Thursday, December 06, 2007

2007 GM Winter Meeting: Final Outcomes

ogc brief

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.

ogc thoughts

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.

Rebuilding Benefits

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.


  1. To be fair, Martin, if there is any position on a winning team where they could stash a very inexperienced "stolen" player for a year it would be a LOOGY. Competing team or not, he sounds like he has pretty good upside and he could be well worth stashing on a major league roster for a year.

  2. I'm pretty sure Rule 5 picks just have to be on the 40-man, not the 25-man roster. I think he can play in the minors as long as he stays on that. If it was the 25-man, then it would be a pretty big waste of space if he's not even gonna play in the bigs next year.

  3. Sorry Boonitez, you're wrong, here it is, straight from the article I linked to:

    "If Capellan doesn't make the Opening Day roster, he must be offered back to the Red Sox for $25,000, half of the Rule 5 Major League selection price. Frequently, teams engineer low-level trades to allow them to keep drafted players."

    So yeah, it would be a pretty big waste of space if he doesn't play much, hence why I said a re-building team would be more amenable to that.

    True, sfgfan, I can see your point. Except that he would have to be the secondary loogy since you would think a competitive team would want someone very experienced (i.e. great) at getting lefties out.

    Still, with expanded pitching staffs today and fewer bench position players, I would think that even one spot spent on essentially babying a new player over a season would still be hard for a team worried more about winning than about developing its players to tolerate - not impossible, but still, I don't think it's likely.

  4. Martin, I really don't know what to think as far as what is going on. Suffice it to say, things aren't going forward the way I would do it. Of course, every fan curses the GM when the GM doesn't do it the way the fan, with about 12% of the available information, would do it.
    Still, it appears that Davis' 241 BA in Sep has pushed him out of any strong liklihood of being a regular.
    I am certainly disappointed to hear so much - well, exclusive, really - talk about OFs. Bloggers aare pretty much in agreement that, as far as position players go, OF is our (relative) strength. A Rios or Matsui are only going to bring in an additional 4 or 5 wins next year. For this we lose building blocks/trading chips and lose the opportunity to fully evaluate Davis/Lewis/Schierholtz/Bowker. I think our ttrading chips are likely to be more valuable in another 12 months, so, hang on to them and let them increase their value.
    What I find disturbing is not onloy the focus on OF, but the apparant complete lack of focus on IF, particularly corner IF. I would even rather see some focus on SS and C rather than OF. Al in all, considerably more worrisome than encouraging.

  5. allfrank, it takes two to tango, and, frankly :^), there are more middle of lineup OF available, than there are corner IF available, as far as teams making players available. Most corner IF who are any good are held onto tightly by their teams.

    I'm OK with Matsui as long as we get Betemit somehow in the deal too. Yeah, not ideal, but the Giants owners seem hell-bent on being at least semi-competitive in 2008. And I think the Giants would try to move either Roberts or Winn if they get Matsui so that Schierholtz plays (I assume he gets first shot since he was in the AFL and did well there; Sabean certainly made note of it).

    Sounds like the Yanks don't want Lowry though, odd, since they appear to be happy with Chien-Ming Wang, but maybe if we included Hennessey for a Hennessey/Lowry for Matsui/Betemit/prospect deal, then I could be for it, but they are the one with the logjam in the OF, they are the one who say they can't get into the Santana sweepstakes unless they shed salary, so I don't see why the Giants would have to give another prospect in addition.

    As Sabean has said a few times, he will obtain the middle of lineup hitter first, even at a position where they have people, then figure things out afterward, which I took to mean he would trade someone away, and since he viewed Rios as a CF, that would suggest that he would move Winn.

    Which only makes sense, Roberts is our leadoff guy, if he is traded, then who are we going to leadoff, Winn? Durham? They are not leadoff men.

    What I found worrisome is that they even contemplated trading Lincecum, though I still wonder if the whole thing was something brewed up by Toronto, because as I noted, Sabean keeps a tight lip on what they are doing, even in the Barbieri/Tolbert interview, he did his best to avoid discussing specifically the Rios/Lincecum deal. So that means it was the Blue Jays who leaked most of that information, and why not, they would gain a lot in that deal, dealing what for them is a spare, good OF, for one of the most outstanding prospects and most outstanding pitchers to come out in the past few years.

    Maybe they thought if it went public, then maybe public opinion might sway the Giants to do the deal. After all, despite all the news about the deal, Sabean has been steadfast in saying that he would have to be shocked to trade Lincecum away, and if Delmon Young wasn't shocking enough, then Alex Rios is even less shocking.

    As I think I said, I think he might be extending it out just to see if it prompts another team to have that shocking offer for Lincecum, like putting a lure on the hook, to see if anything bites.



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