Sunday, November 25, 2012

Your 2013 Giants: Five Added to 40-Man Roster

Sorry, but things have been busy, here is the latest news on the Giants 40-man roster additions, as reported by sfgiants.com.  Five players have been added to the 40-man roster, after a lot of space was cleared out within a week of the glorious 2012 season that was the San Francisco Giants second World Championship in three years, including the release of RHP reliever Hensley and the sending of Burriss to AAA.  Even with the addition of these five players, there is still five more open spots in the 40-man roster, indicating that the Giants are hoping to add a number of free agents to the roster during the off-season.

  • RHP Jake Dunning:  24 YO Dunning is a reliever, a little old for the EL in 2012 season at 23, but not that old either.  His 4.10 ERA was not that special, but he had a 2.41 K/BB ratio, which is good, and a low 2.9 BB/9, but not really that great for AA if he hopes to make the majors at some point.  He should get promoted to AAA but needs to do more if he wants to make the majors.
  • LHP Edwin Escobar:  20 YO Escobar started 22 games and had a nice 2.96 ERA in the Sally League.  He had a stellar 3.81 K/BB ratio, with a superb 2.2 BB/9, but his 8.4 K/9, while good for the league, is not all that special if he wants to make the majors, though it should be noted that most of the hitters had 2 more years of experience over him and thus as he catches up in age to the competition, he should see improvement.  And at 20, he's got a lot of time to develop as he rises through the minors.
  • RHP Chris Heston:  24 YO Heston is one of those prospects who will need to prove it at every level he rises to.  And he certainly did in AA, 2.24 ERA in 25 starts, 3.38 K/BB ratio, good 2.4 BB/9 and OK 8.2 K/9, and stellar 0.1 HR/9, as his over 50% GB% rate over his career:  60% in Rookie in 2009, 57% in Augusta in 2010, 58% in San Jose in 2011, and 53% in Richmond in 2012.  The large dip in AA in 2012 suggests that he's started to lose his advantage over the hitters already, so 2013 will be a big test for him when he gets to tackle AAA and see if he can adjust to the higher level of competition.
  • MI Nick Noonan:  23 YO Noonan has been my pet favorite for a number of years now.  After his stellar second half in San Jose a few years back, where he showed a lot of batting skills, being able to reduce his strikeout rate a lot while also getting more walks than strikeouts for about half the season, I hew to the Baseball Forecaster truism that once a hitter shows a skill, he owns it, then it becomes a matter of showing that skill again consistently.  He has not done it for a couple of years after that, but he showed marked improvement in 2012, though part of that appears due to a high BABIP that is similar to what he put up when he first turned pro, but not even close compared to his numbers the past three seasons.  
  • OF Juan Perez:  26 YO Perez was too old to be a valid prospect in AA in 2012, but he showed some improvement in his batting discipline, cutting down on his strikeouts in 2012 vs. 2011 and before, and his contact rate, while not quite there yet (that is >= 85%) was very close at 82.4%, and I think that is the main reason he got added.  His batting line was a nice .302/.341/.441/.782, but as you can see, he don't get many walks, so he will need to hit and well if he hopes to stick in the majors.  Improving his contact rate a bit more would help him get there, that plus his power to go with good enough speed that helps him steal bases (but his technique is sadly lacking, as his CS is very high).

These players were added in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft process, which will be conducted on December 6th at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.

ogc thoughts

Obviously, with so many spots still open on the 40 man roster, the Giants appear to be hoping to add Scutaro and Pagan, though the latter appears to be slipping away, both because of years and salary, and because the Giants already have Gregor Blanco as a viable CF candidate.  The Giants are clearly intending for Gary Brown to be their future CF, and a long term contract with Pagan could mean that he could be pushed to LF at some point once Brown is ready.   Brown should start 2013 in AAA and could be ready to come up sometime in the 2013-14 seasons time frame.  And at the money he appears to be rumored to be getting, the only way he can produce such value is if he played CF.

Meanwhile, as DrB elaborated nicely on at his blog and which I've touched on in my comments here and there,  Blanco gives the Giants a lot of flexibility in terms of whatever moves they make regarding the outfield for the 2013 season.  Him plus that both Kieschnick and Peguero appear to be ready to compete for either a starting OF spot, or more likely, a utility OF spot, and perhaps two spots if Blanco is starting CF and the Giants sign a LF who can replace Pagan's hitting.  Thus, Pagan is nice to have but not as much of a necessity as re-signing Scutaro.

Though Scutaro is also not as necessary to get either if the Giants can retain Ryan Theriot.  I assume Theriot is hoping to land a starting spot somewhere but if not, the Giants will welcome him back to the bench as MI utility.  But if nobody was offering last off-season, I don't really see anyone doing that this off-season either.  Though even he is not necessary, as Joaquin Arias looks like he is a good utility MI, and Nick Noonan looks like he has been groomed to take on a utility MI role, like Burriss was, by getting a lot of starts in the minors at 2B and SS.

