Wednesday, August 31, 2011

El Lefty Malo is AWESOME: Rowand and Tejada DFAed

El Lefty Malo is AWESOME!  Read his post on what he thought the Giants need to do.

And the Giants appeared to listen to him, though not to the letter (sub Tejada for Cabrera) by DFAing Rowand and Tejada.  Arguably, this is a bigger message sent since Tejada is paid a lot more than Cabrera.  But I think his open pouting and discussion of such regarding the bunt helped Giants management push the button easier on that one.

Rowand's lack of production made his release an easy one, $14M or not, as Baggarly reported that he was openly campaigning for getting out of SF, a circumstance that probably made the decision for Giants management that much more obvious as well.  He has reached the true point of "sunk costs":  at least last season he was a viable talent off the bench, producing some value as a player, and for the first half of this season, but for a number of months now he has been even worse than replacement value.

They were clearly "addition by subtraction" type of moves.  That's nearly $20M wrote off, so Zito could be gone sometime next season as well if he's not producing or even if he's not in the starting rotation, since the Giants could go with Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Sanchez, Vogelsong in the rotation.

Sabean says that he will try to trade both of them today so that they can hook on with a playoff contending team; Rowand is hoping to rejoin the Phillies, but I don't see the Giants doing that one, I don't think that they want to see him haunting them in any way.  I also don't see any team wanting to even give up a low level prospect for either of them, much cleaner to wait for the end of the 10-day period and sign them then.  Nobody will be crying that they didn't pick these players up in time to make the playoff roster, as defiant as Tejada's statement was the other day about contributing to somebody's playoff efforts.  But if Renteria can get a job somewhere, I'm sure Tejada will as well.

Meanwhile, the Giants activated Pat Burrell and purchased the contract of Brett Pill, rewarding his great season so far in AAA, plus his willingness to play a number of different positions.  As much as I would hope that Pill mashes, the history of players his age who hit well but not that great in AAA is not encouraging, they normally don't come up here and do much of anything.  But I wish him all the success he can get, and who knows, he could be the exception to prove the rule.  I certainly would not have thought that Crawford could keep his strikeout rate so low in the majors, or his walk rate so high, so there's always that.

I assume part of this move was to enable Burrell to be available for the playoffs should we be able to fight our way in.  And at this point, you roll the dice and see what you got with Pill, there is really no one else high in the system worth that shot.

Baggarly also noted that there is still an open 40-man spot with this move.  That opens up the possibility of bringing up another player, such as Bill Hall or Marc Kroon.  Sentimentally, I would go with Kroon, but objectively, Hall is probably the more logical move because he can play multiple positions and has been hitting OK in the minors, though not great, at least if he were still a major league caliber hitter.  If he were, he should have been killing the ball.  Still, he's been a major leaguer, and it wasn't that long ago that he was hitting OK (last season), so you might want to take a chance on that.  But at this point, I would go with Kroon, would make great story, might juice the clubhouse by his inspirational story, which Hall would not provide.

Nice offense today, just what this team needs, 4 runs, that is all we ask for, daily, and our pitching can win with that.  Appears that the shock of the move got some of the hitters moving, though really, Jeff Keppinger and Mark DeRosa has been hitting lately, and of course, Pablo Sandoval has usually been hitting.  Fontenot had a nice game too, as did Chris Stewartwhom I've liked since he came up to the majors for us.

However, neither Carlos Beltran or Cody Ross did much of anything to help, though perhaps Ross is now afraid that Burrell will take his ABs away.  Sigh: he should realize that it is his poor hitting that is taking away his ABs, not the OF situation, Bochy would start him a lot if he were hitting as well as he was for most of this season, and not the sad numbers he has put up since Beltran was traded for.   Beltran has been hot for the most part lately, but have been coming up small when we needed him, like in yesterday's game, he could have tied the game with a base-hit and got us back in the game with a timely hit.

And, of course, Madison Bumgarner gave us a great game.  Hopefully it is a start for the rotation, seems like a statement game by him:  try and top this, ladies.

7 comments:

  1. Gotta be kind sad to be not even worth a roster spot, re: Rowand. Tejada I can see, that was a calculated risk. But as you say, there's sunk costs and there's sunk costs - to be sunk 100% is rough.

    A dumb question for you - okay, so it's September 1st, rosters expand to 40. Does a player have to be on the 40 man roster to be called up? I don't know why this never crossed my mind, but now it has. So, outside of the DL, the ML roster IS the 40 man roster? I never ever realized that. Or am I wrong?

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  2. Rowand is owed 2.26 mil. for Sept. of 2011 and 13.6 mil. for 2012 so The Giants must eat 15.86 mil. to say good bye to Rowand...
    Tejada is slightly over 1 mil. for Sept. of 2011 but,
    Zito is owed 49 mil. as of September 1 2011... Why do Fans keep acting like The Giants can just eat this ?
    If The Giants did Release Zito it would be the biggest Lost Salary contract in The History of Baseball ???
    It's easy to say just cut him and pay him the 49 mil. when it's somebody elses money.
    No team is going to trade for Zito because of the contract and his perfomance the last few years...
    The Giants can't send him to The Minor Leagues without his permission ( that's in his contract )
    The only realistic Hope for Zito that I can see is that The Giants should hire an Old Knuckleballer or even Tim Wakefield (if he retires ) this off season and have Zito learn a knuckle ball to go with his other pitches, then he could pitch Backwards using The Knuckler as his primary pitch and his Fastball and Curveball as out pitches.
    He wouldn't be any worse off than he or the Giants are ?

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  3. marc, thanks for your comment. No dumb questions, I find, generally (usually it is dumb statements, and not by you, to be clear).

    Yes and no.

