Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm More Than Ecstatic: And Cain Makes Three - Cain Signs Extension

Reports from Baggs,, and Hank say that the Giants have signed Matt Cain to a contract extension. Some call it a three year extension, but really, it keeps his current year salary the same ($4.25M), gives him a bump upward in the last year of the contract ($7M plus $1M signing bonus for 2011), which was a vestable option year (nearly $2M raise over the $6.25M vestable option that has escalators and stuff), and $15M for his first year in free agency, which is 2012. They held off of announcing the official signing of Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Wilson which had been leaked out before last week, in order to announce all three signings over the weekend.

As Brian Sabean noted, "It's our window. ... To have these guys for [2012] now. The comfort in knowing that they are going to be in Giants uniforms helping us win games is a statement in itself. It seems fitting. It seems the right thing to do it. Having said that, if we didn't get business done in spring training, we would have halted [the negotiations]. We didn't want it to be a distraction." Sabean noted that they started the talks during the off-season, then started in earnest with everyone at the start of March. Sabean also noted, "We have cost certainty and the fans have the comfort of knowing these guys are going to be in Giants uniforms helping us win games."

Baggarly had a quote with Cain regarding the deal on his blog and Schulman in his article, where Cain discusses how happy he and his wife were with the deal. Cain said, "I think it shows some appreciation of all the things I've done for the Giants, but I also think it shows the way they run the organization. It's a great situation where we could do something for both sides. Me and [wife] Chelsea are more than ecstatic about doing this."

Baggarly wrote in his blog:

So the Giants could be looking at a dynastic staff, which is partially what motivated Cain to re-up. He’s not the type to seek his own glory as a No.1 elsewhere. He’s never begrudged “living under Timmy’s shadow” the past couple seasons. On the contrary, he said he loves the competition.

“Obviously, the best I got to see were the big three in Atlanta,” Cain said. “We saw it in Oakland with Zito, Mulder and Hudson. It builds us all up. I feel we all share the leadership every time we go out there and pitch.”

“That’s what we’ve been talking about all spring training, that all of us love playing together and really feed off each other. We’ve got great chemistry and that shows with them being able to do these deals. They see this core group and they want to keep these guys together.” "
Baggarly noted in the article:

Cain said he had no reservations about signing away his first year of free agency. He hadn't thought ahead about testing the market, nor was he motivated by the thought of going to another club where he could escape Tim Lincecum's shadow and be the staff ace

"When you see a group of pitchers stay together like that "... it builds us all up," said Cain, citing the 1990s-era Atlanta Braves and the Oakland A's staffs with Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder. "I feel we all share the leadership every time we go out there and pitch."

Lincecum and No. 4 starter Jonathan Sanchez won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season.

"It's amazing to watch these guys throwing seven shutout innings every night," Wilson said. "Every player strives to be part of an organization that values you. "... You work even harder to maintain it and go for the next one. I'll try to be a Giant for the rest of my career."

How wide could this window open for the Giants? Sabean was hesitant to say it could match the unprecedented run the club made from 1997-2003 behind Bonds.

"This group would really have to step it up," Sabean said. "Having said that, maybe last year was the beginning of a run the pitching staff will help to carry. We'll have to figure out more offense in and around this."

They will need much of that offense to come from the farm. The Giants forecast to have limited financial flexibility, particularly in 2012 when Cain and Zito will make $35 million and Tim Lincecum could be due another huge number in arbitration. Aware that his rotation could become a budget killer, Sabean said he's hoping the organization's young hitting prospects will pan out.

As for the risk of investing in pitching?

"It's not like we're giving four- or five-year deals," Sabean said. "We're past that. They're short-window deals that you'd expect both parties would make out."
Schulman wrote:

In all, ownership agreed to shell out $43.5 million above its previous commitments to Cain, Affeldt and Wilson. The team gains cost certainty while risking guaranteed money to pitchers who might get hurt. The pitchers enjoy that guaranteed money against the risk of leaving more dollars on the table in arbitration and free agency. ...

Cain also said he and his teammates want to be together well into the future.

"We really feed off each other," he said. "We feel we've got great chemistry with everybody. We love this, the fact that we'll be able to play with Wilson the next couple of years, Zito, Timmy, all these guys."

Cain compared the continuity of the Giants' rotation now to the Braves' trio of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, and the A's big three of Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder.

Wilson, whose 79 saves the last two seasons rank fourth in the majors, said, "Oh, sweet," when told all the deals were done. He pledged to work harder than ever so he can earn another contract "and try to be a Giant for the rest of my career."

Giants Thoughts

Dynastic staff is what I've been talking about the Giants rotation. I'm been writing for a while now about how pitching is our future (since the Giants said that Bonds was no longer our future, one of the Mercury columnist wondered what next and I noted that it's clearly pitching) and how powerful it is to have a pitching rotation that can dominate the other teams in a series, when they have a high PQS DOM%. And now we have all the major pieces covered to 2012 plus still control Lincecum and Sanchez to 2013.

Some are not happy because of the restrictions on the payroll budget due to these guaranteed monies. But at some point, you have to realize that this was coming along with the success of our pitchers, that at some point they are going to get paid big money. And that the Giants management realized that.

I think that Neukom's stance with Sabean regarding the budget, that he should not feel constrained by the budget when bringing baseball recommendations to Neukom, shows that he understood this budget dynamic, punctuated by Zito's huge contract and then Rowand's contract.

But people forget that by 2011, the year some are worried about the Giants payroll, the Giants only have two more seasons of Rowand's salary and three more of Zito (highly unlikely his team option will be picked up nor that he earn the vesting by averaging 200 IP over any stretch). And that by the end of the 2011 season, that's only one season of Rowand and two of Zito remaining, making their contracts easier to trade off if the Giants pony up some money to push their final cost to the other team down to more reasonable levels. And who knows, if Rowand is as improved as he appears to be this spring - after finally figuring out that he should get in shape to earn his money - and if Zito can continue his great second half of 2009 into 2010 and 2011, the Giants could make the trade easily, again with some money added in, but which would save a huge chunk of money for our young players due raises.

