I don't think Rios trade is happening, nor was the Giants seriously considering it, it was a dry hump.
Giants inquired about Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui. Hope they ask for Betemit too.
Rule 5 Draftee: Jose Capellan. Could be Loogy for 2008, nice prospect, but hasn't even played full season ball yet. Only 21 next year I believe.
Giants view 2008 as rebuilding? When does a competing team Rule 5 draft a player who hasn't even played full season ball yet?
Rebuilding good: shows what we got, thus what we need, hopefully get more to trade, plus get a Top 5 draft pick.
I am beginning to think that this whole Rios for Lincecum thing was mainly the Blue Jays coming to the Giants and making that ridiculous offer then leaking it out, because the accounts of Sabean today have been noting that Sabean is still not addressing this deal specifically, he would talk elliptically about potential deals but not about any specific deal. The confusion for me has been that the accounts reported previously made it seem like Sabean was talking specifically about the deal, which as I noted before, would be something new for him as he always, as he likes to say, keep the kimono closed on any potential deals the Giants might have out there.
Given Sabean's reputation for the "dry hump" - that is, he would act interested in your deal but then it goes nowhere - I think basically Sabean is willing to hear any crackpot deal that the other team is willing to throw out there, and perhaps discuss some parameters around that deal, but that doesn't mean that he's going to give you that deal.
As I noted yesterday, given all of Sabean's hems and haws about dealing Lincecum, this deal was never really probable, but it was intriguing enough for Sabean to make note of it in the media, leading to the leak of what the deal was for. Given how awful it is, I assume he might have willingly had one of his employees confirm it to the press so that the fans know how bad the market is for Lincecum, so get off his back about trading him off. At least that's what I'm hoping for.
Godzilla From NY Rumor
Latest rumor is that the Giants kicked the tires with the Yankees about the availability of Hideki Matsui. It makes some sense, in that the Giants are right now trying to find a team willing to give up a high priced vet for not as much in return from the Giants since the Giants are taking the player off their hands. Kind of like how the Giants only got Rajai Davis from the Pirates for Morris, when he's not that bad a pitcher for his contract, given the marketplace where Vincent Padilla got so much.
The Yankees are looking for starters and relievers, so the fit appears to be there. Also, they have a spare 3B in Wilson Betemit who was a starter before for the D-gers and Braves, which would be perfect for the Giants need for a 3B. Obviously the Giants could trade, say, Lowry or Sanchez plus Chulk or Messenger plus maybe Kline, for the two players plus maybe a low promising prospect, like C Jesus Montrero.
That would not work for my plans, but would work for the Giants as they would gain two middle of the lineup hitters in Matsui and Betemit. Unfortunately, that means no spot for Frandsen at 3B, meaning he would have to win the 2B battle, and probably no spot for Schierholtz in the OF, as it would then be Roberts, Matsui, Winn in the outfield.
Fans still diss Roberts and want him traded, but he was great in the second half of the season once he recovered from his surgery. Ideally we trade Durham for someone's 1B "Durham," which Sexson appears to be right now, so that Frandsen can play 2B. I like Ort but I want Frandsen to get a shot at starting before he does.
Just to be clear, as I've stated before, I would prefer to start Ortmeier at 1B, Frandsen at 3B (if Durham is on the payroll, he's playing 2B), and Schierholtz in RF. I think both Frandsen and Schierholtz have done enough in the minors to have earned a chance to start and show what they can do in the majors. And I like Ort (hey, he was good enough that Bonds deigned to get a photo op of him personally giving Ortmeier some tips on batting). But I know I'm not going to get what I want, so I try to figure out what the Giants are trying to do, and write accordingly. If that's too confusing for some, let me know, I know I switch back and forth sometimes.
Player From Rule 5
The Rule 5 draft was held today and the Giants drafted two players and lost one. The player lost was Travis Blackley, but he would have to stay on the Phillies roster all season for them to keep him, though they could always try to work out a trade with the Giants to keep him.
The key player the Giants drafted was Jose Capellan, not the 100 MPH guy that they tried to get mid-season, but another guy, who only just finished rookie short season ball (similar to Salem-Keizer) for the Red Sox. The articles notes that he has a lot of movement on his pitches, which include a low 90's fastball and a slider. While he has been a starter thus far, they are looking to bring him up to be a lefty reliever for the team, since Kline and Taschner failed miserably at that duty in 2007. The Giants think he's got a premium arm.
Capellan finished 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA for Lowell, walking only 11 and striking out 71 in 75 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder allowed 68 hits and only one home run. An industry source said that Capellan was so impressive that three other teams had lined up behind the Giants to draft him if he had remained available.
Nice to know that he was so good that other teams wanted him.
He had a wonderful K/BB ratio, almost 7 with 71 strike outs and only 11 walks. This will be even more aggressive than when they basically brought Jonathan Sanchez up from Advanced A ball - with quick stops at AA and AAA - as he hasn't even played full-season ball yet, it would be quite a jump. Capellan is currently relieving in the winter league, where he's 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in seven appearances. I believe he'll be 21 years old next season, so he's young, we can keep him on the roster and keep permanent control then drop him back to AAA in 2009 if necessary.
I think this could be a sign that the Giants are viewing 2008 as a rebuilding year. Only rebuilding teams make space on their 25 man roster for a player so far down in the minors.
I think it would benefit the Giants in two important ways if they would just accept 2008 as a rebuilding year. First, they give a lot of propects the opportunity to show what they got and when you do that you get surprises like Dan Uggla with the Marlins or, if you are really lucky, Johan Santana with the Twins. That sets the table of what the Giants need to do in the offseason after 2008, where prospects failed, the Giants would have to look to acquire players for those positions, either via trade or free agency. Plus, hopefully we get a better feel for how good certain pitchers are, which will give us (hopefully) more pitchers we can trade off for these position needs, particularly if Bumgarner or Alderson rise fast through the system like Lincecum did. Then we truly would have a surplus of pitching, not like right now.
More importantly, rebuilding teams typically don't do that well in the win/loss column and the Giants would get another high (top 5) draft pick in the 2009 draft to go with the high pick they get in 2008. Together, they can be the most important pair of picks since drafting Will Clark then Matt Williams in the late 80's, because the odds of finding good players are much greater once you enter the top 5 picks overall, and if you can pick two, you really hit the jackpot.