Friday, February 08, 2013

Your 2013 Giants: Pre-Fanfest News

News from Chron and Merc.

Posey Extension Openness

Biggest news for me is that the Giants and Posey stated publicly that they are open to discussing a long-term contract this spring.  Of course, that don't mean that they will come to an agreement, but it is good that it is at least out in public, the Giants generally don't talk about such stuff unless they are serious about getting it done (like with all of Cain's extensions, Lowry's, Sandoval's, Bumgarner's).

Posey Handling Affects Belt

Meanwhile, the Giants plan to keep on keeping on:  their 2012 handling of Posey will continue into 2013.  He will continue to see a lot of time at 1B, and given how well Belt played last season, the Giants plan on moving him to LF a lot of those times if he continues to earn it.  So Blanco should not get too comfortable starting out there in LF.

I still think the Giants should just make Belt the LF, so that he gets acclimated to playing there full-time, and sign someone who can play 1B well and hit well enough to play there most games.  I always thought Ishikawa would be perfect for that, but there must be other lefties who play defense well at 1B while hitting OK.  Besides, we know that either Sandoval or Posey will end up starting at 1B some day, so Belt's hold on the position is tentative at best, anyway, in the long run.

No Extension for Lincecum

I was hoping maybe for something, but this made the most sense.  Sabean does not envision a contract extension for The Kid (see his new look? check this link) before the season ends.  Lincecum is in poor negotiating position due to his poor 2012 and thus his side will not be as interested in talking unless you are ignoring his 2012 and acting like it never happened.  The Giants, meanwhile, don't want to give him a big contract if 2012 is a precursor to Tim's future performances, as his seasonal performances have been in a downtrend.  But if he has a good season, and he needed to get into great shape this off-season to do that, I think, the Giants probably would kick the tires with him at the end of the season, in order to try to sign him during the period they have exclusivity to talk with him.

Given how he was about money before, though, I expect him to test the free agent waters and get $25M+ per season from some team for 4-5 years, I can't see any team giving him that big a contract to his age 35 (which a 6 year contract would do).  I don't see the Giants doing that.  But I hope they offer him a big short term deal, he claims to like short term deals more, around $27M for 2 years plus an option (let's say $26M for 2014 and $27M for 2015), see if we can entice him to stay that way.

Unfortunately Pablo Needs to Slim Down

This is such an old story.  Sounds like they are playing nice in the press and saying that they think that he can slim down in time for the regular season.  I'm just glad he has no more hamate bones to break, though I'm no Doctor, is there another bone in the hand that can break from swinging a bat?

Romo IS the Closer... Unless He's Not

Bochy made it clear that Romo will be the closer in name and function during the 2013 season, this is his position as he earned it with his performance down the stretch and in the playoffs.  There will be no closer by committee, which his new contract paid him like.

That said, the Giants will handle him with care because he has had physical issues previously in his career, plus the extra throwing he did in the playoffs.  On top of that, he's going to throw in the WBC as well, away from the Giants coaches and thus could be handled in a way the Giants would not appreciate.  So if you have an extra spot on your fantasy pitching staff in 2013, you might want to grab Affeldt or Casilla to get the occasional extra save, particularly if you have Romo on your team.

Bumgarner Figures It Out

Madison had late season struggles (much like Lincecum) but whereas Tim's problem was with his conditioning (I really hope he fixed that this off-season, why didn't the writers ask him that?), Bumgarner said his was due to fatigue that was due to poor mechanics.  He worked on his mechanics over the winter and feels that he did all he could to fix things.

He talked about how much he learned about his mechanics over the past few years early last season.  He noted that he just threw when he first became a pro, and had very little idea on why and when he was successful.  He has learned since turning pro when he is throwing right and when he is not, and this interview suggests that he knows himself very well now, and thus he pronounced himself fixed for 2013.  We will see.

Zito Wants to End his Career With Giants

Wow, given how poorly he's been treated here by fans, that's a shocker.  But he does love working in the Bay Area, it seems, and I think he recently moved up here, with his new wife, if I recall right.  If he gives us a great deal to make up for his current contract, I would be open to it (say $3-5M per season for 5 years?).   Otherwise, I think our young guys coming up should be ready enough by 2015 to take over for Zito in the rotation, unless he wants to turn to relieving in the bullpen.

Theriot Turns the Turnstile

Looks like he won't be back.  He wants more playing time than he can expect to get here in SF.  The Giants spoke to him at the Winter Meeting and never heard back from him.  Honestly, I would not mind this as it leaves an opening for Nick Noonan to maybe make the team sometime during the season and probably places an Asian on the team again (Japan League vet Tanaka is in camp battling for MI position; he said he wants to start eventually, but did he know about Scutaro's contract?).  Probably Arias and Tanaka are the two MI to begin the season, but Scutaro is old and Holliday is still playing for the Cards, so you never know what happens to the 2B.

Surkamp on Track

LHP Eric Surkamp had TJS last July and hopes to return this July.  He's throwing at 90 feet, so I assume that is good since the mound is 60 feet 6 inches from home plate (did you know that the reason for this distance is that in the original schematics, 0 inches was written in, but I guess he curled it and the guy laying out the field read it as 6 inches.  FACT!).

TJS today is so routine and many players return to not only throw as well as before, but some could throw even harder.  But it is no sure thing so I'll keep my fingers crossed for Eric, he seems like a nice guy from the interviews I've read.  Some are OK after a year, but some require two years to fully recover.  Since he did not rely on his velocity before, I would guess that he can return sooner than later in terms of matching prior performance.

Brett's Earned It

Sabean on right-hander Brett Bochy, who will be in camp: “He’s earned it. He had a real nice season going last year until fatigue set in. We’ll have to watch him in the beginning. All these relievers, whether a prospect or somebody trying to make the team, half the bullpen is pitching in the WBC so they’re going to get a chance to be out there.”  Nice of Sabes to praise his buddy Bruce's little boy!  :^)

Spring Training Next Week

Go Giants!!!  Defend your World Championship!!!

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