If the 25 man roster were to be selected today, here is the ones I would think would be chosen:

  • Starters:  Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Vogelsong, Zito
  • Relievers:  Romo, Affeldt, Casilla, Lopez, Kontos, Mijares, and Runzler/Otero
  • Starting Position:  Posey, Belt, Arias, Sandoval, Crawford, Kieschnick, Blanco, Pence
  • Bench:  Sanchez, Arias, Gillaspie, Pill, Peguero

I think the relievers are pretty set but that some vets will be invited to compete for the final reliever spot with Runzler and Otero who are most likely to contend from the 40 man.  Machi will be in the mix as well, and I think that this is probably Heath Hembree's to lose, though I would not count out Brett Bochy either, as a dark horse candidate.  I would put Jacob Dunnington in the mix as well.

The Giants clearly need upgrades at 2B and LF/CF (since Blanco could play either) and will likely sign a vet to start at both positions.  The bench also needs upgrades over Gillaspie (as we need another utility MI) and Pill.  Peguero, after his nice showing last September, look ready to take a spot as a 4th OF, though another year of seasoning in AAA would not hurt either, so expect veteran OF's to be invited to camp, probably including a $1-3M veteran free agent at some point.

However, I would note from past observations that the Giants like to keep a spot open for prospects who appear like they might be ready to compete for a starting spot, so I expect LF to be kept open, with Blanco either starting in CF or, if a vet CF is signed, be the lead competitor for the LF starting spot, in competition with Kieschnick, Peguero, and probably at least one vet OF (Nady?).

Overall, the Giants look in pretty good shape for a good run at defending their title in 2013.  I'm very happy with where they are right now, though I would have preferred that Scutaro been signed by now, as every day he is not signed, is a sign that other teams are showing him enough interest to lure him away.   I think Arias is doable starting at 2B for us for the first half, with possible upgrade mid-season from Noonan or another mid-season trade for an MI.  I would love to have Theriot here again as main utility MI and starting 2B placeholder until mid-season if necessary.  I am fine with Blanco in CF and leading off, he's had an above average OBP for much of career and that is the most important thing to look for out of leadoff, plus he has great defensive skills and great speed as well.

37 comments:

  1. Killing time here, aren't we? Hopefully somebody blinks and the CF domino stack will start to fall.

    Jake Dunning seems to fit the mold of the ideal Giants RH RP prospect: 6'4, throws mid 90s, has a slider and some idea on how to pitch. This is Hembree, and this is Cody Hall. I think Cody Hall is a big time sleeper who might bust out pretty quick, and I like Dunning as well, the Giants obviously want to protect a mid 90s arm.

    Good stuff with Noonan. He has hung in, something that HS kids can do. Future utility guy sounds like a plan.

    In the 4th OF grudgematch that is going to happen, I have to think Peggs contact skills will win out over Kieschnick's power potential.

    Its nice to have a 5th starter option like Heston or Kickham to throw in the mix with the higher upside pitchers. After going through the review on Sickels, I have to say that I like our farm right now. Its not a star driven place, but its got some depth and most of all I see the Giants moving with a purpose.

    Yes, it would be nice to have a really good OF who can do it all. But in the meantime I can mellow out with a bunch of high velocity pitching prospects.

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    1. Yeah, a little bit, had hoped for more action, but until someone signs, there's still hope, right? :^)

      I like Noonan enough that I think he can seriously contend for the starting 2B spot with Panik. But he still needs to develop more to do that. But that's not the worse thing to have happen, have two legit prospects at 2B.

      Kieschnick did very well in AAA last season, which is what emboldens me to think that he has a better chance than Peguero at this point. Francisco needs to do more to convince me that he can hit.

      However, his defensive and speed measures were out of this world in his short sample size for Sept 2012, and if he can be just be very superior on defense and speed, he might be one of the few players able to justify starting strictly on defensive abilities.

      Yeah, many are not satisfied with the Giants farm system right now, but I like how it is shaping up considering our lack of top 10 overall picks in the past three seasons.

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  2. Forgot to include Brian Wilson in the discussion. Schulman has some info on Wilson: http://blog.sfgate.com/giants/2012/11/26/why-this-could-be-brian-wilsons-final-week-as-a-giant/

    The plan among fans have been to sign Wilson to a small base with very achievable game appearances so that if he is healthy, he gets his big paycheck.

    However, apparently Wilson feels that the organization owes him for putting himself out there physically for the team, particularly in 2010.

    I would note here that Wilson got $8.5M last season while on the DL for most of the season. Seems like he got a lot of money already from the team.

    So it appears likely that the Giants will DFA Wilson come the arbitration deadline, as there is no way the team is going to offer him $6.8M minimum salary that he would be entitled to if he were to go thru arbitration this off-season.

    First off, I just want to say Thank You to Brian for making his time with us entertaining and quirky, and especially for helping win the 2010 World Championship for us. But as Brian noted himself earlier this year, the record of players coming back from their second TJS is very bleak, he would have to beat the odds to come back.

