letting him win a spot out of ST. But if he falters, we need a decent alternative

  5. No matter how you slice it, this is going to be one crappy Giants team again in 2007.

    They will have the worst defensive outfield in baseball if they resign Bonds & sign Roberts. Three guys with very limited defensive skills and no arms to speak of. I'd like to have a dollar for every time in 2007 a Giants announcer will say, "That ball is in the gap and is rolling all the way to the fence." I could retire in the space of one season.

    For those of you who continue to think that Frandsen & Linden will be the answer, I feel sorry for your continued delusional thinking. These guys should be no better than part time players who get 150-200 ABs. Any more than that and the Giants are in big trouble.

    Let's see we lose our best pitcher and replace him with some journeyman and the pitching staff will be better? Not going to happen.

    Niekro, another chance? Sweeney spliting time at 1st with Niekro? Another disaster waiting to happen.

    As much as I don't think that the Giants should re-sign either Bonds or Durham, the answer is not Aurilia & Loretta either. Ouch.

    Other than their offense, defense or pitching, the Giants should challenge to be as good as they were in 2006. Yeah, right.

  6. I don't think that it is a fait accompli yet, but I agree that the potential for a crappy season is great.

    I think that it is a matter of conjecture how Frandsen and Linden will turn out. I would not count on them being more than part-time players but you won't ever find that out unless you give them the chance to play. As the Giants showed with Niekro last season, or even Feliz in years past, their patience with non-performance is not very long, they will jettison your ass if you are not performing, so if they get more than 150-200 ABs, you know that they must be performing and if they get less, then they probably got send down and someone else was brought in.

    Yes, it is possible that we lose our best pitcher and the pitching staff is better. Cain was great after the All-Star break and if he can duplicate that, he replaces Schmidt.

    The key to being better than last year lies in Lowry and Morris and their health. Lowry and Morris were a mess last season, bothered by injury and, apparently, a case of the nerves from the pressure of a new team in the latter's case. Lowry showed how much better he could be in 2004-2005 when he was healthy, an oblique pull can linger for a long time, re-tweaking it slightly always a risk, particularly if you are an athlete. Morris showed in early 2005 and mid-2006 what he can do when healthy and strong - he was pretty messed up in 2006 otherwise. If the two of them pitch to that potential, then we would have a strong three-some of starters, something we did not have last season in any sort of consistency, hence why we could never run off many win streaks, someone would break down in some way.

    A journeyman would complete a four-some, then, that would be the equal or better than the foursome of Schmidt, Morris, Lowry, Cain in 2006 - Morris and Lowry were journeymen-like overall in 2006, and Cain, while great in the second half, was equal putrid the first half, leading to a OK overall season, not great but better than journeyman. The four as a group can be better in 2007 if Lowry is the pitcher he was in 2004-5, Morris can consistently pitch well (and now he's two years removed from the surgery), and Cain can continue pitching like he did in the second half. I think the odds are good for that.

    Niekro was blazing when he finally figured things out in AAA. He was great when he first came up. He had adjusted to every level coming up and figured out how to hit well at AAA, no small feat, even in hitter happy AAA. I still think that with time he can adjust to the majors, the key is giving him the time.

    Yes, him starting would not be ideal, I agree, but with the salaries rising so highly, it appears increasingly probable that there is no way the Giants can field a team without playing a cheap alternative at at least one position. I think he's the best out of Linden, Alfonzo, and himself, he fields his position well (see Baseball Musing's defensive ratings for 2005; haven't seen 2006 yet) and he has hit well consistently in the minors, unlike Linden who struggled until figuring something out in 2005 and Alfonzo who looked like a career minor leaguer until Matheny went on the DL.

    Well, I don't expect Aurilia and Loretta to replace Bonds and Durham, if Loretta is signed, then I assume Sabean will be trying to find a 5th place hitter to bat behind Bonds, he owes Bonds that much, assuming Bonds sign with us.

