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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Giants Still Testing the Waters

What promised to be a very active Winter Meetings in Dallas has gotten off to a very quiet start. Outside of Jose Reyes signing with Miami, and a few small scale deals here and there, nothing of note has surfaced in Dallas yet, certainly not for San Francisco.

Instead of looking for ways to add offense in any capacity possible, Brain Sabean and the Giants brass have been more focused on working with what they have and saving money for long-term deals for their young pitching. I agree that Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum's long-term status in San Francisco needs to be prioritized, but having it dictate their whole offseason planning and jeopardizing the potential 2012 roster shouldn't be the byproduct. Because it's the Winter Meetings, and every baseball writer, blogger and serious fan are staying glued to their team's twitter feed, plenty of rumors have surfaced. One of the ones that caught me by surprise on Monday were the reports that the Giants put in a bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. I've seen limited clips of Nakajimi through youtube and highlight video and I actually do like him as a player. He's right-handed with a steady bat and good glove, and would appear to be a good fit as a platoon partner for Brandon Crawford, but the price for bidding and the eventual contract is too big a risk in Sabean's eyes and he immediately shot that rumor down almost as quickly as it surfaced. Instead, it's been the same cast of characters that we've been hearing for most of the last couple weeks like Alex Gonzalez and Ryan Ludwick as well as potential strategy for if the team stands pat.

One piece of information that I found noteworthy in the first two days of the Meetings is that the Giants are indeed open to trading for offensive help. It makes a lot of sense when you consider how thin this free agent market is with impact hitters, and the price the few are demanding because of it, but I just don't see the Giants stocked with enough young talent right now to make any significant deal without drastically dipping into their minor league depth. There has been talks that they are shopping relievers, but the one thing that is easy to come by this time of year is a relief pitcher, so it's hard to believe a Ramon Ramirez would have much return value. That said, there are certainly some intriguing offensive options out there on the trade market. The White Sox are supposedly entering "Fire-Sale" mode after dealing Sergio Santos to Toronto, and are now shopping Carlos Quentin. Another name that has been kicked around this week, as well as back before the deadline before the Giants nabbed Carlos Beltran, is B.J. Upton. The 27 year-old's average has taken a major dip in the last couple of seasons, but his power is developing and he'd be a terrific add to the spacious outfield at AT&T Park. However, the other piece of info I found interesting is that there doesn't seem to be a big market for Carlos Beltran right now. Apparently only a couple of teams have expressed serious interest, and although the Giants keep saying they don't expect him back, I still think he's their best bet at getting/retaining an impact bat this winter.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Kenny Powers said…

    Looks like the Giants big acquisition this off-season will be Melky Cabrera only... What a shame, didn't they learn last season that even great pitching can only carry a team so far if their offense blows?

  • At 4:06 PM, Anonymous hitnrun said…

    Trevor, Sabean may be willing to trade for offensive help, but if the best chips he has to offer is Ramirez, Keppinger and Torres, than he is not getting even a callback for Quentin or Upton. I agree that Beltran is probably the best option for a hitter now, and his knees and injury history is probably scaring everybody away, I would focus on some kind of 2 year deal with an option maybe. I could live with Panda,Posey, Beltran, and an improving Belt as the heart of the lineup for next year.

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