Monday, October 29, 2007

A-Rod Opts Out as Red Sox Sweeps Rockies

It has been reported on numerous media that A-Rod has opted out of his contract with the Yankees; here is the MLB account. Apparently they announced this in the middle of the World Series game 4, before the game had ended - and it ended, as noted in the title, with the Red Sox sweeping the Rockies.

I don't know if I had mentioned it here, but very recently I've been positing that A-Rod would not opt-out because no team can afford to pay him the $30M that he wants, not only for the 10 year contract that reportedly he and Boras will pursue but also for just one year. That's over 30% of the payroll for any other team other than the Yankees. And the Yankees have said repeatedly, including in response to the news of his opt-out, that they will not resign A-Rod if he opts out.

They would have huge egg on their face, plus lose any credibility for their statements going forward if they change course and pursue him anyway, and that is not likely at all, one because King George just recently installed his children as the new leaders of the club and so this is their first really official decision, and two because they are Steinbrenner and kowtow to nobody, much as Daddy George has been the straw that stirred the drink all those years ago. So that's not happening.

Heck, $30M is 50%+ of some team's payroll, so the list of teams which can bid is pretty limited. So the Giants with their huge cache to spend this season will be a target of Team Boras, particularly with Barry gone. But so will other big spending teams, particularly the Angels and D-gers because they are in LA and he seems to like the bright lights of Hollywood so much. In addition, the Cubs could have new owners in time to make a big splash like signing A-Rod, plus like the Giants, could use a better SS, which I would think would be an allure for A-Rod, returning to SS. I still don't think the Giants can afford to sign him, nor able to outbid other teams, particularly the Angels, who could use a 3B and has a Latino owner who has shown that he's willing to spend a lot, both to win and to sign big Latin stars, like Vlad, Colon, Cabrera, for examples.

Congrats to Red Sox

Congratulations to the Red Sox for sweeping the Rockies. Wow, that was all I could hope for, a thoroughly demoralizing sweep, where the Rockies couldn't do much of anything, and when they did, the Red Sox came back and slapped them back down. Really, the fact that they relied on Josh Fog for such a long winning streak, that was just incredible, as well as unbelievable, so this day was coming due for a long time now. At least they made the big show for the first time with their incredible streak, at least they got that. And they could be scarier going forward, once Ianetta and Stewart figure things out and contribute, and assuming the pitching continues to develop and improve.


  1. i keep hearing our names as a possibility, it would be a mammoth mistake. We couldn't win with Bond's salary in terms of the supporting cast we put around it, to pump it up to 25-30 mill for a rod and then whatever zito's making would doom this team for another 8 or so years of 2 big name players being supported by the pedro feliz's and 4356 year old ryan klesko's of the league.
    this off season I'll call him go away-rod

  2. I would tend to agree with you Kevin, in a general sense if things were the same in 2008, but things will be different in 2008 than it was in 2006 and 2007 with Bonds, if we had A-Rod.

    First, 2007 was the first year the Giants pushed the payroll to $95M, they were at $85M roughly the previous seasons. That would handle the roughly $10M extra an A-Rod would cost over Bonds, plus undoubtedly a significant portion will be deferred to the future, probably, if the rumors of a 10 year contract holds true, until after the last payment is made for the stadium debt, which would free roughly $17M for the Giants to spend on players, relative to today. The freed money would go towards this deferment.

    Second, A-Rod should be playing nearly every game of the season, and all the innings of the games he starts. Bonds handicaps the lineup in that, one, he leaves when his ABs become highly leveraged opportunities to win the game, late in the game, and two, his replacement wouldn't be a clean-up batter even in the minors. Clean-up is a key position for generating offense, and inserting in a bench player - because the Giants cannot afford to pay a true clean-up hitter to be a bench player - clearly handicaps the offense in the late stages of the game, where a run can be crucial when there is a 1-run lead or deficit.

    Third, we were handicapped by key, expensive players for whom we had no ready acceptable replacements available. Alfonzo, Benitez, Finley, Worrell, Matheny, Feliz, Durham, all either were injured or severely underperformed during our three year losing skein, and there was nobody there to replace them.

