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Showing posts from 2007

2008 Mock Roster #3

There really hasn't been much going on with the Giants since they signed Aaron Rowand a few weeks ago and it doesn't look like much will happen until after the new year. Even though the off-season is starting to wind down, the Giants are nowhere near complete and Sabean is going to have to be active in the month of January in order to tune this team up. Here is my 3rd (and possibly final) installment of the 2008 mock roster postings, the first since the Aaron Rowand signing. Trade : To St. Louis: lhp Noah Lowry , of Dave Roberts, of Fred Lewis and if Rich Aurilia - To Giants: 3b Scott Rolen , of/1b Chris Duncan and $12 million (1/3 of Rolens' remaining 3 years and $36 million) FA Signings : 1b Tony Clark (1 yr. $3 million + incentives), Freddy Garcia (1 yr. $2 million guaranteed + incentives), Akinori Otsuka (2 years, $10 million + incentives, mutual option for 3rd year) Lineup RF Randy Winn LF Nate Schierholtz/Rajai Davis 1B Chris Duncan 3B Scott Rolen CF Aaron Rowan

Giants Top 10 Prospects

Baseball America recently listed the Giants' top 10 prospects heading into 2008. The most surprising thing about this list is how many players it contains from the 2007 amateur draft. That just goes to show you how thin the Giants' farm system is when 4/10 of the prospects listed were in high school at this time last year. Here is a short rundown of the players who were listed and my quick take on them, as well as a few guys who didn't make the list but should be watched as well: 1. Angel Villalona, 3b - The 17 year-old is still at least 3 years away, but is the Giants' equivalent to what Miguel Cabrera was for the Marlins when he was coming up. He's playing 3rd now, but could move to first by the time he reaches the bigs. Easily the best Giants' positional prospect in the last 15 years and he's still just 17. Only Giants' prospect to make baseball's top 50 list. 2. Tim Alderson, rhp - Scouts feel the Giants' 2nd overall pick from '07 could b

Giants Sign Rowand

The Giants made their first big move of the offseason Wednesday, signing Aaron Rowand to a 5 year, 60 million dollar contract to be the teams new center fielder. If you've followed the Giants closely this offseason, you could see this one coming. Rowand had a career year last season (.309, 27, 89, 105) and was a major part in the Phillies winning the NL East. I thought that Rowand was set to be overpaid this winter due to the way he played last year and to the fact that he was one of the top 3 outfielders available on a weak free agent market this winter. I really didn't want to see the Giants pursue him whatsoever. However, after seeing the terms of the deal, and comparing that to what Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter got, the Giants actually got themselves a real solid player for a decent deal. In comparison, Rowand is 2 years younger than Hunter, possesses a better career average and OPS, and he's signed at 2/3 of the price. The 5 years is a little too long, but 12

Lots of Talk, Little Action at the Meetings

The Winter Meetings came and went with very little action to speak of on the Giants' front. A ton of talk and rumors, but no moves materialized. The Giants did however offer Pedro Feliz arbitration and unless he gets his coveted 3 year offer from some team, it looks like he will accept arbitration and return to the Giants for yet another season. The Giants just can't seem to get rid of this guy. Now they have filled up a spot where they had a chance to improve at. Without having 3rd base as an option to acquire a bat, it also increases the chances of a Tim Lincecum /Alex Rios trade (which is still on the table) or a Noah Lowry / Hideki Matsui trade. This offseason is slowly getting worse as it moves along. At this point, Sabean should just hold onto his pieces and try his best to fix the bullpen. They're building around their starting pitching and the best way they can help that this winter is to add arms to the bullpen. Remember all those games that Matt Cain ended up

