Sunday, July 05, 2009

Giants Sniffing Pirates: Sanchez and 1B LaRoche

As a long-time reader, Matt Mongiello, commented, the Giants are kicking the tires with the Pirates regarding 2B Freddy Sanchez and 1B Adam LaRoche, though more seriously for the former than the latter. I then read an account from a Pittsburgh newspaper.

LaRoche is not such a high priority, with Ishikawa showing some recent bat life - .303/.373/.525/.898 since May 10th. But if there is a good upgrade to be had on the cheap, the Giants will at least entertain talks. According to the Pittsburgh site, the Giants prefer a righthander, however: LaRoche is a lefty. Plus, LaRoche is a free agent after the season and will be 30 next season. I doubt anything will come of these talks, the Giants would not be willing to give up much in prospect talent for a rental, and the Pirates will want to have some sort of decent prospect in return, I would think (at least I would). I don't think they are worrying about his salary that much, it is only $7.05M, or about $3.5M left. I can see them dumping his salary at the deadline, but right now: no.

Sanchez would be the clearer upgrade for us, with Uribe the current starter, Burriss in AAA trying to figure out how to hit, and Frandsen apparently in some sort of doghouse. He is owed about $3M for this season with an $8M club option next season. His value is on an upswing with his second best season ever, after 2006, but he's 31 years old and not really so good (about average) the other seasons, and particularly bad in 2008.

I would think that an middle infielder would be what the Pirates would want from us. One who would be ready to play for them in 1-3 years, when their recent young draft picks should be arriving on the major league scene. I think the Pirates would be most interested in Burriss right now than Crawford. As nicely as Crawford did in San Jose, he's been struggling in Connecticut, even on the road, and he's still striking out a heck of a lot. I think Burriss's minor league performance bodes better than Crawford's for a major league career. And that doesn't even include Burriss's major league performance, which I would also rate positively, long-term.

They would also want another prospect or two in addition, probably some of our mid-tier pitching prospects who are doing well in AA and Advanced A, like English, Pucetas, Tanner, etc. We have a number of promising pitchers and I think they would like to get their hands on some to stock their system.

And I would not trade Jonathan Sanchez for Freddy Sanchez, I think Sanchez can still be a superior top of rotation starter, and pitchers like that should get value in return. I don't think that this is enough value in return. And with Randy Johnson's injury today putting his availability into question, I think the Giants, even if they were seriously considering trading Sanchez, would pull him off the market to take Johnson's last start before the All-Star break and reassess afterward.

2 comments:

  1. That's what I get for rushing. Forgot to look at what the Pirates got for McLouth.

    They got some good stuff for him, #4 prospect in Gorkys, #7 prospect in Locke, plus Charlie Morton, who has been doing well for the Pirates this season, but not so well at major league level previously.

    I think that works. Burriss would be a good one to include in the deal, as he plays both 2B and SS, and has shown some good abilities at the major league level, and should improve with experience, plus play great defense.

    Then English, Pucetas, Tanner as a third throw-in.

    We would probably have to upgrade the first pitcher to include. Sadowski would be one they might like because of what he has done so far in the majors. But I think they would want someone like Scott Barnes.

    So maybe Burriss, Barnes, and English for Sanchez, who still has a contract for 2010, but isn't as good as McLouth is overall, plus is already 31 whereas McLouth was only 27. That might be overpaying right now to include Barnes, but Sanchez is hitting pretty well this season so his price went up.

    Personally, I would not do a trade like this and I think the Giants will think that this is too much to give up too, for a 30+ YO who has been up and down in his production.

    But this is what I think would take to get a deal done with the Pirates, who appear to be clearing out some of their better players now in preparation for their studs to be ready in a year or three, particularly Alvarez.

    They have a lot of good young pitchers and I have to think that they are not going to trade anyone, except for maybe Ian Snell, who is wearing out their patience. They have a very young staff too, like the Giants, only we were smart enough to select Lincecum and sign Randy Johnson. They should probably pick up some old pitcher looking to pass on stuff for next season.

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  2. I didn't realize that Sanchez is 31. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving up too much for him after looking at his career numbers. Maybe Burriss and one of the pitchers you listed, but not much more than that.
    LaRoche doesn't seem like much better of a hitter than Ishikawa. If Ishi had been playing all year like LaRoche I think their numbers would be very similar.

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