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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giants Failing in Attempt to Upgrade Offense

I just returned from vacation, only to find the Giants exactly where they were when I took off a week ago. I was under the impression that the Giants number one goal heading into the offseason was to upgrade their offense, but as we hit Christmas then January and most all the impact players off the market, it looks like the Giants roster is pretty much set.

Josh Willingham was the latest power-hitting outfield free agent to sign a deal with a team other than San Francisco, and I think Minnesotta got a steal at 3Yr/$21M. It's not like I was totally pro-Willingham, but I mentioned a few times here that after Beltran and Cuddyer, he's the most consistent corner outfielder on the market and I thought he'd get closer to $10M annually. The fact he only got $7M per season over 3 years in a skinny outfield free agent market is surprising. If I were Sabean, I would have offered him 2 years/$18 mill with a 3rd year $10M team option and I'd bet he'd have chosen the team that just won the Series last fall (he even had better splits in the huge Collesium). Then again, maybe the Giants didn't even want him, though I can't see why they wouldn't but are considering Ludwick. I've talked about this topic too much, so I'll wrap it up. It just seems like the Giants never even "kicked the tires" to use his own term, and certainly weren't willing to get into multi-year talks, which is understandable in some senses but not in all. Now, I'm getting that horribly strong Ryan Ludwick vibe again. Scrooge Sabean says their isn't money to go for Beltran, so that's dead, and I know he's got an eye on some sort of 4th/5th outfielder to challenge Schierholtz in right. It just seems Ludwick would be the cheapest and most eager to head back to the Bay. I wouldn't mind him so much if the had Beltran and Ludwick sharing right with Nate, but not so much with the current team. Cuddyer and Beltran still remain free, with Beltran now gauging interest from Colorado. I stick by my guns from day one, Beltran is the guy the Giants need, and regardless of what Sabean says, they can afford him if they really want him. I just don't think that's the case, which basically means he just gave Zach Wheeler to New York for the joy of it!

Also surfacing over the weekend was news that the Giants indeed are still interested in Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, if you believe Ken Rosenthal. The Yankees won the bid for him at $2.5 million, and could be looking to sign-and-trade him, very much like an NBA deal, if they do indeed come to an agreement with him. They have Jeter and Cano up the middle and will for years, so Nakajima doesn't really have a spot there. That's where the Giants name again comes up. Unfortunately though, Sabean didn't even know the guys name when asked about him in Dallas at the meetings, so it doesn't appear as though they've really been monitoring him, which really is disturbing. I've only seen bits and pieces here and there, but he reminds me of a more athletic, quicker Yunel Escobar, just with a threat to steal. The Yankees now have his rights and can deal him if they like what the Giants would offer. It's not something that's likely to happen, cause again, this is Sabean we're talking about and creativity just isn't his style, but if they could get him for something reasonable, why the heck not? I understand the Giants not wanting to throw dollars around at everyone out there, but common, this team is one of the richest in baseball and it can't seem to figure out it's offensive woes, year after year? I just really think Nakajima is going to be a nice player, and handles the toughest position in baseball well. If he signs as 3 year/$10 million deal, I'd send Affeldt to NY for him in a second!

Anyhow, it looks like the Giants are also out on any potential utility guys after bringing back Fontenot and declaring Burris their right-handed caddy to Brandon Crawford. I guess they wanted an offensive downgrade at short for some reason? I've met Manny plenty of times and he's an awesome guy, but he can't take up a spot on a 25-man roster, at least not with this team. Sabean should ask Ronny Cedeno and/or Ryan Theriot to come to camp on a minor league deal and promise them a spot on the 25-man unless they get hurt or tank. Not saying it's the baseball bible or anything, but in regards to Cedeno, respected Yahoo! Sports writer, Jeff Passan, has him ranked above Hairston, Furcal, Bloomquist and Gonzalez on his free agent list.

I've been meaning to put up our projected 2012 roster already, but it seems like there really won't be many more changes from what they currently have. We'll still jot down who we believe will fill out the 25-man (could be some surprises in there for you!) tomorrow.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    I'm kinda surprised they won't bring Ross back. Seems like he wanted to be here and he'd be better than Ludwick wouldn't he?

    Did Brian Sabean seriously not know Hiroyuki Nakajima's name? Shows how much homework this front office does, that's BS.

  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    The number one goal to upgrade the offense turned out to be another band-aid for a bullet hole. I understand that the ownership did not want to go after high priced Fielder/Reyes/Pujols, but I had thought that at least they would offer Beltran something, since they gave Zack Wheeler to the Mets already, now for nothing. Wasn't part of the reasoning to improve the offense to keep Lincecum and Cain from looking elsewhere? Maybe that's why they have not re-upped yet.

  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah, I'm not following the Giants offseason philosophy and I'm not the only one...

    Your telling me they couldn't compete on Willingham, if they're really out on Beltran. Willingham got 7 frickin' million per year and he's a 30/100 candidate who gets on base!

    The skeptics talk about Beltran like he's a 40 year-old who hasn't played a full year in 5 seasons....
    We all know the knee's are a bit of an issue, but the dude's going to be fine for 130-140 games per year for another 2-3 years and he's going to be worth $12-14M per year!

    I could be wrong, have been before, but I've said all along, he's their best option for 2 years with an option (team) for a 3rd! Heck,he only needs about 120 games to give you .280/20/90/.900 OPS which is well worth that price in itself.

    Only issue I worry about with Carlos is defense, but then I immediately think of Bonds, and Beltran is a center fielder by trade, so even without full range he's a better fielder than Barry was in the AT&T years.

  • At 10:37 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Beltran's bat would make up for his lack of range in the field, and the threat of putting his bat along side of Posey and Sandoval would level the playing field with most of the competition. I also suspect that Cain and Lincecum would (maybe) take a smaller piece of payroll pie, so that the Giants could afford more protection. I am sure they are tired of losing 2 to 1 and 1 to nothing to Clayton Kershaw.

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Well, Cuddyer's off the market, signing with the Rox. Rox and D-Backs each improving themselves big time this winter!

  • At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the Giants finish 3rd with how things are going. If CarGo and Tulo are heatlhy, the Rockies are set with their lineup and have underrated starters. They scare me.

    The D-Bags are pissing me off. Can't believe their GM is beating Sabean! That's just sad.


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