    Sorry you feel that way about the team, I think the pitching will be improved overall, with our young pitchers having another year in the majors under their belt and Morris hopefully comfortable. Pitching is what is going to lead the way for us and Roberts, if he is signed, at the top of the order for us would help generate runs with small ball, which is conducive for a pitching led team, much like the Dodgers of the 60's. We're not going to win 90 games but I think we will be competitive if the pitching comes through. But I will agree that there is a big "IF" attached to that statement, but I think it will be an interesting season if you enjoy seeing well pitched games and nail-biters. And that is conditional on signing Bonds, with no Bonds, there's no way I can see them being competitive unless they somehow trade for someone good, like Manny, without giving up much other than money via taking on a contract (Matt Clement was the name, I think he would be great for us if that is all we need to take on, he was good pitching for the Cubs in the past).

  7. Matt Clement had surgary and is not expected to be ready to pitch compeatively until well after the season begins. So, what you are really saying is you want to Pay Manny Clement's $9M in 2007 as well as Manny's $19M? Crazy talk!

  8. Yes, if he had surgery and is out for 2007, obviously that's crazy talk - unfortunately the news source that discussed that possibility neglected to note that he was out of commission for the 2007 season, else I wouldn't have been for the idea, I thought we would be getting a useful pitcher, as my post clearly conveyed.

    Thanks for bringing that up, that's a very good point.

  9. Re Niekro: there is a huge difference between hitting at AAA and hitting in the major leagues. Niekro will never be a successful major league hitter with the huge hole that he has in his swing. He will pop some HRs, but will never hit for average and will strike out way too much to be a middle of the order hitter.

    I'm sorry but your theory on the Giants pitching staff is just not feasible. First of all, Morris will never be a better pitcher than he is right now. That was a terrible signing by the Giants. He is on a big downslide since the second half of the 2005 season. Look it up. Pitchers at his age don't all of a sudden turn it around. He is no more than a journeyman right now capable of eating innings. You should expect no more than a 4.80+ ERA and a .500 record, if he's lucky.

    Lowry is capable of more, but I think in the long run, the Giants would be better served by trading him now while he is locked up under contract and very marketable before he destroys his value with another crappy season under his belt. As a left handed pitcher, he could bring a lot back in trade value right now, either in major league players or a package of near ready prospects.

    Again the thought of Bonds, Roberts & Winn patrolling the outfiled is just a scary thought. This alone should add at least 1 full point to each pitcher's ERA.

    The Giants need to bite the bullet and start planning for the future. Bringing back BOnds and other veterans on the down side of their careers just delays that process one more year.

  10. I never said that Niekro will be a middle of the lineup hitter. I think he can be a fine 7th place hitter if he can adjust. HR power from that position would be good.

    Yes, it is feasible. I believe that Morris's big drop in 2005 mid-season is a result from his shoulder being operated on in Nov 2004 and the resultant required rest he had to give it for the next 6-8 weeks, which basically means both that his shoulder regressed strength-wise during that time and that he was unable to even maintain strength with exercise. Look at how great his first half is then see how bad second half is, an experienced pitcher doesn't go from day to night just like that with no injury mid-season. I think that two years removed now from the surgery, his shoulder should have returned to full health by now, I think you will see a much better Morris than you saw last year, unless he gets mysteriously injured again.

    Lowry, I've talked about trading him for Dontrelle Willis, but I would be willing to do any type of upgrade on him assuming we don't lose a lot of prospects. The idea is to trade his cheapness to a team with a better pitcher who is being paid a whole lot more, like Willis. Don't know if I put that here, but I've talked about this on MCC often. So I agree.

    The problem with your theory about the outfield is that most discussions about the full effect of defense on winning is that the effect is minimal. Using Win Shares, total defense counts for only 15% of total wins. In addition, the number of balls handled by the outfield is much less in relation to the infield, which I would peg at 2 to 1, so we're probably talking maybe 5%. On average, 81 wins, that's 4 wins, or 40 runs, then there's 162 games, 8.5 IP average (being conservative, probably more like 8.7; due to home team having no 9th if win), that works out to around 0.25 to 0.30 added to the ERA, not the full point you noted.

    I agree that it won't be pretty but what you say is an exaggeration as well.

    I have no problem delaying planning the future, particularly because the players we do have in the system appear to be at least a year or three away of even trying to make the team.