    I would not bet against him coming back, but neither would I want the Giants betting $6.8M or more that he is coming back, either. If this is his last week as a Giants, I wish him the best (except when he's pitching against the Giants or if he is pitching for one of our NL West competitors).

    And I'm afraid that he might be gone, the LA Dodgers just got a historic huge local TV contract that will net them somewhere around $250-300M per year, more than the vast majority of teams get in TOTAL, and throwing out $5-7M to secure Brian Wilson, a true recent icon of the Giants, would be quite a coup for the D-gers, even if he does not do much for them. And if he is back to old tricks, he will be quite a thorn in our beards.

    And thinking about it, this TV deal is probably what a lot of big money free agents have been waiting for to happen, as then the D-gers would be flush with money and spending. The dominoes, as Shankbone noted above, could be falling soon...

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    1. The Dodgers TV deal, even in the article which outed it, seems ludicrously overpriced. The Angels are getting $147M/year and also gave up 25% team equity - yet we are to believe the Dodgers are going to get 60% more annual in the exact same market? With the exact same buyer?

      Doesn't seem to make sense to me unless they also cough up 50% equity - which in turn assumes a 50% jump in equity valuation over the ridiculous $2B paid for the Dodgers what, less than a year ago?

      In this case, the annual take is $180M + $60M for the equity - but payroll isn't $240M, it is $180M. That number I could believe although there are still 2 major belief gaps to overcome: the instant upward valuation of the Dodgers purchase AND the same market/same buyer payout.

      To put this in perspective, $327M/year from the above speculation plus the Angels deal nets more annual revenue than the next top 5 teams' TV deal put together (from the LA Times article) - and that includes the Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Astros, and Padres.

      c1ue

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    2. Well, the Dodgers are a more and better established franchise in the region, kind of like the difference between the Yankees and Mets in NYC. That's why the Angels need to drop their prices to among the lowest in the majors to boost their attendance figures, their average price was $22 in the 2010 season, the Dodgers were $30.

      Even with that, the Dodgers still outdrew the Angels throughout much of their history together in the LA area, even during the Dodger's down years, they still outdrew the Angels, and not that long ago, the Dodgers drew double the attendance that the Angels drew. LAA's smart new billionaire owner knew that getting kids to become Angels fans builds interest going forward as they grow up and have spending cash, and that's why he dropped prices, to draw in not only more fans, but more families, to plan the seeds, inception style, to breed more Angel's fans.

      So yeah, the Dodgers getting much more than the Angels in the same market and same buyer makes a lot of sense, if you look at the history of attendance for both teams.

      And I doubt the Dodgers are giving up any large equity value in return for the deal, I can see up to 5%, like the Giants with KNBR, but 25% is just too large unless the guy is already looking to sell out his share to the buyer at some point.

      At $180M per year, LAD can afford to throw away $5M to draw away Wilson from the Giants, an great PR move, if not on the field. And if BWeez is right that he's back, that's an additional bonus for LA for tweaking our noses.

      I did not go through all the numbers, but remember that this deal is valuation now, whereas all those other ones are probably from a few years back. I would also note that the Yankees are not a fair comparison point because they owe the YES network to a large degree, and thus could give themselves a sweetheart deal, relatively, to boost the value of their YES network, which they can tell sell off at a higher price. In fact, I recall them doing something like that right now.

      Oh, here is a good article, haven't read it all yet, but looks good from perusal: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dodgers-send-shock-waves-through-local-tv-landscape/

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  3. I don't believe this, lost my whole post!!!

    Schulman news on Wilson:

    http://blog.sfgate.com/giants/2012/11/26/why-this-could-be-brian-wilsons-final-week-as-a-giant/

    Thank you to Brian for all he has done for us, but I don't want the Giants spending $6.8M+ on a player who may or may not play for us in 2013. He says the team owes him for what he did for the team before, but I would note that he got $8.5M last season for sitting on the DL, seems to me that the team has paid him pretty well already.

    I can see the D-gers spending $5M+ on him, just to tweak the Giants - he's such an icon now - and if he's really back, he would be a huge thorn in our beards. That's because they just got a huge local TV contract, $250-300M per season, so that's pocket change for them.

    And thinking about it, that is probably why not many big money free agents have signed yet, they are waiting to see how much LA gets and, now that they are flush with cash, will negotiate hard with LA for some of that cash. Some players will hit the jackpot with them.

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    1. OK, I refreshed the page a number of times and nothing came up...

      Sigh...

      Well, now you can see how much difference between the two comments, shortened and from memory...

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  4. Saw the Wilson comment from Schulman. I don't know, its not an ideal situation, and there will be some posturing. The Giants have historically been willing to drop coin, but there are also examples where they've stiff armed. I think his marketing savvy features keep the upper Brain Trust very involved. No way Larry Baer is gonna let him go easy. But 2 times TJ is a rough road. I would like him back at 3MM plus incentives to 9MM for the year, with an option. I think that's a fair compromise.

    Casilla is an issue though, with a 5.3-5.8MM estimate, that is too much for a non-closing Right Hander. He does have a live arm, and the rest of the pen doesn't really go much past 92-93, so he does have some value in that sense. I just don't trust him to hold under pressure.