In addition, Neukom should not offer to extend the payroll if he wasn't serious, because that would be seriously bad PR for Sabean to say this publicly and it don't happen and we end up trading someone good just to save money. Reportedly they were kicking the tires on Manny Ramirez when the D-gers were trying to re-sign him, which would have meant a bump in the budget of up to $20M that season (I think they were a little under budget at that time).

That is a serious bump of money to allow, even for only one season, so Neukom has a sugar daddy somewhere he can tap into easily for that big coin because from my observation of how much money he supposedly made off Microsoft stock, money he has invested in owning a big chunk of the Giants, and donations he and his wife have made to universities, he should not have a lot of money left (well, plenty for you and me but not to cover that) to cover such a big bump upward.

Other Giants News and Thoughts

Speaking of Neukom, there was a nice article on him on recently. He talked about this plans for the Giants, both present and future, and about The Giants Way. Part of this way is that they are investing in helping their prospects and players stay in better shape and conditioning, hiring staff and buying equipment:
"The baseball's got to speak for itself because there are so many variables," he said. "We're investing in homegrown talent. We have this very clear strategy, which is better conditioning, better prepared, more clear-headed people playing baseball, and we want to get to a sustainable level of exciting baseball played the right way. After that, we'll have to see what happens."

Neukom raved about the team's mini-camp in January and how much he was impressed with the players' condition when they arrived for Spring Training. ...

"We're at a stage now where we are strong enough to think we don't have to rush [Minor League players] ahead of schedule," he said. "Traditionally, you think in terms of the best and most talented prospects, baseball people would want him to spend probably four years in the Minors before he was ready to come up and contribute at the Major League level.

"It varies from player to player and team to team. We don't want to be desperate. We don't want to rush kids ahead of when they should be coming up, and I think we're in that situation." ...

Neukom said he has spoken to fans and has answers for those who have questions about the team's approach.

"I tell them our goal is a medium-term, long-term goal," he said. "The immediate step was getting the Giants to play winning baseball and to build on that increasingly from homegrown talent and become the kind of team that contend year in and year out. Nobody can have a strict timetable on that."

Finally, we are working to get all our prospects in shape and a good state of mind to focus on baseball. One step at a time. And a great commitment to bulding up the farm system and using that as a key component of keeping the team strong now and in the future. Assuming the team continues to win, that means going after players who fell in the draft because of concerns over how much they want in bonus and paying much over slot for them (which they appear to have had no problem with previously, going way over for Posey and Wheeler) and going after the top Latin American talent out there, preferably hitters as they seem to be better bets relatively (and which is the way they have been doing it, as Villalona and RafRod are the two big signings plus the Giants were in on a couple of other position prospects as well before losing to other clubs).

In other news, Todd Wellemeyer should get announced as the 5th starter. Also, I heard Schulman on KNBR over the weekend (I really liked him on radio, I enjoyed that a lot, he should do a lot more of that on KNBR, I hope) and he covered his blog on the 25-man roster that I wrote about the other day. He made his point that the Giants don't want to put additional stress on their young starter's arm early in the season by giving them additional games, so Wellemeyer will be taking his 5th starter starts which means the Giants will need a long relief guy to be there, which in his thinking would mean Pucetas. And I agree that it is likely that Pucetas will win that role because of how well he had done in spring until his outing this weekend, which ultimately wasn't that bad as he recovered to give us three innings.

However, Schulman also noted that Henry Sosa is being given the opportunity to make the team - a good sign is that he's still with the team - and Sosa has experience as a starter but looks to be a reliever long-term because he's a high effort thrower who has been battling physical problems, and relief would put less stress on him. Sosa has had a great spring as well and would not cost the Giants a 40-man slot because he's already on it (unlike, say, Denny Bautista; the Giants do have two spots open now with the Frandsen trade, but Wellemeyer and Mota appear to have them locked up, Wellemeyer particularly so). So the Giants could decide to bring him up to be the long reliever and sent Pucetas down to AAA to be ready to start if we need it.

I think that is a strong possibility. Pucetas wouldn't be prepared to take a starter's spot if he's pitching long-relief for us. Of course, Bumgarner is probably the first line of defense there, and Pucetas could be sent down at that time to be prepared in case there is another need for a starter. But Pucetas did not do that well last season in AAA, he had a couple of good months early but overall was not that great, and in particular could not strike out very many hitters.

So he still has something to prove in terms of dominating hitters at a higher level, he could have been very lucky this spring (that is why scouting is so much more important than just eyeing the stats like I and others do - but then again, that is all that is available to me). I can see the Giants wanting to see him do well for a season in AAA and be ready to start for them as necessary during the season, while Sosa be our long-guy. That could lead to Sosa joining middle relief next season while Pucetas then take the long reliever role, assuming he does well in AAA this season plus beat out Joe Martinez next spring.

In addition, Baggarly noted that Fred Lewis has been complaining about a rib injury problem, so I smell an extended stint for Lewis on the DL, while the starting RF situation sorts itself out on the 25-man roster in the meanwhile. Schierholtz has been struggling - again unfortunately - and with Bowker's sudden surge (I would note that he wasn't doing that great until those few games, so it would seem odd that Bowker could win the position with just a couple of good games of hitting when not doing that great before), there has been a lot of news about Schierholtz still battling to win the RF spot, and now with Bowker's surge, the Giants might visit Bowker starting in LF while DeRosa starts in RF (which someone else noted DeRosa hasn't played any of this spring, but I would note that he played RF a bit in previous seasons - and well usign UZR/150 rating - and didn't get many/any starts in LF prior to this season, which hasn't even started yet).

Sabean also discussed extensively about Nate's struggles, which can't help him either. Still, that's life as a major leaguer, and the sooner Schierholtz gets used to all that, the sooner he can show what he got at the major league level. He needs to stop tinkering and just do the old rule of: see ball, hit ball, and not complicate it with whether to use batting gloves or not, and so forth.