    And, really, the best way to rebuild, to really bite the bullet is what I call the Oakland A's el Cheapo way or the Phoenix method: burn down the team, play AAA players for a number of years, building up great stock of Top 5 draft picks, then when they start getting good, then start getting free agents to fill in the parts you couldn't with the draft. A's, Braves, Yankees, Marlins, Twins, and now Detroit have used this method to jumpstart a re-building effort.

    The only problem is that there is no guarantee that doing this will mean you returning to normalcy any time soon. The Braves for lousy for 6 years, before finally becoming good again. The Tigers were pretty bad for a number of years as well. The Marlins have been better at coming back from the brink. The Pirates and Royals went to the brink and have stayed there, for examples of what happens when you try to rebuild and it fails.

    Also, I think it depends on the circumstances. Sure, it is easy to say trade Vizquel and Winn to other teams and stink. To truly rebuild the Giants in this fashion, you are talking about condemning Cain, Lincecum, and Lowry to truly horrible losing teams throughout their cheap pre-free agent years, making it that much less likely they will resign with you for an extension into their free agent years. Also, it wastes their cheap years.

    And if you haven't noticed, the Giants have been re-building on the fly the past couple of years, re-building their pitching staff with farm products.

    I don't think there is a great need to rebuild totally, we have a stream of young pitchers coming up who are looking good and I think by a couple of years, there will be enough cream on top to trade off for position players we need. Meanwhile, we see whether any of our current position prospects work out or not and supplement with free agents here and there, with an eye towards signing or trading for a franchise hitter during those years. Because the NL West is not that formidable, we can be competitive even while reloading the team. It's not going to be great, like it was from 1997 to 2003, but I think it will be very exciting to see our young pitchers blossom on our team for the next 5-6 years.

  11. You are living in a dream world. First, Morris sucks. He's basically done. Pure and simple. He is the reincarnation of Woody Williams. The health of his shoulder has nothing to do with his downturn in 2005. His downturn came about because he no longer has the ability to consistently get major league hitters out. They lay off his breaking junk that he can't throw for strikes and wait for him to groove another one of his sub-standard Hit-me-out-of-here fastballs. That's why it is batting practice when he pitches. It's just not going to improve and return to the type of pitcher he was 6 years ago before the surgeries on his arm & shoulder. It's a pipe dream at best.

    The Giants don't need to trade for pitching. They have enough pitching, even if they get rid of Lowry, to get by if supplemented with journeymen free agents for the short term. We need to trade Lowry for position players (preferably younger ones) that will help make this team more competitive now and into the future.

    In case you hadn't noticed this either, Winn also sucks. The season he had last yea accurately reflects what his true abilities are, not the out-of-the-blue half season he had with the Giants that conned them into giving him a long term contract. It's no accident that 2 teams had already given up on him, with one of them being the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. That's right, he was not good enough for the Devil Rays. Think about that for a minute.

    The answer does not lie in signing a 41 year old & 35 year old outfielder who have no arms and are defensively challenged (on the days that they actually can play). It also doesn't include a 36 year old infielder that has been cast away by 3 teams (one being the Giants) after posting 20+ HRs in a band box of a park.

    The Giants need to realize that putting off the inevitable need to take a different direction with this team is a disaster waiting to happen. The longer they wait, the longer it will be before the Giants ever become competitive again. The current tactic of trying to be just good enough to win the West is fool's gold.

  12. So you are saying Morris went from a 3.10 ERA, 1.07 WHIP in the first half of 2005 to a 5.32 ERA, 1.52 WHIP in the second half because major league hitters finally figured him out? After how many years he's been pitching?

    I've never said that he is the pitcher he was 6 years ago. All I've basically said is that he will be better than what he showed us in 2006 and I used the first half of 2005 as evidence that he can be better for an extended period. I would be more than happy if he just duplicates his 2005 season and deliver a low to mid 4 ERA, and ecstatic if he goes under 4.

    It's a fool's dream to think we have enough pitching to trade away Lowry for a hitter. Pitchers fall back all the time and injuries pop up at inopportune times, as the Cubs have learned. In addition, as cheap as Lowry is, his poor 2006 season has greatly reduced his value on the trade market, any hitter you can pick up will be flawed enough that he won't make a huge difference to the offense, whereas getting a Willis would make a huge difference to our rotation, though his down year gives us some risks as well. We need to strengthen our pitching, not weaken it to get a hitter.