    Trying to look at the 2B trade market, but I can't seem to get motivated. Hope Scutaro looks around, has his fun and then makes his commitment to his team.

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    1. I think the Giants have to consider keeping Casilla, unless they really think Kontos is ready to move up in the pen, plus that one of the young guys are ready too, like Hembree or Otero, and not just competing for a spot. The bullpen is so vital to their success.

      Though if they look around to trade him, maybe we can pick up something nice from another team.

      In any case, mid-$5M is not too much overpay, I think, for one season, until Hembree is ready for sure (probably) in 2014.

      $3M + incentives are doable with me.

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  5. Thought about your Agent Ned scenario, usually I am leading that charge. This time I say no go, Coletti will have Jason Schmidt on the brain, and despite what Wilson says, if the Giants are not confident, I don't see any doctor vetting him for opening day duty. He's more like a mid season thing, so I bet he gets little interest at 6.8MM, a lot of low balls in the 2-3MM range.

    Hembree, Runzler and Cody Hall can step up any time... As frustrating as it is to watch the Gints draft pen arm after pen arm sometimes, if they hit on a couple, we'll be in business.

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    1. Well, I think they would be wary too, but when you have $300M burning in your pocket, $5M for Wilson is pocket lint for them.

      College pen arms can deliver value sooner, but to your point, the value is then limited lifetime. Compromise when your team is very competitive and the window could close in a year or two (depending on Lincecum and how others' arms hold up).

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  6. Ichiro off the board! The Yanks are looking like the 2004-6 Gigantes more and more now, except their contracts are on steroids. Their lack of pitching is kind of embarrassing. How many years do you have to do Andy Petitte drama anyways?

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    1. Yeah, Ichiro signing with the Yanks was a strong rumor in recent days, so that was coming.

      Yeah, and they gave Whiteside a split contract, $200K minors, $650K majors.

      The thing is, Pettitte is still a pretty good pitcher, his stats look great for 2012, except that he missed 60% of the season. If he's pulling a Rocket by resting in the first half and then signing to be someone's starter, I guess that would work too. I guess they will put up with the drama until he's no longer performing well.

      And their pitching staff is lacking, but they were expecting to include Michael Pineda to the rotation and he Tommy Johned during spring training, leaving them scrambling. If Pineda was his normal self, him, CC, Hughes, and Pettitte is a nice quartet, and Kuroda is pretty good too. Also, Ivan Nova had good peripheral stats, so his ERA appears to be inflated. His xFIP has him at 3.92 and SIERA 3.84 for 2012, vs. his actual 5.02 (though his tERA is 5.36!). Nice 2.73 K/BB, which if sustained, is good. So their starting rotation looks OK to me, are you letting Andy spoil the whole barrel of pitchers?

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    2. I think its a middle barrel, with the only bright spot is CC. They'd look a lot better with another 1/2 instead of solid 3s across the board and Nova, who I think does show promise but is a 4/5 guy right now.

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    3. Pineda, assuming he returns back as good as he was before, would have been a good 1/2 to pair with CC for 2013. Then you got Pettitte as a nice #3 to follow them (assuming he is healthy). Lastly, you got a number of choices. Kuroda as a good #4 starter in the bunch, though perhaps Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova might be OK too.

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    4. Yankees pitching isn't terrible - especially given their bandbox ballpark.

      But their offense is very, very suspect. The Yanks need 1s or 2s in order to win because of their ballpark and division.

      My 2 cents...

      c1ue

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  7. I think that Scoots will resign somewhere in the 2 year/12 MM range. That pushes Arias, in your scenario, to the bench. I also think we've got a good shot at Riot, but that will happen late in the off season after he gets no bites from any other team for a starting gig. I'm thinking more and more the G's are going to sign Swisher, although I'd prefer to have Pagan back. Swish pushes Blanco to CF, and probably a Hairston signing to platoon with him there. Peggs probably gets the 5th OF slot. I don't think the doyers sign Weezy, but you may be right. I think he's back for about $3MM plus incentives based on appearances with a team option for 2014 at something like $8-9 MM. My projected roster:
    SP: Cain, Bum, Tron, Zeets, Timmy
    RP: Romo, Affeldt, Casilla, Lopez, Weezy, Mijares, Kontos
    IF: Buster, Belt, Scoots, Panda, Crawford
    OF: Swish, Blanco, Pence
    Bench: Hector, Arias, Riot, Hairston, Peggs

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    1. I should have noted that I think Weezy will return most probably.

      I'm seeing the Doyers/D-gers :^D trying to sign Wilson as a scenario because they have so much money floating around that they can do stupid stuff like that in the market just to screw around with the Giants. They clearly have tried that before with Schmidt, Huff, Uribe (probably others but these come to mind fastest), and they have signed a large number of former Giants prospects to run through their farm system. But to your point, yes, probably not likely, but I wanted to point out that possibility and why.

