5 moves the Giants should make

A Giant Off-Season
(In round two of the never ending battle between the Fat Guy and me, we are discussing the top 5 things the Giants should do this off-season)Let’s get something out of the way right now – the Giants are not going to the playoffs in 2009. There are too many holes and not enough money and/or prospects to fill them. With my eyes on 2010 and beyond, I give you the genius which is RT’s top 5 things the Giants should do this off-season:

1) Acquire Jake Peavy
Allow me to give you rule #1 in baseball, if a #1 starter, who is a power pitcher and is under 30, becomes available, you do whatever it takes to acquire him. There is no exception to this rule. It is worth the gamble every single time. It doesn’t matter how good your prospects are because, after all, they are just prospects. Ask Theo Epstein while he is shining his two World Series rings how much he regrets trading the best young player in baseball (Hanley Ramirez) for Josh Beckett. Ask Brian Cashman how smart it was not to trade Phil Hughes for Johan Santana last year.
(That move was made for the Yankees and they screwed it up.)
This is the trade that makes sense to me:
Posey, Gillespie and (either Bumgarner or Alderson – whichever one they want) for Peavy.
What’s that you say: Peavy has a no trade clause he does not want to play for the Giants? I think voiding his current contract and giving him $20 mm over the next 5 years seems to make sense. Money has a way of changing player’s minds.

2) Trade Cain for Prince Fielder
They should have been done months ago. Fielder would be perfect fit for the Giants at first base for the next 10 years and his upside is ridiculous. He is only learning how good he can be and there is that whole – “We have a big left handed hitter that can put the ball into the water” – marketing plan. He will put butts in seat because of the way he plays and that is important over the next couple years. Fielder makes sense from a business side and a baseball side. Furthermore, the Giants have to trade Cain before his stock drops through the floor. Please allow me shed light on why there is an urgency to trade Cain.
(I will use bullet points so I don’t get too wordy.)
* He is an ever other pitch pitcher. Seriously, go back and watch any of his games. His first pitch hits the target and the next one bounces in front of the plate or sails over the catcher’s head. If you think this trend is going to change, you need to put the koolaid down.
* His motion is about as compact as a Cadillac Escalade. He did not exactly go to the Greg Maddox school of pitching mechanics. As a result, he will never be an elite pitcher because he does not have the command required to be dominant.
* At best, he is a poor man’s Nolan Ryan. In English that means, he will strike out a bunch of guys but is never going to be a consistent winner.)(Does he get bonus points if he beats up Robin Ventura?)

3) Don’t sign C.C. Sabathia, Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett … Sign Brad Penny
I am feeling the bullet points so let’s keep using them
* C.C. = Why pay a guy Johan Santana money when A) he has never won anything on the big stage and B) he is not feared by elite hitters?
* Lowe = I will admit it – about 10 years ago I learned how to read people’s minds so let me tell you what Lowe is thinking this off-season: “I play in a league where all money is guaranteed so I busted my butt over the last 4 years so I could sucker an idiot GM into thinking I will care during my twilight years.. Little does that GM know that I really just want to party and I have no motivation because this contract is my last big pay day. It’s not like I have not won a World Series. Now, if I could only get a rich guy to buy the Marlins … I love Miami Beach.”
* Burnett = Trivia time: If A.J. Burnett was an NBA basketball player, what would his name be? Jamal Crawford.
(Extra Credit: If he played in the NFL, what would his name be? Jeff George.)
* Penny = Has something to prove () Hates the Dodgers () Has HUGE upside if he get through his injury (). Seems to make sense to me.

4) Trade Jonathan Sanchez for Jorge Cantu
We can all agree that Sanchez will be pitching out of the bullpen in two years. Trade him away while he still has some value. Cantu is an up and coming player who hit 29 home runs while playing in one of the hardest parks to hit home runs in. He is not a bad fielder and he is only 27. Of course, I could be the only person in the Giants fan base that thinks trying to find a long term solution at third is a bad idea.
(That’s right, I have just acquired left handed power hitting vegetarian and a player on the Mexican national team. Who said I don’t know anything about marketing!?)

5) Trade Molina and Winn to the Mets for a bag of potato chips and some dip to be named later
Now that we are paying Peavy $20 mm, they need to cut some payroll. The Mets are the perfect team to take these two guys off our hands. Who cares what we get in return!? We need to save money for next year when we ….

6) Sign Matt Holiday
(Dear Fat Guy: I realize this is cheating but I couldn’t help myself)
Think about next year’s offseason for a second. The United States will be reaching the bottom of the current recession we are in. (I work in finance for a living – we are not close to the end of this economic downturn). Matt Holiday will have underperformed (think Johnny Damon in 2001) because nobody can hit in that ballpark and he is playing in the American League. Ticket sales will have cratered for all the teams not names (Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees) during the 2009 season and nobody will have the money or the desire to pay a player $20 mm a season. The combination of all of these factors will create the “perfect storm” for us to sign the left fielder we have needed since 2004 and we will get him for a lot less than he would have received this year. (Not to mention, we will piss off the A’s fans to no end. You have to love that)
After all of these moves, here is the 2009 (and 2010) Giants:
2009 Rotation: Lincecum, Peavy, (damn that is sweet), Penny, Lowery and Zito
2009 Starting Line-up:
1) Lewis, 2B
2) Renteria, SS
3) Sandoval, C
4) Fielder, 1B
5) Cantu, 3B
6) Rowand, CF
7) Schierholtz, RF
8) Burriss, 2B
9) Pitcher
2010 Rotation: Lincecum, Peavy, (still sweet), Penny, (Bumgarner or Alderson), Zito
2010 Starting Line-up:
1) Burriss, 2B
2) Lewis, RF
3) Sandoval, C
4) Holiday, LF
5) Fielder, 1B
6) Cantu, 3B
7) Rowand, CF (the worst 5th hitter in the league just became the best 7th hitter)
8) Renteria, SS
9) Pitcher
If you are looking for me at the World Series, I will be sitting in the GMs box. I figured they give it to me for a reason.
Koski's 5

A wise man once said,

“There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas,
probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.”

