Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Giants Fire Sale: Addendum

MLB Trade Rumors quotes Jayson Stark's take on the fire sale rumor that confirms the Ken Rosenthal article. Where's there smoke, there's a fire sale. His article provides three additional names to the list: Tyler Walker, Rajai Davis, and Merkin Valdez. It also includes the usual suspects: Durham, Aurilia, Winn, and Kline.

I had speculated on Davis being on the list but totally missed Walker and Valdez. I saw Hennessey being the one to be traded, but Walker credentials are almost that of Hennessey in that he has served in all the roles of the bullpen, he just hasn't started much, if any. So, in terms of value, he could be near that of Hennessey, even though he's many years older and just recovering from TJS.

But given the clear statement by the Giants that Hennessey is not starting, then I don't see why Walker and not also Hennessey. They are only really necessary if the Giants are really serious about competing in 2008, not so much if it is a rebuilding year. Perhaps the Giants think they can get more for Walker than for Hennessey. Or maybe they simply think that he won't be good enough, long enough, so may as well see what they can get for him today. If they don't get offered enough, they can simply pull him off the table then.

Valdez I am surprised by, especially since he is doing well this spring training. Maybe they are just doing a switch and bait with him on the list, to get a feel for how much teams are willing to give up for him plus get the team on the phone and talk them into another player. Maybe he still does something the Giants don't think will work out in the long run, much like how they gave up on Jerome Williams so fast, faster than fans (including myself) were willing to, but ultimately they have been correct, Williams and Aardsma have not amounted to much, and they at least got some usefulness out of Hawkins and Kline.

Still, surprising to see his name there. After all this waiting, I want to see what we got, not trade him away. I would only be happy getting an interesting position prospect for him. Though I guess I would be OK with another starting pitcher prospect who is semi-decent.

About Davis, another thought just popped in: perhaps Bowker is opening the eyes of the Giants brass this spring, and they are thinking of jumping him to the majors to platoon with Roberts. He isn't hitting particularly well in terms of results, but maybe they are impressed by how well he is swinging.

Or it could be that they are looking at Davis's horrendous September stats and realizing that he was just really lucky in August when they got him, he is just not that good a hitter, so trade Davis now, while his value is high, and try out someone else in platoon with Roberts.

Again, there is no Dave Roberts on the list. I know a lot of fans want him gone instead of Winn, but really, he's the one who mkes the most sense for the Giants going forward, both in terms of lead-off abilities and allowing a young player or two to get significant playing time, plus the fact that we would get more back in a trade from Winn than we would from Roberts. And he has some skills that are plus, whereas Winn is plus nowhere, he is just Mr. Average.

And that's not a knock, just the truth. That is because even an average player is worth something in baseball, the average player is still much better than the so-called replacement level player who are on the margins of baseball. And even the best teams don't have stars at every position, they need average players to complement the good players.

Fire Sales, per the comments made on the other post, don't necessarily mean that you sell off all your good players. It could mean clearing out the deadwood that gets in the way of the new growth, the young players. And before spring training, Durham and Aurilia probably had very little value, given how poorly they did in 2007, so a good showing thus far makes them all shining and, well, not new, but gritty vets with something left to prove. And spring is the time for injurie to crop up, making teams suddenly need players, perhaps, like Durham or Aurilia.

For example, Aurilia would fit in nicely with LA right now, given LaRoche's recent injury, and provide coverage at 3B in case Nomar gets injured again, plus if LaRoche takes longer to recover (or alternatively, they don't have to rush him back), and at worse he's the uber-utility guy across the infield again. Guys who can play multiple positions are especially coveted these days because of the expanded bullpens and 5 man rotations.

And Chicago has been getting dry humped over and over again by the Orioles regarding Brian Roberts, maybe they get tired and pick up Durham again, he's a known quantity, he's from Chicago White Sox before, so the fans know him, and he is good when he is hitting well, and he has been hitting very well this spring. Or any AL team who needs a better DH, Durham could do that as well.

3 comments:

  1. One thing about Davis, he's the only possible platoon partner for Roberts, because he's the only one of all non-vets who's RH. Lewis, Schierholtz, even Bowker are all LH.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh crap, thanks Roger, I knew I should have checked that before I posted, but it was late night and I was frustrated with my work computer problems.

    Yeah, that's been the main problem for a while. Even Ortmeier, who is naturally a RHH, but because he is a switch-hitter, he's better as a lefty, I guess because of more reps.

    So who is left to platoon then, Timpner? Or is he a lefty too?

    Oh, say, how about Velez? I know he's a switch-hitter, so maybe he has the same problem as Ortmeier.

    Geez, that leaves Frandsen then, if Davis is traded, unless they somehow trade for another RH OF who, I guess, can hit for power, since that is what Davis can't do.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, now that you mention them, both Velez and Ortmeier would be potential platoon partners, because Velez is a RH, and Ortmeier's a better hitter from the right side (how is it the Giants manage to come up with these "backwards" switch hitters. Linden was the same way. Most SH are stronger from the left hand side, because as you say, of the reps. A SH who can't hit from the left side is going to have a hard time staying in the majors since his competitive advantage over other players is, in fact a weakness). I however discounted both because they seem committed to starting Ort at 1st and making Velez into a utility IF (and in fact LF is a poor fit because it really doesn't take advantage of either of Velez strongest defensive tools -- his speed and his arm strength).

    If had to guess I'd say by the time the dog days come along Velez will be the starting 3B and Ort will have played out his welcome.

    ReplyDelete

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