      If there has ever been a player more tied to his team, it is Brian Wilson. I suppose you can take his act elsewhere, but it would never be the same. I think his wacky personality fits living in SF and I just can't see the Giants low-balling Wilson either, though they should be smart business people and not overpay either. Given all those, I think he is staying around. That contract is like what Shankbone's been throwing out, plus you added an team option, which I like too, and I think he would be happy enough with that to sign.

      He may be crazy, but he's not stupid, as the saying goes, in any good negotiation, you start at the extremes then move to consensus. Starting out in the middle is stupid in any negotiation (and I've learned that over time, because I would always start out at what I think is the fair eventually mid-point while others would make the extreme demands. It is all part of the dance, part of the game).

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    2. I understand, but I feel sad seeing Timmy coming in last on many people's lists, even after Zito. I still think Big Time Jimmy Tim is still in there, and I would not be surprised to see him next season, after he gets himself into proper physical shape.

      Roster looks good, yeah, I can go for most of that. I really doubt Wilson is ready to start the season, who do you think will hold the spot warm for him? Hembree? Otero? Machi? Other? TBD?

      I see the Swisher rumors, but I also see the Victorino rumors as well. I have to think that the Giants will pursue the Flyin' Hawaiian the hardest among him, Pagan, and Swisher because of his combination of fair value cost, years, on-base ability, speed, and defense.

      As I delineated on DrB's comparison between Victorino and Pagan, I don't think that they are exactly the same type of player, but for the expected price for each, both annually and in total contract value, Victorino appears to be the better value, particularly with Brown potentially ready to start in the 2013-14 timeframe. But Victorino does not appear to be a huge improvement over Blanco either, so I'm reaching the point where I don't want to pay too much for him, given his apparent drop in abilities in recent seasons.

      And as DrB outlined excellently in a recent post, Blanco is a good enough substitute should the CF free agents fall through for us, we should pursue and see if we can get a good value, but not feel like we need to sign anyone just because we want to repeat in 2013, like when we signed all those free agents while trying to win one with Bonds around, some like Benitez and Rowand were clear stretches, with enough question marks that only a near peak performance could result in a fair deal, and neither did.

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    3. Yeah, its sort of apples and oranges, but its my Randy Winn point - you don't go chasing into the middle market of OFs for the 3/4 types. You develop those. Its a big waste of time to be paying 9-12MM for production you can find at 5-10% cost and 85-90% efficiency. Speed fades, not much power, and not great BA/OBP. So what are you paying for exactly? Veteranness? Now sometimes you're forced into it, but I like the year to year on these types of guys. Now that the buzz has worn off on the World Series, its time to look at Pagan objectively, and I'm glad the Giants are treating his negotiation the way they appear to, with only 2 years on the table. That is a smart move, and its coming on top of mostly smart moves the last 4-5 years, especially with an eye towards the long term.

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    4. I actually think, if Lincecum is up for it, that the Giants bring up Surkamp or another edge pitcher and do a rookie/Lincecum combo.

      That would be creative indeed.

      Scutaro and Pagan - I'm still thinking the numbers bandied about here are much too low. If they stick around, it is going to be $8M/yr and $10+M/yr, 2 year deals. They're both not getting any younger and need to reap hay while the sun shines.

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    5. I agree that they need to get all that they can get. I just don't see anyone jumping, particularly for Scutaro. He only got $6M per year in his last deal and he's now 3 years older. And remember, when the Giants got him, he was hitting very poorly.

      But with Upton getting 5 years, $75.25M, who knows? I now agree with you about Pagan, he's going to get a big payday now.

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    6. I don't see at all why Scutaro couldn't get a raise. Yes, he didn't do all that well in Colorado, but the Rockies were a terrible team almost since the 2nd week of the season. I for one don't fault any player for not being at their best for a terrible team.

      I'd also note that Torii Hunter is 37, and he just got the biggest deal ever in his life.

      As for Pagan, yes, it does look indeed that he's going to be $12M/yr for 3 years or more.

      c1ue

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    7. Yeah, after sleeping on it, Upton's deal is just a big shocker to me, salary is just an escalating metric in baseball and it just took another big jump, so I'm beginning to see you (and other's) point on this.

      This is crazy though. Upton's salary during his arbitration years have hewed to the salary range I would think he and Pagan should get, roughly $8-9M. With some inflation, $10M per year looks possible. The Braves basically just raised the value of middling CF 50% with that signing.

      And at $15M per year, seems like the Braves just spent their Christmas bonus from ESPN on a player. (I think the ESPN contract added $15-20M in revenues to each team's bottom-line)

      So I can see your point now about Scutaro. If Upton only got something in the $10M AAV range that I expected Pagan to get, then Scutaro is not getting a raise. But even at his advanced age, he's probably getting a raise from someone.

