Friday, November 23, 2007


Tryptophan-Induced Free Agent Signings

It was certainly a happy Thanksgiving for us Giants fans, even though the team itself did absolutely nothing. No, we should all be joining hands to celebrate the signings of Torii Hunter and Francisco Cordero to too many years at goofy money, two moves that nicely take away any temptation the Giants may have had to overpay for these guys themselves.

The shocking part of the Hunter signing isn't the fact that he was overpaid (hell, I'm surprised he only got five years), but who did the overpaying. The Angels signed Hunter to play center field when they already have a grossly overpaid center fielder of their own and a glut of other outfielders on the 40-man roster. It seems like kind of a redundant PR move. I love Hunter and all, and he's fun to watch, but he's also entering his 30's and likely will start to decline both offensively and defensively pretty soon, and his bat isn't all that good in the first place. I'll echo this guy's sentiments.

Cordero, though...where do I begin? The Giants were actually rumored to be interested in Cordero at one point, but if they'd paid Cordero the $46 million over four years that he got from the Reds I'd have pulled a Terminator and gone back in time to off Brian Sabean's mom before he was even conceived. How do you justify handing out nearly $12 million a year to a reliever who will only give you like 70 innings max? Cordero is good, yes, but he's not Mariano Rivera or Eric Gagne circa 2003, and guys like him tend to be hanging cheaply around baseball, if you just know where to look. Do you think it's a fluke that the Padres came up with Heath Bell, Scott Linebrink, and Cla Meredith?

I can just picture Reds GM Wayne Krivsky this morning, leaning back in his chair, high on turducken leftovers, cackling in joy at his new gem. Hey, they solved their closer problem, right? Too bad the rest of their roster is a bloody mess. I guess the moral of the story here is that, as much as we Giants fans bitch about our GM and his oft-puzzling moves, it could be much, much worse. So let's all stop and belatedly give thanks to the GMs who may have saved the Giants from themselves this offseason.

-Speaking of the Reds, there was a small rumor that they might be open to trading Josh Hamilton in order to clear out some of the crowd in the outfield. I'm going to say it right now: Noah Lowry for Hamilton. Hamilton's history of injury and personal problems make him a risk, but he can flat out rake (.292/.368/.554 in his rookie season) and the Giants need some young power hitters. He's a 35-homer guy if he can stay out of the trainer's room and out of the back of a squad car.

The question is, would the Reds do it? I'm not so sure. Any baseball front office-type should be able to look at Lowry's numbers and see that a lot of his good fortune last season came because he was very stingy with the home run ball. Now take him out of Mays Field and put him in Great American Ballpark, a much more homer-friendly ballpark, and it's not hard to see Lowry's ERA ballooning. Suddenly, you've traded a young, All-Star-caliber slugger for a cheaper, marginally less-shitty version of Eric Milton.

I'd take the risk if I were the Giants, mostly because I'm very down on Lowry at this point, but I really can't see the Reds willing to go for it, especially when they have two near-frontline starting pitchers already and a couple of other potential aces on the horizon. Of course, the Reds aren't exactly the paragon of intelligent baseball decision-making, so stay tuned.

-TGIF Random Video...

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Dude, SF should sign Andruw Jones and trade Feliz and Lowry for Miguel Cabrera...
Too bad Feliz isn't under contract. Wait...not too bad.
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