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Saturday, November 24, 2007

2008 Mock Roster #2

The Giants have been one very quiet so far this offseason and it's really tough to judge at this point exactly what direction they are headed in. Brian Sabean said at the end of the season that he would likely have to deal some young pitching in order to obtain some offense and at the pace free agents are being signed right now, it's likely they will have to do just that.

Trade 1: 2b Ray Durham and lhp Pat Misch to Seattle for 1b Richie Sexson

Trade 2: lhp Jonathon Sanchez, of Dave Roberts and cash to Chicago for 3b Joe Crede

Free Agent Signings
: rhp Troy Percival (1 yr. $4.5 million plus incentives) and lhp Jeremy Affeldt (2 yr. $8 million)

CF Rajai Davis
RF Randy Winn
3B Joe Crede
1B Richie Sexson
C Bengie Molina
LF Nate Shierholtz
2B Kevin Frandsen
SS Omar Vizquel

OF Freddie Lewis
IF Rich Aurilia
1B/OF Dan Ortmeier
OF/IF Eugenio Velez
C Elezier Alfonzo

Starting Rotation:
LHP Barry Zito
RHP Matt Cain
LHP Noah Lowry
RHP Tim Lincecum
RHP Kevin Corriea

CL: Brian Wilson
SU: Troy Percival
ML: Brad Hennessey
ML: Tyler Walker
ML: Jeremy Affeldt
ML: Steve Kline
LR: Travis Blackley

This roster would fit the Giants budget and would also give the young players on this team a legit shot at getting some regular playing time. The two trades are not unrealistic possibilities as both Richie Sexson and Joe Crede are on the market and the trades I suggested could have benefits for both teams. The bullpen (arguably the teams biggest weakness) would be much improved with the signings of Percival and Affeldt upgrading over Vinnie Chulk and Jack Taschner. The Giants have shown interest in Percival after his resurrection with St. Louis last year and he could serve as a mentor to Brian Wilson while also providing insurance in case Wilson isn't ready to close. Most importantly, the Giants would keep their young pitching core (Cain, Lowry and Lincecum) together.

Mock Roster #1
The Giants Baseball Blog

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who's On Third?

After locking up Omar Vizquel for next season, Brian Sabean said he would now turn his attention towards finding the team's next third basemen. Alex Rodriguez is on the brink of resigning with the Yankee's so any slight possibility of louring ARod to the bay is out the window. That leaves Mike Lowell as the top 3rd basemen left on the market and even though they haven't ruled him out, I'm pretty sure the Giants will not pursue him. So if they are going to add another 3rd basemen from outside the organization this winter, it will have to be via trade. Here are some names that have been thrown around the trade market:

Miguel Cabrera: Sabean mentioned that the Giants definitely would have interest in a guy like Cabrera, as any other team in the league would, but it's hard to believe they could come up with a package to get him unless they included one of or both Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. The Giants are building around pitching, so I would rather hang onto the two young aces. Cabrera is a special talent though, and if the Giants were to deal Cain or Lincecum, this would be the type of player who they'd have to target.

Scott Rolen: Injuries have taken their toll on Rolen as 2 of his last 3 seasons have been cut short due to health issues. Plus he's going to turn 33 at the begging of the season, so it's tough to say he'll do a 180 and get back to his pre-2005 form. He still can pick it clean at third base though, and a change of scenery could be good for him. However, an aging, injury prone player doesn't quite fit into what the Giants want to do this winter.

Adrian Beltre: Still has a few years left on a big contract. Had a decent '07 season, but he hasn't come close to matching what he did during his walk year in 2004. I think a move back to the NL would do him some good but the Mariners aren't trying to deal him and it would likely take 3 solid young players to even spark their interest. Beltre is still just 28 years old and I could see him getting back to his 30-40 home run form again. Plus, he plays a very good 3rd base and would fit in well with Omar on the left side of the infield. For the right deal, he'd be second on my list behind Cabrera.

Hank Blalock: He's been very quiet ever since he hit that big home run in the all-star game a couple years back, part of that due to injury. Blalock could be on block as the Rangers have Travis Metcalf waiting in the wings. He's still young and has big offensive upside. The only problem is that his left handed bat isn't an ideal fit for AT&T Park and he'd most likely cost the Giants Noah Lowry among others. He has unreached potential and should be an all-star again soon.