In any case, if Lewis is on the DL, then the Bowker and Schierholtz (and Torres too I suppose, and maybe Velez too) situation will unfold and perhaps the Giants will put Lewis back on the 25-man roster and move someone else off, instead of trading him. Or by then some other team might be a bit more desperate for an OF capable of starting and give us a better prospect for him.


  1. I found the reference to Lewis (by Schulman) saying that he might end up on the DL to start the season:

    Sorry, was up all night working so my brain has been skipping a beat or two.

  2. Hey, saw his name in the article and figured you would know more than anyone. Has Angel resolved his little...murder charge situation in the DR? He was sounding like a legit prospect by all accounts until that happened and I haven't been able to find anything else online about the case. I was hoping he would get past that and return to baseball where he was looking like a solid 1b prospect to pair with the panda for years to come.

  3. Angel has not resolved his murder case yet. The wheels of justice is running slowly there, probably because the politicos probably feel like they cannot let him go until an exhaustive investigation is done. I found a website where the guy follows Latin American prospects, and he posted on Angel, but when I e-mailed him, he said that he has not read anything since regarding this matter.

    But with the murdered individual's family moving on, having reportedly received money from Villalona (and I don't know why people fault him for that, it would be the same as an settlement for civil rights violation in the US, like what the Goldmans won on OJ), the prosecutor is working on his own now, presumably without cooperation of most witnesses.

    I think Angel will eventually be released, due to lack of evidence. Nobody outside of that group there knows what happened, but assuming he isn't convicted, I would expect the Giants to bring him back into their system once he gets a visa again.

    Of course, that could be a sticking point, getting a visa, as that murder charge is a pretty big obstacle, but again, I think the US will do their due diligence, and ultimately, he was never convicted and should get it, but that will also take time.

    But eventually, and I would guess by the end of this year sometime at the latest (warning, no lawyer, just pulling this out of my nether region), he will be released and start the process of getting back in the U.S., and I would expect him back in the States by next spring training.

    Losing a whole year of playing will hurt a lot, but hopefully he has been using his time in jail to get himself into better physical shape. Hopefully he has learned a lesson or two about life, and maybe he'll move himself and his family permanently to the U.S. (San Jose has a large Latino population and he had house parents who loved having him around, so they could probably help him find a good place to buy in the area, and help set up his mom and family) in order to avoid such future situations.

    Given that he'll still only be 20 years old next season, he's not really that behind others, age-wise, he'll just not be as great a prospect as originally thought.

    From my readings about him, he has kind of a big ego, that perhaps he hid from his home parents in San Jose, who viewed him as shy and fun-loving (not unusual for people to act one way in one environment, and another in another environment). One would hope that sitting in jail is a big wakeup call for him, especially as the additional days tick off long after he paid off the family and he still sits in jail.

    He reportedly was not the most disciplined of people when he was playing before, and he would sometimes lose focus, but maybe this has changed him for the positive.

    If he worked out in the jail, got himself into better shape (at minimum, I cannot imagine him keeping his weight in jail, I don't think they are going to feed him all that well there), then that would be a positive sign for the future. If he's even more of a blob, you can probably pretty much write him off, he's probably going to find another way to shoot himself in the foot.

    Still, he seems to have a god-given ability to hit the baseball and far, so as long as he is in any kind of OK shape, and given the Giants emphasis on conditioning and fitness, even in the minors, if the Giants do take him back, I think he can get back on the prospect path, and still make the majors by age 22-24, in all likelihood.

    Whether he does anything for us at the major league level will be a whole other thing.

  4. Schulman had an article on Neukom and conditioning too:

    A good Neukom quote: "We want every Giant at every level, when he comes onto the field, to be in better shape and say, 'I'm better-prepared than my opponent and I'm going to concentrate on every pitch better than my opponent is.' That's how we're going to win innings and win games."

    I think that was quoted elsewhere and so I should have included that too.

  5. Wow, Kevin, you must be in tone with the cosmos: Baggerly just blogged on Villalona:

    He will appear in court for a preliminary hearing on April 27 and the judge will consider the evidence and determine if the case will go to trial. So he could get out much earlier than I speculated, if the judge decides that no trial is possible.

    But one would think the prosecutor would not have dragged this out so long if there wasn't some strong evidence of some sort.

    Still, as I noted before, the San Jose Mercury did an expose on the court system and found that a third of the convictions had some sort of serious prosecutor misconduct, including withholding evidence that would have proven the person on trial to be innocent. So, just like we won't ever know what happened tht night, neither will we know whether the prosecutor (who is, afterall, incented to win conviction normally, as they are measured in that way) was manipulating things to bring Villalona to trial, and help his image.

  6. Having all this good pitching is great.....don't get me wrong on that. However, I can't help but think that the Giants screwed the pooch again in 2007 when Jason Heyward was available at the spot that they took Bumgarner. We'd be in a much better position right now. I said it then it was a mistake and, for all of your preaching about accumulating pitching, my recollection is that you said it too.

    We'll see how it plays out, but the indications are that Hewyward is going to be a mega-star.

  7. If the Giants had Heyward he could be playing in AAA with Posey!

  8. Boof, yes, I was against getting Bumgarner, but that was before I started putting together all the pieces of how to build a team to excel in the playoffs. Bumgarner would be part of extending that beyond Cain and Lincecum, as need be.

    Not that I wouldn't love to have had Heyward though.

    But this is all retrospective, there is a high failure rate of prospects in terms of becoming a good (or even star) player, so one or the other, if you got one, you should just be happy.

    I would also add that Heyward would not necessarily have signed with us had we drafted him.

    Apparently a Braves scout had a son get HBP thrown by the 10 year old Heyward and developed a relationship with the family. There were rumors that he was asking for a lot of money, and given this bit of info, now that makes sense, he wanted to fall to the Braves.

    So just because we drafted him does not mean that we would have signed him, he could have just held out for big money, play whatever ball he had to in order to be draft eligible again, and hopefully fall to the Braves that time.