    I suppose we could grouse about Sabean not trading for bodies, but as he showed this past season, that doesn't always work. When you buy damaged goods hoping they stay healthy and productive, that is the same as Sabean hiring a lot of vets and hoping they all stay healthy.

    I think we have an acceptable set of average and slightly above average hitters for 2008. Molina should be average or better, particularly if he gets more rest, which he should if Alfonzo returns healthy. The outfield should be about average, and particularly good at getting on base, which is more important. Roberts should be back to normal, Winn should be his average self, and the third OF should either be OK in CF (i.e. Davis/Lewis does OK there) or OK in RF (D/L fails, Winn moves to CF where he is above average offensively, and Schierholtz starts in RF where I think he should be no worse than the OF everyone raves about for the D-backs).

    Either Durham returns to normal (I think/hope it was his groin problem bothering him all year) at 2B or Frandsen starts there and be acceptable there. If A-Rod is signed, obviously SS would be a plus-plus offensively. Frandsen would start at 3B to start the season, where he's slightly below average in OPS (above OBP, much below SLG), offsetting A-Rod at SS, and if he moves to 2B, where he should be average or better, Aurilia would man 3B, and be slightly below average in OPS.

    That leaves 1B, where Ortmeier appears to be the top candidate at the moment, but who the Giants do not believe in yet. I think we should give him a shot at starting because he did well in limited play in two stints last season, actually hitting around what an average 1B would hit, plus with 20-25 HR power on a seasonal basis, albeit small sampling.

    But not much smaller sampling than Jeff Francoeur in his first season in the majors. Once his hot start faded, his last two months in 2005 is basically a mirror of what he did in 2006 and 2007, basically barely average hitting for a RF. According to Baseball-Reference, both of them were roughly 100 OPS+ players in 2007.

    If he should fail, then platoon him with Niekro, or perhaps even give Ishikawa a chance if he is doing well.

    Given all this, overall, the offense looks about average with A-Rod. An average offense (4.7 rpg)with what our pitching staff should do next year (4.2 rapg) should win around 85-90 games, making us competitive for the division title.

    And things should get better financially going forward, as we lose Durham's and Aurilia's salary after 2008, and Roberts', Molina's, and Winn's salary after 2009. We should have ready replacements in the OF for both Roberts and Winn, Villalona might be ready to take 3B in 2010, maybe earlier, leaving C as the weak spot in the prospect pipeline. By 2010, we should know whether Jackson Williams is our future catcher or not, meaning we sign another free agent if not.

    We should be cheap everywhere except for A-Rod and Zito, everyone else should be cheap players: average hitters, but above average pitching.

    Hopefully the defense will be good too, Roberts is excellent in LF, Davis appears good in CF, Winn is OK in RF, but the infield will be a big question mark. Unfortunately, you have to live with some things when you are rebuilding.

  3. still I'd rather not sign a rod for the sheer fact that once you sign a 32 year old a rod hes unmovable, he's going to retired a giant. what happens when a few years down the road we have to give money to our stud pitchers, i'd rather keep cain and lincecum for their whole careers then a rod for a few more years of his prime and then his eventual and inevitable decline.

  4. I can go either way on A-Rod. I think it would be great if the Giants got him, but I'm more than prepared for 2008 to not be a competitive year without him, i.e. a rebuilding year.

    The same could be said about giving Bonds the huge and long contract that he got, right around the age that his godfather started his slide back to being a mere mortal, physically, on the baseball field. So I take it that you were against all the contracts given Bonds during his 30's then?

    For myself, I thought it was madness giving Bonds that much money for his last big contract, $90M and into his 40's, but it would have been even madder if we had let him go. I just held my nose and kept my fingers crossed. That pretty much worked until 2005.

    The way I see it, as long as the Giants can keep a stream of cheap average hitters (but strong defensively) coming up to replace the lineup around A-Rod, and a stream of cheap but very good pitchers coming up to replace the pitching staff, we will be able to afford to keep Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum with the Giants into their 30's, perhaps for their career.



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