Sunday, December 10, 2006


Signings and Stuff

After a rather subdued first month of the 2006 offseason, the Giants have suddenly risen from their slumber to sign or re-sign a flurry of players in the past two weeks. I've actually heard some fans ripping Brian Sabean for not shelling out the big bucks to the big names on the market this offseason. Please. Sabean deserves plenty of criticism for some of his moves so far (Rich Aurilia at first base?!?) but given the current insanity of the marketplace, inaction is probably the best action this offseason.

Unfortunately, it sounds as if the decision-makers in the Giants front office did their best to be a bunch of boobs, only to be thwarted by equally dim-witted GMs. The Giants reportedly offered big contracts to Carlos Lee, Juan Pierre, and Gary Matthews, all players who don't deserve half of what they were given.

Lee is an above average slugger with shaky defensive skills and who has never had an OPS over .900. Does that sound like a guy who should command $16 million a year to you? Pierre is a crappy speedster who led the majors in outs made, so I'm happy to report that the Dodgers get the pleasure of paying him $9 million a year for the next five seasons. In early October, Matthews was rumored to be getting a deal around $6 million over three years, and that was considered overpaying. $50 million for five years? The moral of the story here for all you parents who want to retire early is to get your kids on the baseball

Basically, the Giants were fortunate to be outbid for a lot of these guys. Even Alfonso Soriano, the best free agent of the bunch, is not a guy I want to be paying Alex Rodriguez money to for the next eight years. There is no sure superstar on the market, and it is especially dangerous because even mediocre players are expensive. I mean, Jason Marquis is about to sign a three year deal for $21 million...buh buh buh whaaaaa???

The Giants are not looking at a particularly bright future in their current state, so why saddle the roster with one big multiyear contract on a guy who is probably not going to be very good by the time the deal is half over? The best thing is to just replenish the hideous farm system, get younger, and patch the holes with some cheap talent lying around the majors.

Young talent, you say? Pish posh. I know it sounds like a broken record, but instead of giving some young guys like Todd Linden or Fred Lewis a shot in the lineup, the Giants went out and signed a bunch of crappy old guys to act as lineup patches in some sort of hackneyed attempt at contending next year. Time and again, when there's young guys to be given a chance, Sabean will always return to the creaky-kneed retread who had his last good season like five years ago. Sabean is Pooh Bear, while the vets are like the honey jar. Even though he gets his nose stuck every time, he just can't keep away, dammit.

So instead of Todd Linden we get some ungodly situation where both Dave Roberts and Randy Winn patrol the outfield at the same time. In lieu of Carlos Pena or some other easily obtainable bat, there's Rich Aurilia and his goatee. Instead of basically anybody with a pulse, there's Pedro Feliz, back to terrorize us for another year while costing the team loads of runs. The thing about a young guy like Fred Lewis is that, hey, he costs nothing, so if he sucks just send him down and try to find something else that will work. If Lewis proves himself a major leaguer, bam, the Giants have a quality bat worth pennies on the dollar. If Dave Roberts suddenly stops hitting? Um, problems. The Giants are on the hook for $18 million for three years and Roberts takes up space on the roster while probably featuring prominently in some really gawdawful Giants TV promos.

So then, y'all excited about that Aurilia-Feliz-Molina three-headed beast in the middle of the batting order? Are you not entertained? Yeah, the Giants 2007 lineup looks about as exciting as snails mating.

-On a humorous side note, some poor sap over on McCovey Chronicles posted a long defense of Pedro Feliz, only to be rightly torn to shreds by several of the other readers on that site. Seriously, they were on the guy like hyenas on a carcass. For a self-proclaimed leader of the growing movement to boot Feliz off the face of the earth, it makes for a satifying read.

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