    Plus, while he's clearly a mega-star now, he was not so much then, there were legit concerns about his bat, but to his credit, he worked on them and developed and solved them. Not all players do, particularly 18 year olds (see the all the 18 year old draftees from his year and prior years and see their struggles).

    So I won't play the what if game. In any case, Bumgarner if he gets back his velocity will be a mega-star as well, and if he does, our rotation will be rock solid for the next 2-4 seasons. Acording to most people, even adding a Heyward would not be enough for the offense to win with it.

  9. Chris, I doubt he would be playing in AAA if he were with the Giants. Heyward does appear to be ready. He hit way better than Posey did in the minors, plus appear to be defensively there as well.

    Posey did not hit that well in the minors, not for someone expected to be a star hitter. What he did was relatively pedestrian, borderline. On top of that, he is still having defensive struggles and still learning how to call games, which affects every pitch of every game he catches. A RF defense has a key effect on a game's result every 3-10 games, maybe, most are routine flies.

    Plus, while Molina can be productive defensively, we got nobody who can cover the defensive side except for Schierholtz in RF. So no, I think the Giants would start Heyward, he is that good, unlike most of the borderline position players we have had in the system.

    People think that the Giants screw with our position players but the fact is that none of them have been really that good.

    The one good one was Sandoval, and you saw what they did with him, they pushed him to the majors once they thought he was ready.

    Everyone else have had problems, but the fans don't like it when you lose badly keeping a struggling player in there, and yet then criticize the team when they take out the lousy prospects in order to play players who might do better. If fans could decide that paying for tickets to the park is OK when you are losing a lot, then maybe the Giants would not be so "impatient" with young players.

    Plus, it is not like they do not give their prospects - generally - an extended time to show what they got. Most players who got the starting job got at least 1-2 months to show what they got.

    In a meritocracy like the MLB (or any professional job), you do not want to reward the poor performers, which is what you are doing when you do not pull them when they are struggling. They will learn that it's OK to have two weeks off, as long as you have two weeks on. You want them to learn to be consistently good. Keeping them in there no matter what is a recipe for disaster.

  10. That smacks of a lot of rationalization there. Given the Giants' dearth of offensive prospects at the time and also given the state of the Giants pitching at both the major & minor league level, Heyward just had to be the pick at that point. It should've been a no-brainer. He was even more can't-miss than Bumgarner was. Money is not an excuse because the Giants have shown the willingness to go over slot for some of their picks.

    It was a mistake, pure and simple. You should concede that point. You did at the time and you were right then. The evidence now shows that decision to be a bad one.

  11. OGC,

    I was just joking, really. But this:

    "He hit way better than Posey did in the minors, plus appear to be defensively there as well. "

    Isn't really all that true.

    Heyward - 876 AB, .318/.391/.508
    Posey - 459 AB, .327/.421/.538

    Also, Buster's defense has been overblown. In all honesty, it's probably on par, if not better than Molina right now.

  12. Boof, who is rationalizing now?

    My research has shown that even for the first picks in the draft, there are rarely any no-brainers. There is great risk with every pick, and nobody has figured out how to find THE guy who will make the majors from that draft. It is a total crapshoot.

    So, if you are saying that you knew that Heyward was going to be good, then you are saying that you are the best there ever was in evaluating amateur talents.

    The matter is not money but rather how much money you are willing to pay out for similar base talents. Heyward was not a gimme. I read some who worried about his swing. Sure, you are willing to pay $5M for him today, but back then you didn't know if he'll be the Heyward he is today or like Dominguez or Mills.

    I also hate the comparison game. Right now, Heyward looks way better. Last year, when Bumgarner was rated higher than Heyward, not so much. If Bumgarner regains his mid-90's heat, he looks better again. If Heyward struggles in the majors (and he wouldn't be the first to do that), then Bumgarner looks better.

    So basically, when it serves the commenter to note the comparison, then they make the comment, else they are quiet. That is so typical of fans, ooo, he's good, ohhh, he's bad, depending on the day, the phase of the moon, and so forth.

    The fact is that Bumgarner is a great prospect. He is probably still among the top 3-5 among the first 15 picks, and looks to be a good pitcher barring injury and a great pitcher if his velocity returns.

    Playing the what if game with prospects is a futile exercise.

    But let's take your premise then. You argue that the Giants should have taken a position prospect. Well, then you are saying that if the Giants had selected Matt Dominguez or Beau Mills, two prospect players chosen before Heyward, then you would applaude their choice of them over Bumgarner, even though Bumgarner is a way better prospect than either of them right now.

    So tell me, who is rationalizing now?

  13. Here is a perfect example of playing the "who's better" game. Before the 2003 season, Jerome Williams was considered one of baseball's top prospects. Some were comparing him with Doc Gooden. He was a top prospect for a number of years.

    In 2003, he pitched very well, better than another pitcher, who was never highly touted, and in fact, was so good that his name was not even mentioned in his team's pre-season prospect article for that season. Yet, he did the best of any of those other prospects, and was compared to Williams.

    So at the end of 2003, if you had to compare the two pitchers, anybody with any sense would have selected Jerome Williams. He pitched well all season, didn't have many bad starts, and ended the season with a great last month.

    But we all know how Jerome ended up, and the other pitcher, Brandon Webb, has been everything that was imagined for Williams.

    So if you want to play the compare game, Boog, fine, but the smart move would be to wait a while to see what unfolds.

  14. And I looked back at my post.

    I said that I was very disappointed with the selection because I wanted a position player, but deferred to the Giants expertise that Bumgarner is better. I noted then that the consensus top offensive picks at #10 were Beau Mills, Jason Heyward, and Matt Dominguez.

    I'm just happy the Giants got a great prospect. They could have done much worse.

    If you want to gnash your teeth over missing out on Heyward, that is your perogative, but there are no sure things in life, particularly with baseball draft picks, and the big picture is that we got a great prospect who looks like he will be a good pitcher in the majors, and a great one if his velocity returns. If you can't be happy with that, well, I can't help you.