    Yes, you have to be on the 40 man to be called up. Pill was not on, so he took, say, Rowand's spot. That leaves Tejada's spot open for the Giants to bring up, say, Kroon or Hall.

    OK, maybe two yeses (one and a half?), after Sept 1st, the 40 man is the ML roster, basically, but the team does not have to bring up all 40 of them. And most teams do not. So technically, the major league roster is made up of the 25-man roster as of September 1st, plus any of the remaining 15 players on the 40-man roster that they call up.

    Is that clear enough?

    And I think Rowand was still worth a roster spot, but his bad attitude made him useless to us on our bench anymore. I think there will be another MLB team who will want him on their roster for 2012, he will be their Huff of 2010, a roll of the dice in case he can bring it.

    Maybe he sill do more than ride a mountain bike to get fit this off-season and be ready next season. If he does and do well in 2012, the Giants still made the right decision, I think.

    And as the Chronicle noted, Roawnd agreed that it was for the best for him to move, so he personally does not feel like he is a 100% sunk cost, he views himself as a diamond in the rough who is being kept down by the man Sabean and Bochy. He thinks once he gets out, he'll be OK again.

    Not likely, particularly if he's bike riding again this off-season.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, Anon, you are preaching to the choir!!!

    I've been supporting keeping Zito for a number of years here already, especially after he figured out how to pitch well for us, in 2009 and 2010. That, despite what a lot of misguided fans think, was good pitching.

    What it wasn't was worth the $20M or so that he was paid, but that is really a separate matter, which most fans lump together and co-mingle.

    And as I've said many times before, it don't really matter how much we still owe Zito on the contract, what matters more is what he can do for us on our roster versus what we can minimally pay to do for us on our roster.

    THAT is the proper way to do sunk costs, it has nothing to do with how much he is overpaid (again, something most fans lump in), but rather with what the better alternative is.

    A low 4 ERA pitcher like Zito as our #5 starter is actually very very valuable. For us.

    Dumping his contract so that we can, say, have the Wellemeyers and Suppans of the world as our #5 starter is stupid.

    But now we have Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Sanchez, and Vogelsong in the rotation. Zito is not as good as any of them. Again, don't matter how much he is paid, it only matters what the best rotation is.

    And that is not really sunk costs in this instance, as Zito is still probably worth more than any replacement pitcher you can find in the free agent and trade market, but the problem now is that there is no spot for him in the rotation.

    So unless the Giants go with a 6-man rotation, he will have no where to go except the bullpen, where he is not really suited, or the Giants finally release him or trade him away.

    That is the only logical outcome I can come up with, if you have a better idea on how to resolve all that and not get rid of Zito, please share, but I assume your idea of teaching Barry the knuckle-ball is the best you got (since you note "the only realistic hope"), and I guess you don't know, but the knuckleball is one of the toughest pitches around to master.

    From what I understand, your hands has be just right, and heck, Lance Niekro had two of the best ever, his uncle and dad, to teach him and he still hasn't made the majors yet as a knuckleballer. Zito will probably be done with his contract before he learns how to knuckleball.

    The way I see it playing out is the Giants will probably seek a trade this off-season, either of Jonathan Sanchez or Barry Zito (with most of his salary covered by the Giants). If that don't happen, then they will all battle in spring training for a spot.

    Assuming Zito loses, then if he at least pitched well, another team would probably take him off our hands as long as we pay most of his salary (leaving, say, $1-3M for the other team to pay) for a failed prospect or two.

    And if he don't pitch well, then it would be logical to release him in that case, even if it is more money released in the history of baseball.

    What matters is putting together the best rotation we can.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, OGC - somehow it hadn't occurred to me that those 15 players were the "pool". I more or less figured a team could call up anyone they felt like in September. Naturally, probably the same names, and of course I understand that the 40 man roster can change, but other than that, I didn't really get that. Thanks.

    Yeah, I think anonymous is more saying that unless Zito does something radically different he should go. A knuckleball is indeed insanely hard to throw, or more accurately, to throw where it knuckles regularly. Otherwise it's just the fattest, slowest fastball you ever saw. Every story I've ever heard about knuckleballers is that they always threw it, even if it was just for fun on the sidelines. You take Bouton, as I remember he could throw one as a kid, he just had no need for it in a game until he blew his elbow out and it was try that or retire.

    I can just hear the howls at the gopher balls Zito would give up if he tried his brand-new knuckleball. I do think it takes years.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's the thing Marc, Lance has been throwing it for fun on the side for a long time now, it's like the family business or something, and he was going to go to it full-time once his dream of being a position player failed.

    So he was already trying to do that his last few weeks with the Giants, then I think he went to Houston's farm system to try to make it there.

    Yep, he was with Houston, but again as position player, then went to Atlanta's farm system in 2009 and finally did some serious pitching there, in the rookie league, and just got blasted there.

    He has been out of organized baseball now for two seasons, making him 32 YO and unlikely to try to make it as a knuckleballer by now, one would think, unless he's going to pull a Salomon Torres resurrection act.

    Oh, and you're very welcome. As Rory Paap once said about me, when asked about me, I just like to talk about the Giants.

    ReplyDelete
  7. And about Anon's comment, Marc, he in the first part is talking about how it would not make sense to drop Zito and the contract, that was what I was answering in my comments to him.

    He did then seem to talk about how Zito has nothing, so he appears to be one of the rare breeds: he thinks Zito cannot do anything yet he realizes that the Giants cannot necessarily just dump the huge contract.

    I think a dump is possible now, whereas before I thought Zito was the best alternative, but Vogelsong has made him expendable. There is still a lot that could happen that could derail that possible scenario, though.

    ReplyDelete

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