Friday, January 21, 2011

Supp's On and Other Arbitrary Moves

Jeff Suppan has signed with the Giants to try to make the 25-man roster (report by Schulman).  If he makes the roster, he gets $1M contract and probably some incentives based on IP.  He also can opt to leave the team should he not make the MLB team out of spring training.

He is the Giant's leading 6th starter alternative now, and, assuming he passes the audience, if you read between the lines in all the press about his acquisition, looks like he can make the 25-man roster out of spring as the long man out of the pen.  He is also insurance if, god forbid, any of the starting pitchers are out for any reason.  That makes some sense given prior statements by the Giants, and general overall concern over the work put on the arms of the starters in 2010 because of the playoffs and World Series.  They might go to Suppan sooner when the game gets out of hand, to reduce the IP load on starters, plus conceivably could start the season with both Bumgarner and Suppan in the bullpen, since the 5th starter isn't needed until in late April, typically, or start Suppan in the rotation initially with Bumgarner in the bullpen, to both ease the workload on the rest of the starters.  Or they can really go out there and have 6 starters initially, as I had suggested the Giants do in late 2010 in order to ease the load on the starters plus keep them regularly starting every 6th day.

Dan Runzler now is the second alternative, probably will be placed in AAA to get his inning in there as a starter. That is preferred because, frankly, he was pretty wild as a reliever, though he did at least strike out enough to make that viable.  Often, for relievers who are too wild, the Giants in the past have put them into a starter role in order to give them more IP in which to figure out what their problem is, as well as extra work on figuring out another pitch to use, that might help their repertoire.  Also, starters have to pitch more slowly and thoughtfully than relievers do, and sometimes slowing things up like that helps the pitcher.  Plus, some pitchers need to take off some of the heat off their pitches in order to improve their control, and making them a starter helps to do that.

Arbitration Avoidance

The Giants continued their practice of avoiding arbitration by signing Santiago Casilla (as was rumored to have been basically done the other day of the other announcements for Ross, Sanchez, and Ramirez) to a $1.3M contract and Javier Lopez to a $2.375M contract (where do they get these numbers?).  Now they have Andres Torres left to sign ($1.8M offer/$2.6M asking) and reportedly (by Chronicle and probably others) he is very close to signing as well.  The Giants apparently wanted to focus on one year deals with everyone in order to get them signed before arbitration, but as I noted the other day, I hope they start on a long term contract with Jonathan Sanchez.

I would also hope for longer deals with Lincecum and Cain as well, but it would be my guess, based on prior preferences, Lincecum's agents will want to wait for a great 2011 to press for more money, and Cain took a big step in 2010, and probably could get more money by showing that was not a fluke in 2011.  I am more hopeful for a Cain signing since he loves being a Giant and has planted roots here in SF.

I wouldn't mind deals for Posey and Sandoval, but I would think the Giants would want to see another year out of Posey first and Sandoval's agents will want to be paid for 2009 production, not 2010 production, and there is still the matter of his weighty problems.  I also wouldn't mind a deal for Romo, just to get salary certainty for the coming years, but I am OK with waiting too, relievers are harder to value.  Lastly, Brian Wilson's deal is over this season, and I think 2012 is his last arbitration year, so maybe another 2 year deal, one contracted year, one option year.

6 comments:

  1. OGC, Brian Wilson like Tim Lincecum was a super 2 last year and signed just a two year deal. Thus they both will have two years of arbitration remaining after this year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was aware of Lincecum's two more years of eligibility but had forgotten about Wilson's. Thanks for the clarification.

    Still, I would not mind the Giants signing either to a contract covering their remaining arbitration years plus extend into their free agent years.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think a long term deal will happen for Dirty, given his agent is Boras. When he becomes a free agent in 2 years, hopefully Wheeler will be ready to replace him.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good point, Anon, forgot about that fact, and I just noticed it recently, not sure where, either Cot's or Baseball-Reference.com's salary list they store on Google.

    Yeah, Boras a tough nut for long-term deals, but the salary this season was not that big - to me at least, and a few other tweeters I saw, I think Paapfly noted it too - so I was surprised when I noticed the Boras connection afterward, in conjunction with the lower salary.

    I guess the big question then becomes when do the Giants trade Sanchez? Because the picks you get in the draft is no where close to the value of the player, nor to what you can get from other teams.

    Now with that bit of info, I have to think the optimal time to trade Sanchez would be mid-2011 season: he hopefully will be continuing to show what he can do, there will be teams desperate for a pitcher with his skills, he would still have 1.5 years of control over him, and hopefully Wheeler will be pitching so well by then, he would get promoted to AA and look like he could replace Sanchez in 2012 or 2013.

    We would hopefully get a usable mid-rotation guy back for Sanchez plus some key prospects in exchange who are lower in farm and ready in 2-3 years. Again, something like Haren trade.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When making another run at the World Series why would you trade a starting pitcher of the quality of Jonathan Sanchez midseason without a replacement of at least near equal ability available for the rest of the season?

    The Giants are not going to reduce their chances in 2011 just to get better trade value. This makes no sense.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Winning the World Series is a crapshoot anyway when there is a three tier system as the MLB uses, and the talent is bunched closely (relatively), and there is only a slight home advantage, no matter how much talent you have.

    However, what you can control is how much talent you have coming in the future vs your current talent level. It is the ying and yang every team has to navigate as they are on their upward slope after rebuilding.

    So yeah, it would not make sense to trade Sanchez if all you are is focused on the Giants making the playoffs this season and get a chance at winning World Series.

    I am focused on making the Giants playoff contenders throughout this decade and the only way they can do that, in my opinion, is to do a trade like I proposed at this stage of their upswing because the draft will not cut it anymore as a source of reliable MLB talent once you start winning. And international talent, as much as I want the Giants spending more there, that is not reliable either, but I think you have to play that game as well.

    It is a matter of what your priorities are.

    Plus, the projections I have seen suggest that the Giants can win high 90's with current talent and as much as I like Sanchez and believe in his talents, he is #4to me. I think the Giants can still make the playoffs trading him midseason. Plus I would not trade him unless we are getting an OK starter in return to take his four spot along with top prospects, remember I want a Haren type haul, so the trade might not happen. And Wheeler must look good too.

    And, if you did not notice, the Giants would have done fine in playoffs had Zito started instead of Sanchez.

    ReplyDelete

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