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  8. First domino falls: Braves sign Upton to 5 years, $75.25M, average $15M per year: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/11/braves-to-sign-bj-upton.html

    Wow, OK, maybe the market has changed or maybe the Braves were just desperate, but Upton's numbers are not that way different from Pagan, main differences are these: this contract covers ages 28-32, so he could be expected to improve some, or at least not decline much, whereas Pagan starts his contract at age 31 already, and a five year deal would cover his 31-35 years. Also, despite being younger than Pagan, Upton has 6 full MLB seasons under his belt, while Pagan only has two plus one that is about 75% of a season. However, Pagan actually gets on base better than Upton, so he profiles as a leadoff guy while Upton is really more of a middle lineup guy, he has a 167 ISO, averaging over 20 homers so he profiles more batting 5/6/7 in the lineup. however, both are very good basestealers, so any team is probably going to hit Upton 2/3 to take advantage of his ability to steal bases and get into scoring position for their big RBI guys, which is mainly where he batted in 2012. He's much better against LHP, not so good RHP, while Pagan is much better against RHP than LHP. Upton's career numbers are very skewed by his good stats his first two seasons, but his last four is worse than Pagan's last three years.

    Upton's 4 year stats is less than the average NL CF (though his overall is above). He is above average for a second place hitter though, even with the 4 year stats. .242/.316/.420/.736 is his batting line for the past four seasons. Both of them are actually significantly below average CF, both are -5 DRS players at a seasonal basis, meaning that their defense cost their teams half a win per season. Meanwhile, neither of them hit well enough to be a corner OF. Their main value is above average offensive production for a CF, plus much above average speed. That's a dangerous edge to play, much like our signing of Rowand.

    Still, all you need is one bozo GM to screw the pot (and I think the Braves overpaid for Upton) and Pagan will get mega-bucks. 3 years seem likely now, and above $10M, though how much, we will see.

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    1. Yep, that 2 year deal they were holding strong on just won't hunt. They should up it to 3/30MM and they'll get outbid. C'est la guerre. Maybe there are some domino's left stranded. I wouldn't be terribly opposed to Josh Hamilton at 3/75MM max. I also won't hold my breath on some team exceeding that. Victorino, I'd do the Huffy contract. Most likely they need to look at lessers... Cody Ross at a Sabes special of 2/12MM would be OK. I do not want Bourne or Swisher at these type of prices, I bet they both get 5 year deals as well. The Tigers were smart to go aggressive early with Hunter. I wish we did that. See, OGC, I can be flexible. I wish Sabey Sabes got all bird in the hand this offseason instead of waiting it out.

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    2. According to a recent news blurb, apparently the Giants thought that they had a deal with Ross last season and then he and his reps upped their demands (would have been interesting to know how much the Giants were offering and what Ross was now asking for), angering Sabean and gang.

      Can't disagree with much you speculate on the various players, seems to be a seller's market now with the Upton deal, even the Torii Hunter deal sounded a little high to me.

      I know that you can be flexible, just like you know that I can be flexible.

      Sabean usually is the aggressive one where he moves on quickly. Perhaps he thought that Pagan was close enough that he didn't want to move on so quickly with Hunter, so maybe his talks with others, like Victorino, convinced him that he could have a good alternative even if Hunter signed quickly. Or maybe he was willing to wait until now, for the non-tenders and the Winter Meetings, thinking that he has enough irons in the fire to replace Pagan during this period if there is no resolution soon.

      As you often say, it will be interesting to see (I know I'm paraphrasing, my memory is not as good anymore...)

      But I'm good with the waiting. DrB's post on the flexibility that having Blanco gives the Giants captures a lot of what I was thinking. Also, the Giants, I would think, is not adverse to leaving LF open to competition for Kieschnick, Peguero, and Brown to try to win a starting position, with Blanco ready and able to play either LF or CF, as necessary.

      As much as I liked having Pagan, he's not an ideal leadoff hitter nor is he great defensively. Blanco, while not stellar so far in his career in CF, is slightly above average while Pagan and other alternatives are roughly one win lower on a seasonal rate. And I have to think that placing Blanco permanently in CF would help him improve in his consistency in fielding there, particularly dealing with Death Valley. To boot, he gets on base just as well and steals bases just as well, perhaps better.

      Mind you, Pagan is an upgrade, but at what cost? (to your point)

      So I see the pursuit of Pagan more akin to Uribe than Huff in 2010, a nice to have at the right price, but it's not the end of our competitiveness if he moves on. And at that, I can accept lack of aggressiveness on the Giants, as I don't want them to overpay for Pagan either (which is another way they could have gone with aggressiveness with the bird, I would add).

      I would love to have Cody back, and 2 years at $12M is doable (like DeRosa and Roberts deals), but with the Upton deal upping the ante, I have to think that he would want something in the $15-20M range for 2 years now.

      This deal just puts a damper on free agent signing for the Giants right now, luckily they got Affeldt to the dotted line so fast, else he could be gone too and I feel that he was more critical to success in 2013 than either Scutaro or Pagan. I can see them being aggressive in picking through the non-tenders for some gem somewhere, along with the plan above with Blanco starting and the young players and any non-tender signings competing.

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    3. And that makes sense to me.