Joe Crede: Missed most of last season with an injury, opening the door for Josh Fields who had a nice rookie season. Fields emergence has the White Sox looking to deal Crede for help in other areas. Crede had been improving every year until this recent set back. He'd be a gamble to trade for because of his chronic back issues, but he could be the most attainable third basemen on the market. The White Sox are looking for outfield help and the Giants have a surplus of outfielders. They could be one of the few teams that have interest in taking Dave Roberts of the Giants' hands.
The Giants Baseball Blog

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vizquel Returns

The Giants announced Wednesday that they had re-signed Omar Vizquel to a one year contract with a mutual option for a second year. I fully expected this move, but didn't expect the Giants to give Omar 5.5 million dollars in 2008. This means he's getting a pay increase after one of his worst offensive seasons in his career. This just goes to show how bare the free agent market is for infielders this winter. If the Giants had taken a chance and let Vizquel explore the open market, he would have gotten better offers. Although signing a 42-year old shortstop doesn't fit into the Giants ultimate plan of getting younger, faster and healthier, I do see the logic in bringing Vizquel back for a year and I do expect him to be better with the bat next year. His contract for 2009 will be activated if he plays in 140+ games. With the Giants most likely going through a rebuilding year in 2008, he's not going to play 140 games unless he's earning it. Most of all, this signing likely signifies the end of the Pedro Feliz era in San Francisco. It was speculated that the Giants wanted to bring back either Feliz or Vizquel, but not both. If that is indeed that case, they made the right move.

The Giants may be looking to the trade market to fill their void at third base and the top guy being mentioned as available is Miguel Cabrera. The Palm Beach Post discussed the Giants as "emerging contenders" in the Cabrera sweepstakes. Again, like the ARod and Torii Hunter linkings, you have to take these rumors with a grain of salt during this time of year. However, Cabrera would be an ideal fit with the Giants and provide the team a young star to build a team around. The only problem is that the Marlins would want 2 of the following players: Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Noah Lowry. Cabrera could very well be worth that kind of package, but I would rather see the Giants hold onto their young premier pitching. Dealing 2 of their top 3 arms would be a set-back to an up-and-coming starting rotation and I think it would hurt the teams rotation more than it would help their offense.
The Giants Baseball Blog

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Free Agents File, Rumors Begin

Some of baseball's biggest names wasted no time putting themselves on the free agent market this week. Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Torii Hunter where among dozens of players to file for free agency as soon as they possibly could. This is going to be a very interesting offseason for the Giants as they will be building a team without Barry Bonds for the first time in 15 years and already the rumors are flying about a possible Bonds' replacement. The San Jose Mercury News ran an article today discussing the possibility of Alex Rodriguez joining the Giants which all the sudden has become a popular thought. The normally discrete Brian Sabean dropped a hint that he would "kick the tires" on any potential Arod deal, something he didn't even say about Barry Zito while in negotiations last winter. Even the New York papers and baseball writers seem to think the Giants have a legit shot at landing the best player in the game. However, once the negotiations start, I have a hard time believing that Brian Sabean and Peter Magowan are going to get into another bidding war like they did last year for Zito. ARod is going to get 30 million a year from somebody and the Giants aren't in a position to be that team. Yes, it's certainly an interesting thought and I would love to see ARod dawn the Orange and Black, but it's a longshot and one that wouldn't be worth taking for the Giants.

Brian Sabean also dropped some news regarding potential free-agent shortstop Omar Vizquel saying that they were close on reaching a deal that would keep Vizquel around for at least one more season. I've said all along that bringing back Vizquel for a year makes a lot of sense. The free agent shortstop class is very weak this year, and Vizquel could probably get a decent deal from someone if he hits the open market. Even at age 40, Vizquel is still a top defensive shortstop and I expect to see him bounce back offensively next season. The potential Vizquel signing also makes it less likely that Pedro Feliz (free agent) would return next season. Vizquel and Feliz make a fine left sided infield, but having both of their bat's in the same lineup can get ugly.
The Giants Baseball Blog