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Friday, December 09, 2011

Giants' Winter Meetings Review

After an extremely quiet first three days in Dallas for the 2011 Winter Meetings, things picked up at a record pace on day four. One of the games biggest stars, Albert Pujols, found himself a new home in LA with the Angels, and he was quickly joined by C.J. Wilson to really solidify an underachieving Angels squad from last year.

As active as it was Thursday, the Giants were quiet after their deal for center fielder Angel Pagan, and Brian Sabean and Co. are relaying information that leads one to believe the Giants are done making any impact moves for their starting lineup. I still expect a utility infielder to come on eventually, though Sabes and Bochy are adamant that Manny Burris will start the year as the teams utility infielder/right-handed shortstop option. I like Manny, and on a deeper team with better starters, I think he makes a lot of sense as a utility/pinch run option, but the Giants don't need anymore light-hitting players on this roster. If they indeed plan to start the season with an outfield of Cabrera-Pagan-Schierholtz, left to right, as well as having Crawford at short on a daily basis, then I don't care how much Buster Posey heals and Pablo Sandoval contributes, this lineup will be identical to the 2011 group. Now, there's still plenty of time in the offseason for the Giants to change their tune, they've done so more than once in the past, and if a guy like Josh Willingham or even Carlos Beltran can't find a destination they like, then maybe the Giants sneak in and make a play for one of them. But right now, Sabean is giving all indications they aren't even considering another outfielder now that Pagan's around. I liked the Pagan deal as far as the the value of the trade, but I did fear that Sabes would consider him the final piece to the offensive puzzle when they still have needs.

I do think Pagan is better than Torres and will be in 2012, granted he returns to his normal defensive self in center and hits closer to .300 than .250. However, because they've failed to address their number one need heading into this offseason, and now appear content with where they stand, I have a hard time giving them any grade above a C/C- for the work they've done since the offseason started. They've essentially added two, top of the order, speedy contact hitters with average OBP's, yet they still don't have a guy on their roster who's a threat to hit 30 jacks in a given season or a shoe in for 100 RBI like most winning teams have. Pablo could be that guy, but he's more of a gap-to-gap line drive hitter than a real big home run threat. Now I'm not advocating that you need a player who hits 30-40 HR's a year on your roster in order to win, but with the questions at 2nd base and Sanchez's health, your .200 hitting shortstop, and your first basemen coming off a .240, sub-.700 OPS season, your offense needs more tinkering than a couple of speedy singles hitters.

Anyway, with the Winter Meetings now concluded, the next big step on the MLB calender will be the arbitration deadline date which I believe is December 12th. The Giants have decisions on Jeff Keppinger and Mike Fontenot and it wouldn't surprise me if both were non-tendered. Also, after that date, their will be a whole new slew of free agents hitting the market, so it's conceivable Sabean is waiting until that market opens up before getting to serious with any free agents.

Now, I'm off to Southern California for a week, and will try to take a small break from posting during that time, but certainly check back as I'll have the laptop and if something noteworthy goes down, I'll be all over it. Regular daily/bi-daily posting will return next Thursday! Hopefully Carlos Beltran has signed and the Giants have traded for Alexi Ramirez by then! Hey we can wish can't we?
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I give them a D. Pagan is basically Torres, just better base stealer, and Ramon Ramirez was our backup closer last year! How many singles hitting outfielders is Bruce Bochy trying to get?

  • At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Marvin Benards said…

    Ohh, Alexi Ramirez, hadn't heard that name at all yet. Is that really a rumor? I'd so do that as long as they didn't have to give up Brown or Belt.

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous BeastMode said…

    Wonder if they'd get a 1bmen and move huff to lf and Cabrera to right? Carlos Pena is a good hitter!


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