      Kieschnick had the type of season that usually gets the Giants brass excited about a prospect, until his injury (again). I can see them living with the strikeouts just to get his power, and his strong arm would make him a weapon in LF.

      Meanwhile, Peguero was amazing on the bases and in the field in his very short stints in September call-up mop-up time. He can't steal 1B, but if you PR him every few games, he's going to steal a lot of bases for your team. And his defense was so great that I have to wonder if he's good enough in CF to make up for the possibility that he don't have much of a batting line. He could be that traditional great fielding CF who can't hit a lick. We can afford that if Belt and Crawford can take things up another level in 2013 and just consistently perform as well as they did in stretches in 2012.

      Brown is a long-shot, but some players don't put on the show toiling in the minors, maybe the chance to win a major league spot focuses him more? Though that could go both ways, in a recent interview, he said that he was distracted by "stuff" in the AFL last season, and thus he's doing better this year by being more focused (he threaded that needle pretty well by not saying that he was screwing around in 2011, but was just not as focused as now, he's a good talker).

      All three possibilities excite me, as one who appreciates home-grown starters who could do possibly do well if given the chance, UNlike the Ortmeiers and Frandsens and Bococks of prior years.

      Thrown an interesting non-tender in there, and that's a good mix for 2013.

      I would also note that Torres was non-tendered, wouldn't mind seeing him get a small deal to come back, maybe even a minor league deal if he's OK with that. He can be a great 4th OF for us again, and basically replace Blanco's role from 2012, who replaced Torres' old role.

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    4. I am beginning to think you and I are the only Brown supporters, and we're looking for windmills. I am dumbfounded 2 months of crap production in the Eastern would bury a guy so much, but he does have his issues, there is no denying that.

      Kieschnick has some nice stats, and I was starting to get excited. The injury sucked, as did all of Nate the Greats. Roger K's contact rates though OGC... those damn contact rates. I fear a giant drop off when he hits the majors, and that he's a combo of Bowker and NTG.

      I'm still actually pretty excited about Frankie Peggs, despite all his problems. I am most likely too in love with contact rates, and the guy is a hacker. We'll see.

      My B/R sponsorship is almost up on Hector Sanchez. I have defended the guy a bunch, but truth be told, he's a good backup catcher, and a guy that I liked for his swing, long before the Belt wars broke out. I correctly predicted the Braintrust would push him, and they did, and now I think I gotta move on to somebody else. Not sure where Hector fits in, but if I take a step back and squint, he is their 2nd biggest trade chip they might consider. Not now, but if things get grim with injuries. I think the walks will fill in, the contact will get better with experience. It bums me out so much scorn has been heaped on a 22 year old the Gints gave the bump to.

      I'd like torres, his BA is so low, he really faltered last year. Maybe a return to the bay will jolt him, but he's going to be 35. I worry about swing slow downs.

      I'm sure it will scrap together. Every offseason is different. It is a shock to see patient Sabean, but he's got his line going towards Pagan and Scutaro, so he has no choice if that's the way he wants to go.

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    5. Yeah, well, we are being realistic and steady about Brown. They are yo-yoing up and down based on the general hype cycle (if you are familiar with Gartner's concept of that) that prospects go through.

      We didn't think that he'll be a star player, but we also think that he shows enough to be at least an average player.

      He has issues, but frankly, even the Top 10 overall prospects have issues, Belt was a top 15-20 and he still has issues after two seasons. His issues this season was not big news to us, but because people got all hyped up by last season, they rode him down the emotional roller coaster this season.

      And yeah, that injury history is a little too reminiscent of NTG.

      He still could flop, but I still like what I'm seeing (as do you), and as we like to say, next season will be interesting.

      Yes, sorry I didn't touch on K's K problems, and thanks for pointing it out. They are significant problems, but he seems like, yes, in the Bowker mode, but I would also throw out both Mark Reynolds and Paul Goldschmidt, D-back farm hands who struck out a lot and still were able to hit OK at the major league level. With those players, you never know how they do until you put them up here in the big show and see how they do. Hence why I said I was excited but was noncommittal as to what exactly we would get from these prospects, Peguero too.

      Relatively, I'm most excited about Peguero among the three prospects. His defense was cray cray, as my daughter might interject, as well as his stolen bases, and he's my best bet for a bench OF at minimum among the three for 2013.

      Like you, I can appreciate hackers who just can hit at any level, though he will have to prove he can in the majors and I'm worried that his contact rate has been dropping as he rose through the system. But if he can maintain that defense to a high level, he could be another of those classic Baltimore Orioles defenders who can't hit but sure could defend. If his speed can shut down Death Valley for opposing hitters, that would be huge for our pitching.

      Again, we wll see.

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    6. Yeah, never quite understand why people get so down on Hector, other than that Posey came out and did so well that he spoiled it for other position prospects.

      What I really liked was how he seemed to rise to the occasion when hitting. Despite playing such a small percentage of the time, he was among the leaders on the team in RBI the first couple of months. He slowed up in the middle of the season, but from what I recall, that was because he was battling some sort of injury and manning up. And if I recall right, he ended the season with a nice stretch.