  15. Chris, that may be, but there are plenty of Giants fans who probably feel that way right now, so I had to respond.

    I would disagree with your statement regarding Heyward vs. Posey.

    That is the problem with looking at a prospect's overall performance. There are always nuances. Nuances like Heyward was an 18 year old facing much older pitchers with much more experience when he was starting out.

    The more important stats (and this is what I've learned from Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster) are when the player has reached AA and above, because those pitchers are closer to what he would face in the majors AND he (particularly high school draftees) would be closer to what he would be in the majors.

    Here is that comparision:

    Posey .321/.391/.511/.902, 190 ISO
    Heyward .353/.447/.595/1.042, 242 ISO

    Clearly much better on that count, plus Heyward was 19 doing that and Posey was 22.

    It also matters, to my thinking, how they did, 1) among all players, and 2) among players his age, if 1) shows no excellence.

    Heyward led the Southern League with his 1.057 OPS. The nearest guy was 59 points lower.

    Posey did not have enough AB's but if inserted into the leader list, he would have been 23rd in the league. Even among guys his age or less, he was still third. Among guys 23 and younger, which I still think is a valid comparison once you get to AAA, he would have fell to 6th, behind Travis Snider, Brandon Allen, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Davis, Michael Sanders.

    Either way, Posey's performance did not compare to Heyward, Heyward was dominant, Posey relatively was not as good.

    And regarding defense, perhaps I was broadening the definition too much, but I was considering that the Giants did not feel that he was physically ready to catch a full season, and thus marked him off for defense relative to Heyward, who should be able to play a whole season.

    Also, all those passed balls still stick in my mind as a big warning sign that he needs more experience, though that hasn't shown up this spring, so perhaps he's over that now.

    Still, if you can't play a full MLB season, I consider that a huge minus in comparison.

  16. You misunderstood my point. I never said that I knew Heyward was better or will be better than Bumgarner. Let's just assume that they were equal talents at the time of the draft. My point was that, given the state of the Giants' organization with a fair amount of pitching and not very much quality hitting, it should've been a no-brainer to opt for the offensive player.

    I just don't see how that point is can be denied.

  17. Sorry, that appeared to be your position.

    Nonetheless, you are missing my point. Heyward, Dominguez, and Mills were considered equivalent position talents at that time of the draft, so we could have ended up with one of the other two instead of Heyward. Or worse, if they went for another position player like Mesoraco or any of the guys after them.

    Your "what if" denies the possibility that if the Giants had gone for a position player, they could have gotten one of the other two instead of Heyward.

    This is like crying over the roulette wheel when you bet on 9 and it comes up 8, you had equal chances of selecting any of them, but it came up against you.

    It is easy to see the best decision after the fact when you are examining any draft, but the fact of the matter is that most times there are too many negatives to any prospect to project out accurately what he will do in the majors, even the top picks have that problem.

    What you are doing is moaning over betting on throwing a 2 with a pair of dice when you bet on another number.

    And, another point I forgot to mention earlier was that the state of the rotation was not all that great at that point in time. Lincecum was still an unknown, he started out great but then had that horrible month leading into the draft. Cain was good but not great yet. Sanchez was still struggling to figure things out and there was no guarantee that he ever would.

    So if you think you can get an ace out of Bumgarner at the time of that draft, there were still enough unknowns at that time to decide to go with Bumgarner, in case Lincecum don't pull out of his downslide or gets injured, in case Sanchez never figures things out, we had no true ace at that time.

  18. First of all, just like you don't know if Heyward was going to be a stud, the same goes for Bumgarner. At the time of the pick they sid not know if they were picking a potential stud or not. It's just as much of a crapshoot.

    Bottom line is that, at the time, the Giants were offensively challenged at both the major & minor league level. They also had a number of pitching prospects in the system already. The situation screamed for the high upside offensive player. You even said so yourself at the time. The pick of Bumgarner defied all logic given the Giants situation.

  19. Errrr.... I'm not sure how the Giants making a pick who is ranked so highly as a prospect and most likely will be in the rotation quite soon "defied all logic". It seems like drafting someone who makes the bigs is in itself a success.

    And anyway, it has many times been shown that drafting for position is THE most foolish move a team can make. Maybe if you're the Cards you don't draft a MLB-ready player who can only play 1st base, but that's one in a thousand.

    TNSTAAPP - one has to see. And too, while Posey was 22, it was his first year in the pros. I think that needs to be a caveat to the age caveat. He may tear it up this year, he may not. Same with Heyward.

    Nate for MVP!