C.C. Sabathia is so tantalizing. I was going to say the Giants should sign C.C. for $120 mil. Sign Adam Dunn to play first and trade Jonathan Sanchez for A-Rod. Then the absinthe wore off. The reality is the Giants are not World Series contenders heading into next season and probably not in 2010, either. Much has been said over the last couple of years about going with younger players and I’ve said this myself numerous times. But like the Giants, the free agent market has been lacking talented young position players for years. This limits the Giants options for upgrading the offense for the future, so I say sign some older guys to short deals while we wait for Bumgarner, Alderson, Posey, Gillaspie, et al. Pitching and defense will be the key for the Giants to be competitive over the next two seasons. They have good pitching, but need to improve the defense. No contracts should be offered for more than three seasons to anybody .

1) Sign Derek Lowe

He’s a sinkerball pitcher in a division with many HR unfriendly parks. He’s got a 2.17 ERA at AT&T the last three seasons(5 starts). At 35, he had a 3.24 ERA last year and should be open to three year contract offers. According to Baseball Reference’s Similarity Scores, four pitchers with Giants connections are listed (Don Robinson, Danny Darwin, Lindy McDaniel and Dick Tidrow).Don Robinson? Caveman? C’mon. You cannot argue that the Giants need less Caveman(s). The caveat to signing Lowe is that he’s waiting for Sabathia to sign a contract and set the market for pitchers and his agent is Scott Boras. Lowe could be contemplating a massive five year deal with a True Religion Jeans contract to boot. If that is the case, I take a flyer on Brad Penny.

2) Don’t trade Matt Cain
He’s younger than LinCYcum and his value is down after a bad luck season. Buy low, sell high, or something like that. He’s under Giant control for a few more years at a good price so there is no need to rush any trade. Trading him would mean the Giants are trying to win in 2009, which they should not be because they are not one player away from contending. Let things play out this season. We know he’s got potential, so wait to reap the benefits whether it’s for the Giants on the field or through a trade. If Cain was traded now, who would fill his spot in the rotation this season? Lowry? Misch? Please.

3) Sign Casey Blake
Look, there aren’t a lot of premier corner infielders on the free agent market. In fact, there is only one who is under 30, Texeira, and he’s going to be a pricey piece of pie. Sure, Adam Dunn is under 30 and he “could” play 1B, but he’s not the right fit for the Giants. Blake is old, 35, but he’s solid defensively and can swing the bat a little. His three year splits, .275/.346/.457. Again, his age will let the Giants offer a shorter deal, two or three years max, and Sandoval can play first base. I think Blake even played some first for the Dodgers last year, but I have to believe Blake at third and Sandoval at first is better than the other way around. Plus, Baseball Reference lists four(!) former ROTYs with matching similarity scores thru age 35: Chris Sabo, Ben Grieve, Marty Cordova AND Eric Hinske. That means something, right?

4) Trade Randy Winn/Sign Pat Burrell
Baggs talked to Sabean the other day and he doesn’t envision the Giants signing another outfielder, which is totally understandable. Can we give one back? Dave Roberts, anyone? Winn is in the last year of his contract and as a decent MLB outfielder making $8.25 mil the Giants should be able to move him. This one might not happen until summer. If the team could move Winn, that would open a space to bring in Burrell. Now, I’m not even close to ga-ga for Burrell. In fact, I’m much closer to whatever the opposite of ga-ga is about Burrell. The fact remains that the Giants cannot have a 3-4-5 of Rowand-Molina-Sandoval. Pat the Bat would strike out a ton of times, but he’d be at “home” and he can hit the ball really hard. Burrell is 31, so I wouldn’t want to see anything longer than three years. The silver lining of a recession is that guys who used to demand five year deals, and get them, will have to settle for three year deals.

5) Kick the tires on O-Dog
As of this minute, second base will be fought over by Eugenio Velez, Kevin Frandsen, Manny Burriss and whoever won the Play for the Giants Spring Training prize from the KNBR/BAYSHOF auction. Frandsen is the only one who “should” have a chance at earning the spot and he’s coming off a torn ACL. All the others need more seasoning, minor league seasoning. Orlando Hudson is an above average defender and a decent hitter. He’s 30 years old and has played more than 145 games only once in his six year career. He’s the best second base free agent this winter and he is likely going to be looking for a deal of more than three years. However, there is always a possibility he would be willing to settle for a short term deal if the price is right.

Posted in |


  1. Connor Says:

    As a Dodger fan, I gotta say that I would love it if the Giants did most of the things on this list. Trading Cain would be a horrible idea, even for Fielder. The Giants are miles away from contending with their offense. Their best bet is to build a dominant rotation and bullpen and hope a league average offense can win a weak NL West. Signing Blake and/or Burrell for multi year contracts would be a bad move in my opinion. Those are guys that you sign if you already have a semblance of an offense. Trading for Peavy is a pipe dream. Cantu for Sanchez is a non-starter. Cantu is basically Pedro Feliz without the glove, but Sanchez is destined to be a reliever. Signing Lowe wouldn't be a bad idea. He's a total pussy, but he'll beat who he's supposed to. Trust me, you do not want to sign Brad Penny. He's mentally soft and I'm pretty sure he has a vagina in his shoulder.

  2. Frisco Kid Says:

    What's up with a Warriors post? I said Warriors post monkey!

  3. Koski Says:


    Next up is a bowl by bowl breakdown.