      And don't forget that he got 2 walks in the nerve racking playoffs, you gotta have stone cajones to do that, I'm looking forward to what he'll do in the majors as he develops. I think he looks good to take over for Posey if/when the braintrust decides to save Posey long-term by moving him to, say, 3B.

      I don't really expect too much out of Torres, but that works because he'll be our #5 OF in my scenario. I like that he plays great defense out there, and yes, his bat looks like it has regressed, but he plays 2 wins above average on defense in the corners, so he only has to hit replacement level (whatever the hell that is :^) in order to provide very good value as a ballplayer.

      Also important, he still hits LHP very well and would pair up nicely with Blanco in a platoon in CF until someone grabs the position for a while. Win-win for minimal (probably $1M, maybe less) cost.

      I think the patience relates to the fact that the Giants have fall back options that work. In Pagan's case, I and DrB have enumerated how we can survive his loss. In Scutaro's case, as I've noted here and elsewhere, Theriot was adequate in producing at the #2 spot, we can't expect Scutaro to hit over .360 in 2013 like he did in 2012 for us, he'll hit close to his batting line for the past few years and Theriot is a close enough in production that I'm fine with him as replacement. Also, you know I'm big on Noonan and he could be ready to come up by mid-season and then we can see what he can do for us. These allow him to be patient.

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  9. $300 million a year = $2 million per game. @50K viewers per game, that's a CPM over $40,000 over an entire season. Super Bowl CPM peaked at $31.

    Even jumping viewership to 1 million per game, still outrageously expensive.

    C1ue

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    Replies
    1. LA market is 40-45MM cable subscribers. Not sure about viewers per game. I can't see Fox blindly bidding against itself for $300, or even $200MM that has been thrown around without getting some sort of equity concession. They have exclusive negotiating right now, but when it gets down to brass tacks?

      What about salary? I think the Dodgers have to put a hard cap at 250MM. And will eventually sour on luxury tax coughs. But at the moment they are all about changing the culture, and throwing mad money to supplement the bad farm system. I was a little surprised at them giving the Red Sox pitching along with all the salary relief though.

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    2. According to this link, the Dodgers were pulling in all of 67K viewers per game: http://www.videonuze.com/article/will-l-a-s-non-sports-fans-revolt-over-dodgers-mega-deal-

      The article also notes that the deal has nothing to do with the economics of the Dodgers games, but rather with the bet that the increased costs forced upon all cable subscribers by adding the Dodgers games into the basic cable tier won't cause major cable subscriber shifts. This actually makes economic sense to me. In very hedge fund fashion, the Dodgers' bet is that what worked for Peter, will work for Paul (them), only of course with double or triple what worked before.

      As the article was talking about $40 per subscriber at $4 billion-20 years/$200M-annual, the $6 billion-20 years/$300M-annual would imply $60 per subscriber per year.

      The question then is if this $5/month will be passively absorbed or will be the straw that broke the cable subscriber's back...

      Be that as it may, Shankbone's comment above also echoes what I have said earlier: whatever the TV deal that gets signed, it won't translate into direct salaries because the hedge fund still has to make money. If in fact the Dodgers aren't even betting on drawing viewers, there's even less reason to maintain or grow payroll - this entire exercise is pure gamesmanship to get Dodgers games included into basic cable.

      c1ue

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    3. Interesting. I'm a Directv guy, some years I get the mlb package, some years I don't. I live in LA, I can watch games on Fox/TBS, ESPN, MLB network, and the Angels/Dodgers Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket. At some point directv becomes a factor, due to their exclusive with the mlb package.

      The wars that go on from time to time are pretty funny with programming. They will trot out the stars of a show to urge viewers to contact the service provider. There was a F/X war, and an A&E war this year alone. I don't pay a huge amount of attention to it, sort of notice in passing. $5/month increase could indeed break it open. That is a tremendous amount of passive (non-watching) viewers. Can you see the Dodgers trotting out Matt Kemp to urge viewers to rattle Directv's cage?

      I think its madness for Fox to pay that much for the rights if that's the kind of viewership getting pulled in. And if that is the YES viewership on the Yanks side, no wonder they're trimming to the luxury tax.

      Delete
  10. The point of what the above article talked about is that there is no 'choice' in a subscriber paying for the programming. Unlike the elective deals you have bought in the past, inclusion of Dodgers games as part of the base cable package means every single cable subscriber winds up paying for this - unless the cable company elects to suck up the cost ( ha ha ). The scam is, if 67K subscribers actually watch the games vs. The 18 million base, the vast majority of non-watching subscribers still have to pay their basic cable bill. Now matter how you slice it ( I.e. Every watcher of every game is a different unique, viewership jumps to Yankees levels, whatever - it is still a case of a large majority subsidizing a small minority including the the Dodgers as a team and Fox Sports as a business.

    ReplyDelete
  11. New fuel to the fire:
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-1202-ct-sports-cost-20121202,0,5996855,full.story

    ReplyDelete

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