1984 Draft (1) 2007 Draft (15) 2007 Giants (52) 2008 Draft (22) 2008 Giants (53) 2008 season (6) 2009 Draft (18) 2009 Giants (87) 2009 season (24) 2010 Decade (12) 2010 Draft (11) 2010 Giants (137) 2010 NL ROY award (1) 2010 season (19) 2010's (3) 2011 Draft (9) 2011 Giants (84) 2011 season (8) 2012 Draft (11) 2012 Giants (93) 2012 season (11) 2013 Draft (3) 2013 Giants (39) 2013 season (5) 2014 (1) 2014 draft (5) 2014 Giants (79) 2014 season (16) 2015 Draft (4) 2015 Giants (50) 2015 season (10) 2016 Draft (1) 2016 Giants (45) 2016 season (6) 2017 Draft (3) 2017 Giants (27) 2018 Draft (8) 2018 Giants (44) 2018 Season (7) 25 man roster (10) 25th man fallacy (1) 3B (1) 40 Man Roster (10) 49ers (1) 6-man rotation (3) 89 Quake (1) 89 World Series (1) A-Ball (1) A-Gon (1) A-Rod (3) A's (6) AA-Ball (1) Aaron Rowand (25) accomplishments (1) ace pitcher (1) Adalberto Mejia (6) Adam Duvall (5) AFL (4) aggression (1) Albert Suarez (5) Alen Hanson (2) Alex Hinshaw (3) Alex Pavlovic (1) Alexander Canario (1) All-Star Game (1) almost perfect game (1) Alonzo Powell (1) Amphetamine (2) analysis (20) Andre Torres (14) Andres Torres (2) Andrew McCutchen (2) Andrew Suarez (5) Andrew Susac (11) Andy Baggerly (2) Andy Sisco (1) Andy Suarez (4) Angel Joseph (1) Angel Pagan (17) Angel Villalona (30) Anniversary (1) appendicitis (1) Aramis Garcia (2) Arbitration (19) Armando Benitez (5) Armando Gallaraga (1) art of failure (1) Asia-Pacific signing (1) assessment (1) Astros (2) At the Rate They Are Going (1) ATT Park (1) Aubrey Huff (20) Austin Jackson (2) Austin Slater (4) Award (4) BABIP (3) Bam Bam Meulens (1) Barry Bonds (30) Barry Zito (77) baseball (1) Baseball America (3) Baseball Prospectus (3) Baseball Prospectus Bias Against Giants (3) baseball strategy (6) Baseball Study (17) baserunning (2) batting peripherals (1) batting stance analysis (1) batting title champion (1) Beat LA (9) bench players (4) Bengie Molina (14) Benjamin Snyder (1) Bert Blyleven (1) best manager (2) best practices (2) Beyond the Box Score (1) Bias Against Giants (1) Big 6 (9) Bill Hall (1) Bill James (1) Bill James Handbook (2) Bill Mueller (1) Bill Neukom (21) Billy Beane (3) Blog Philosophy (2) Bob Howry (2) Bob Mariano (1) Bobby Evans (3) Boston Red Sox (1) Brad Hennessey (5) Brad Penny (2) Brandon Bednar (1) Brandon Belt (50) Brandon Crawford (25) Brandon Hicks (1) Braves (5) breakout (2) Brett Bochy (4) Brett Pill (9) Brian Anderson (1) Brian Bocock (2) Brian Cooper (1) Brian Horwitz (3) Brian Ragira (2) Brian Sabean (46) Brian Wilson (14) Bridegrooms (6) Bruce Bochy (34) Bucky Showalter (1) bulllpen (5) Bullpen (33) Business Plan (14) Buster Posey (102) Byran Reynolds (2) Byung-Hyun Kim (1) Cained (4) call-ups (3) Candlestick Park (1) Cards (13) Career Prospects (4) Carl Hubbell (1) Carlos Beltran (4) Carlos Gomez (1) Carney Lansford (2) Carter Jurica (1) Casey McGeHee (3) catcher injury (5) catching (3) CBT penalty (1) CC Sabathia (1) censorship (2) CEO (2) Chad Gaudin (5) Charles Culberson (5) Charlie Culberson (3) Chase Johnson (3) Chillax (1) Chris Brown (1) Chris Gloor (1) Chris Heston (19) Chris Lincecum (1) Chris Marrero (1) Chris O'Leary (1) Chris Ray (4) Chris Shaw (4) Chris Stewart (4) Chris Stratton (25) Chris Strattton (1) Christian Arroyo (7) Christmas (1) Christopher Dominguez (4) Christy Mathewson (1) Chuckie Jones (2) Clay Hensley (3) Clayton Blackburn (10) Clayton Tanner (3) Closer (9) closer by committee (3) Coaches (4) coaching changes (1) Cody Hall (2) Cody Ross (8) Col (1) Comeback Award (1) Commissioner (1) comparison (1) competitive advantage (1) Competitive Balance Tax (2) competitiveness (2) Connor Nurse (1) Conor Gillaspie (25) contender (1) contract extension (3) contract negotiations (2) contract signing (7) core competency (1) Core Rotation (1) Cory Gearrin (5) Cory Guerrin (1) Cory Hart (1) Craig Whitaker (2) Curt Young (1) cuts (1) Cy Young Award (5) cyber-relief (1) D-backs (15) D-gers (36) D-Rocks (3) D-Rox (17) D.J. Snelten (3) Dallas McPherson (1) Dan Ortmeier (11) Dan Otero (2) Dan Runzler (6) Dan Slania (3) Dan Uggla (1) Daniel Carbonell (1) Daniel Slania (2) Darren Ford (1) Dave Righetti (1) Dave Roberts (11) David Aardsma (1) David Bell (1) David Huff (2) David Loewenstein (1) Decade of the Giants (11) decline (1) Defense (8) Deferred Money (1) deleted comment (1) Denard Span (3) depth (1) Dereck Rodriquez (2) Derek Holland (12) Derek Law (10) Detroit Tigers (1) DFA (3) DH (2) Dick Tidrow (2) dictionary (1) Dirty (1) DL (3) dodgers (14) Donald Snelten (1) Draft (10) Draft Analysis (18) Draft Bonus (7) draft list (3) draft philosophy (1) draft signing (3) Draft Strategy (11) Draft Study (3) Draft Success (3) drafting (3) Dres (16) DRS (1) Dynasty (1) Edgar Renteria (13) Eduardo Nunez (4) Edwin Escobar (5) Ehire Adrianza (26) Eli Whiteside (4) Elimination game (1) EME (2) Emmanuel Burriss (18) epic