    You obviously don't look at Winn's stats much. He has been a very consistent hitter all through his career. Only a fool would believe that he would repeat his 2005 season with us (though an optimist would hope for it), but Winn was very consistent as a hitter before 2006:


    So you are saying that any trade means that a team is giving up on him? No, a trade means many more things than that, you are naive if you think that trades mean that one team "does not think he was good enough", in this case, he was good enough to trade for a well respected manager, Lou Piniella, who has won a World Series before and won 116 games two seasons before the trade was done, think about that one for a minute.

    What is foolhardy is thinking that blowing up this team is the way to become competitive again. We have a very good core of pitchers who can lead the way for us back to championship level play and they should solidify, if they continue to develop, into a very strong group of pitchers who will dominate other teams in 2-4 years.

    What will make this team competitive again is developing our pitchers and, frankly, I don't think that losing hand over fist is a great way to indocrinate our pitchers. We want to get them used to competing for the pennant, not wishing for the season to end.

    I dont' know why you cannot see that we have a great nucleus of pitchers which we should strengthen as best as we can and go from there. Trading off any of them just to get a hitter, particularly when his value is lowered, is what I see as fool's gold, pitchers can disappear at a moment's notice, particularly young pitchers, so you need to keep a nice large core of starting pitchers with able backups ready to step forward and contribute as needed. We are not there yet but could be in a couple of years.

  13. The idea that Roberts is a defensive liability is just completely false. He actually is an excellent OF and has played much of his career in difficult Chavez Ravine CF.
    I also think writing off '07 is sour milk, not analysis. This team, as currently constituted (including expected signings) is just Durhams production away from last year's team, a team which really underperformed.. As I said on another blog, I think:
    1 - Bonds will be better next year
    2 - Winn will be better next year, more approaching his career numbers (he was bothered by a nagging injury all of '06)
    3 - Aurelia is an upgrade over Feliz
    4 - Roberts/Linden is at least equal, probably better than, Alou (considering games played)/Finley.
    In other words, only 1b, 2b need to be equal to last year for the team to be better. Clearly, if Durham comes back, any 1b would make the team better. If Loretta/Frandsen = 2b, then 1b will need Durham like production, which could be gotten from Hillenbrand, assuming he reverts to the mean.

  14. Thanks, well put "sour milk", that's what I've been searching for to term this.

    I agree with all your points about areas of expected improvements. Obviously, until there are signings, there will be fluctuations in thought, but I think given the general thoughts on who is coming here, we can be competitive next season, easily, and perhaps even better. Good points all around, thanks.

  15. Just wait to you witness 2 cutoff throws from the CF wall or from the LCF gap because Roberts has a worse arm than Bonds and you will understand why he is a defensive liability. The Dodgers got rid of him because he was sub-par in the OF. San Diego went out and got Cameron because they knew that Roberts couldn't adequately play CF.

    Yeah, the Giants underperformed last year. Now they get rid of their best pitcher & best hitter and everyone else is another year older and somehow they're not only going to be better but they are going to contend?

    If you really believet that, you should step right up to the Giant bucket and drink from the Sabean Kool-Aid.

  16. Martin, I guess Sabean read your piece - and rushed out to get it done.
    A few random thoughts. Jesus, I hope we get Weathers - even if we overpay by a million. I hope Worrell can come back and earn his $2 mil. I think our biggest hole now is the 7th, 8th inning. I would be OK with a Chulk, returned to effectiveness Worrell, Weathers combo with Kline and Taschner as LOOGYs. That would be adequate if Benitez returns to a reasonable effectiveness, which is far from a given. I don't see a fall back position and I would be completely against bring up Linececum to put in the pen.
    My biggest disappointment is not getting Zaun. Maybe I am overrating him, but I liked the price AND the switch hitting.

  17. As far as the bench, Alfonzo, Sweeney, Frandsen, Linden are givens. It would be kind of unbalanced, even if you considered Sweeney the 5th OF, but I wonder if Niekro could hit his way into a reserve/pinch hit role? Rather than Lewis or Ortmeier?



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