season (6) era (1) Eric Byrnes (1) Eric Surkamp (6) Erik Cordier (1) Eugenio Velez (12) evaluation (2) Evan Longoria (3) extension (7) fan outrage (1) fan rants (1) fanfest (1) FanGraphs (2) felony conviction (1) Fielding (4) Fielding Stats (4) finger injury (3) first post-season press conference (3) Francisco Peguero (4) Fred Lewis (3) Freddie Lewis (17) Freddie Sanchez (4) Freddy Sanchez (7) Free Agency (7) Free agent possibilities (24) Free agent signing (17) Free agent signings (21) front office (2) Game Score (3) gamer-tude (1) Garrett Williams (1) Gary Brown (26) Geno Espinelli (1) George Kontos (10) Ghosts of Giants Drafts (2) Giants (8) Giants Announcer (1) Giants blogs (3) Giants Chat (4) Giants Defense (2) Giants Draft (15) Giants Drafts (2) Giants Farm System (32) Giants Franchise record (2) Giants Future (64) Giants GM (5) Giants Greats (3) Giants hitting manual (1) Giants No-Hitter (5) Giants Offense (29) Giants Offseason (21) Giants Pitching (3) Giants Strategy (36) GiDar (1) Gino Espinelli (1) glossary (1) Gold Glove Award (1) good will (1) Gorkys Hernandez (2) Graphical Player (1) Gregor Blanco (18) Gregor Moscoso (1) Guillermo Moscoso (2) Guillermo Mota (2) Guillermo Quiroz (1) Gustavo Cabrera (4) Hall of Fame (9) Hall of Shame (4) Hank Aaron (5) Happy Holidays (2) Hate mail (1) healthy (1) heart-warming (1) Heath Hembree (8) Heath Quinn (1) Hector Correa (1) Hector Sanchez (12) Heliot Ramos (5) Henry Sosa (8) HGH (1) Hidden Game (1) high expectations (1) high school focus in draft (1) high velocity hitters (1) high velocity pitchers (1) Hitter's League (1) Hitting (18) Hitting Coach (1) hitting mechanics (3) hitting pitchers (2) hitting streak (1) Hitting; (1) Home Run Career Record (7) Home Run Hitting Contest (1) Hunter Pence (25) Hunter Stickland (1) Hunter Strickland (9) Ian Gardeck (1) Idea (4) IFA (1) improvement (2) Indictment (1) Infield (1) injury (7) instant replay (2) instructor (1) Interesting Question (1) International Free Agent Pursuits (5) International Signings (5) interview (4) Investment (1) Ivan Ochoa (2) J2 (1) Jack Taschner (4) Jackson Williams (3) Jacob Dunnington (1) Jacob Gonzalez (2) Jacob McCasland (1) Jae-gyun Hwang (1) Jake Dunning (2) Jake Peavy (39) Jake Smith (1) Jalen Miller (1) Japanese Starters (1) Jarrett Parker (10) Jason Heyward (1) Jason Maxwell (2) Jason Stoffel (1) Javier Lopez (5) JC Gutierrez (3) Jean Machi (6) Jeff Kent (1) Jeff Samardzija (23) Jeff Suppan (1) Jeremy Affeldt (12) Jeremy Shelley (2) Jerome Williams (1) Jesse English (2) Jesse Foppert (1) Jesus Guzman (4) Jimmy Rollins (1) Joaquin Arias (14) Joe Panik (18) Joe Torre (1) Joey Bart (2) Joey Martinez (2) Johan Santana (1) John Barr (1) John Bowker (22) John Thorn (1) Johneshwy Fargas (2) Johnny Bench (1) Johnny Cueto (28) Johnny Monell (1) Johnny Rucker (1) Jonah Arenado (1) Jonathan Mayo (1) Jonathan Sanchez (49) Jordan Johnson (1) Jose Canseco (1) Jose Casilla (1) Jose Guillen (3) Jose Mijares (3) Jose Uribe (2) Josh Osich (9) JT Snow (1) Juan Perez (6) Juan Uribe (9) Juggling Monkey (1) Julian Fernandez (7) Julio Urias (1) jury (1) Just Say No (1) Kelby Tomlinson (5) Kendry Flores (2) Keury Mella (2) Kevin Correia (2) Kevin Frandsen (22) Kevin Pucetas (10) KNBR (1) Kung Fu Panda (30) Kyle Crick (16) Larry Baer (2) Larry Ellison (1) Lead-off (2) leadoff (1) left-handed (1) Lew Wolff (1) LHP (1) Lineup (17) lineup construction (3) Lineup position (1) links (1) Lon Simmons (1) long relief (2) Long-Term Contract (22) long-term planning (3) losing streak (1) Lucius Fox (3) luck (2) Luis Angel Mateo (2) lunatic fringe (1) Mac Marshall (1) Mac Williamson (11) Madison Bumgarner (177) Mailbox (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) management change (3) management issues (5) managerial value (5) Manny (1) Marc Kroon (2) Marco Scutaro (12) Mark DeRosa (8) Mark Gardner (1) Mark Melancon (4) Marlon Byrd (1) Martin Agosta (7) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Mason McVay (1) Matsuzaka (1) Matt Cain (160) Matt Downs (2) Matt Duffy (8) Matt Graham (1) Matt Holliday (1) Matt Krook (2) Matt Moore (15) Matt Morris (2) Mechanics (4) Media (16) Media Bias (17) Media Trade Idea (3) Medical (1) Mediocy (10) Mediots (5) Melk-Gone (1) Melky Cabrera (14) Melvin Adon (1) memories (1) mental (1) Merkin Valdez (8) Message in a Bottle (1) methodology (2) MI (1) Michael Main (1) Michael Trout (1) middle infield (1) Miguel Cabrera (2) Miguel Gomez (1) Miguel Tejada (5) Mike Fontenot (3) Mike Ivie (1) Mike Kickham (9) Mike Leake (11) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Morse (10) milestone (1) minor league (1) minor league contract (4) minors (11) mismanagement (1) misnomer (1) mistakes (2) MLB (2) MLB stupidity (2) MLB Success (7) MLB Trade Rumors (1) MLBAM (1) MLBTR (1) MLE (1) Mock Draft analysis (8) MVP (2) Natanael Javier (1) Nate Schierholtz (45) Nathanael Javier (1) Nationals (1) Naysayers (1) Negotiations (1) Neil Ramirez (1) NewPQS (5) Next Gen (1) Nick Hundley (2) Nick Noonan (27) Nick Pereira (1) Nick Vander Tuig (2) NL Champions (2) NL West (27) NL West Division Title (19) NL West Future (1) NLCS (22) NLCS MVP (2) NLDS (8) Noah Lowry (14) non-roster invitees (2) non-tenders (2) Nori Aoki (4) NPB (1) NRI (1) Oakland A's (4) OBP (1) oddities (1) Offense (3) offensive era (1) ogcPQS (4) Omar Vizquel (3) one-run games (3) Opening Day (5) opening day pitcher (3) opening day roster (10) Optimism (1) Osiris Matos (2) Outfield (3) overturned (1) Ownership (7) Pablo Sandoval (97) Padres (1) Panda (6) Pandoval (1) passing (1) Pat Burrell (15) Pat Misch (5) Payroll (11) PECOTA (1) Pedro Feliz (12) PEDS (10) Perfect Game (2) perjury trial (1) Personal Reminiscence (2) Pessimism (1) Pete Palmer (1) Pete Rose (3) Peter Magowan (2) Phil Bickford (3) Phillies (7) philosophy (1) Phoenix Theory of Rebuilding (1) Pierce Johnson (2) Pitch Count (3) pitch framing (1) pitch value (1) Pitcher hitting 8th (1) Pitchers League (1) Pitching (21) pitching analysis (2) Pitching Rotation (83) pitching staff (5) plate discipline (1) platoon players (1) Play Ball (1) player budget (2) player development (2) playoff (2) playoff analysis (1) playoff hopes (37) playoff roster (2) playoff rotation (5) Playoff Success (21) Playoffs (41) postmortem (2) PQS (102) press conference (2) pressure (2) priorities (1) Projected Record (6) projection (2) projections (2) promotion (2) prospect (3) prospect analysis (4) prospect handling (1) Prospect of Note (3) prospect study (1) Prospects (44) quality starts (1) questions (1) radio great (1) Rafael Rodriquez (8) Rajai Davis (2) Ralph Barbieri (1) Ramon Ramirez (3) Randy Johnson (10) Randy Messenger (2) Randy Winn (14) Rangers (5) Ranking (4) rant (1) raspberry (1) Ray Durham (5) re-sign (2) Rebuilding (4) Rebuilding Myths series (1) rebuttal (1) Reds (5) rehab (1) reliever (2) Relocation Concession (2) Research (2) resource scarcity (1) rest for starters (1) Retired (3) Retirement (2) return (1) Reyes Moronta (3) RHP (1) Ricardo Genoves (1) Rich Aurilia (7) Rick Peterson (1) Rickie Weeks (1) Ricky Oropesa (3) right-handed (1) risk mitigation (2) risk profile (1) Roberto Gomez (1) Rockies (1) Rod Beck (1) Roger Kieschnick (13) Roger Metzger (1) Ron Shandler (2) Ron Wotus (1) Ronnie Jebavy (1) Rookie of the Year (1) Roster (4) rosterbation (2) ROY (2) Royals (3) Rule 5 (2) Rule 5 Draft Pick (4) rumors (9) run production (1) runs support (1) Russ Ortiz (11) Russell Carleton (1) Ryan Garko (2) Ryan Klesko (4) Ryan Rohlinger (2) Ryan Theriot (3) Ryan Vogelsong (93) Ryder Jones (2) Sabean Naysayers (7) Sabermetric Thoughts (6) sabermetrics (5) SABR (1) Salary speculation (3) SALLY (1) Sam Dyson (7) Sam Wolff (1) San Jose Giants (1) San Jose Relocation (3) Sandro Fabian (2) Sandy Rosario (1) Santiago Casilla (9) Scott Boras (1) Scott McClain (2) Scott Shuman (1) Scouting (1) Sean Hjelle (2) secret sauce (1) Sergio Romo (17) Seth Corry (2) SF Giants (2) Shilo McCall (1) Shohei Ohtani (1) Shohei Otani (2) Shooter (1) shutouts (1) Signature Song (1) signing (13) Silly-Ball (3) South Atlantic League (1) South Bay Rights (1) SP usage (1) spin rate (1) splits (2) Sports Illustrated (1) Spring Training (16) stabilized stats (1) standings (1) starting CF (1) starting lineup (19) starting pitching (88) Statcorner (1) State of the Giants (1) statistics (2) STATS (1) Steamer (1) Steroids (6) Steve Edlefsen (4) Steve Johnson (3) Steve Okert (8) Steven Duggar (7) strikeout rate (2) Sue Burns (1) sunk costs (1) superstition (1) Tax (1) team culture (1) Team of the 2010's (1) Team of the Decade (3) Team Speed (1) Team Support (1) Thank You (1) The Evil Ones (tm) (1) The Giants Way (1) The Hardball Times (1) The Hey Series (15) Thomas Joseph (3) Thomas Neal (9) Tigers (4) Tim Alderson (17) Tim Hudson (39) Tim Lincecum (195) Todd Linden (3) Todd Wellemeyer (6) Tommy Joseph (3) Tony Watson (4) Top Draft Position (3) top player list (1) top prospect list (5) Trade (11) Trade Analysis (20) Trade Idea (9) Trade PTBNL (2) Trade Rumors (30) trading (1) training staff (2) Training Tool (1) Travis Blackley (1) Travis Ishikawa (47) Trevor Brown (5) tribute (1) turning point (1) Ty Blach (21) Tyler Beede (8) Tyler Cyr (1) Tyler Horan (1) Tyler Rogers (1) Tyler Walker (2) umpire mistake (3) Umpires (3) USA Today (1) utility (1) Voros McCracken (1) Waldis Joaquin (5) walks (1) Wall of Fame (1) WAR (2) Warrior Spirit (1) Wendell Fairley (10) What-If Scenario (3) wild card (1) wild card race (1) Will Clark (1) Will Smith (7) Willie Mac Award (1) Willie Mays (1) winning on the road (1) Winter League (1) winter meetings (2) World Series (26) World Series Champions (12) WS Ring Bling (1) xBABIP (1) xwOBA (1) Yusmeiro Petit (40) Zack Wheeler (9) ZiPS (1) Zito Role (1)