Winter Meetings Preview

Baseball's annual winter meetings start on Monday , and according the the Giants beat writers, the team is expected to be active. We should have a much clearer picture of what the 2008 San Francisco Giants will look like after the meetings. The Giants' main goal is to come out of the meetings with a middle of the order type young hitter without giving up Tim Lincecum , Matt Cain and preferably Noah Lowry . Brian Sabean also said the team is trying to steer clear of the free agent market, so Andruw Jones (though I have a weird feeling he could be a Giant) and Aaron Rowand don't seem to be in the mix. I highly doubt they are going to deal Cain or Lincecum , even with all the Miguel Cabrera rumors flying around. Therefore, if they want to get a young and somewhat proven player, which would be ideal, the would have to part with at least Lowry . There are many of teams that would love to deal for a 27 year old, winning left- hander who is under contract for 3 more seasons. Not

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

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 th

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

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

World Series Preview

The World Series starts tonight, and even if your team isn't a part of it, the fall classic is always something a baseball fan will tune in to. My March predictions for this year's fall classic were quite a bit off, thanks to injuries to the Tigers pitching staff and underachieving by the Mets . Here is a breakdown of a 2007 World Series that nobody in the World could have predicted. Colorado Rockies vs. Boston Red Sox Offense : On paper, the Rockies don't appear to measure up with the Red Sox offensively, but they have shown that they're streaky and certainly peaking right now. Recent history has shown that the team that's hot in October wins it all, and this year the Rockies are that team. Say what you want about Manny Ramirez or David Ortiz, Matt Holliday is the best player in this series. The Rockies have to get Todd Helton and Garret Atkins going. Willie Taveras also has to do a better job at the top of the order if they want to keep their streak alive.

Arizona Fall League Update

The Arizona Fall League has gotten underway and there are a few Giants' of note participating this year. Daniel Ortmeier , Nate Schierholtz and Eugenio Velez are all getting an extension to their 2007 season. Ortmeier and Schierholtz are getting the most attention as both have a shot at starting somewhere for the Giants in 2008. The Giants' longterm plan of moving Ortmeier to first base has carried over into the fall and it's looking more and more likely that the position will be his next season. He's gotten of to a hot start in the AFL, leading the league in hitting with .406 avg. through his first 6 games while playing a flawless first base. He's also been getting a lot of mentoring from J.T. Snow during the process. I am very curious to see how this experiment works out. I never had high hopes for Ortmeier, but He kept getting better and better with the more playing time he got towards the end of the season. 6 home runs, a .287 average and .819 OPS over 157 big

Let the Speculation Begin

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota), the Giants are one of the three most likely destinations for free agent center fielder Torii Hunter. Everything at this point is just speculation, but this seems to be right up Brian Sabean's alley as far as players he'd have interest in. I have mentioned a few times in recent posts that I would steer clear of Hunter for many reasons. His best asset is his ability to play center field and a top flight defensive center fielder is about the last thing the Giants need at this point. They already have depth at the position with Rajai Davis, who proved to very good center fielder himself, and Dave Roberts returning next season. If Hunter were an average defensive player, he'd be worth nowhere near the amount of money that he is going to get this winter. Yes, he's above average offensively, but I wouldn't say he's an offensive force by any means. A career .793 OPS isn't worth paying 17+ million dollars a year fo

Free Agency Decisions On Horrizon

The Giants have made it known that one of their 4 impending free agents (Barry Bonds) will not be back with the team in 2008, but they still have 4 more decisions to make before they start exploring the free agent market in November. Ryan Klesko, Omar Vizquel and Pedro Feliz are set to become free agents as soon as the world series ends. The late emergence of Daniel Ortmeier as a potential first basemen probably pushes Ryan Klesko out of the mix. The two big question marks are Pedro Feliz and Omar Vizquel. The free agent market for infielders is very thin this winter so both players will have value. It's tough to find two better players that defend their positions as well as Feliz and Vizquel do, but both struggled with the bat this season and neither have much offensive upside at this point in their careers. It is very likely that the Giants will bring back one of the two, but not both. Due to the fact that the other top free agent shortstops on the market are Cesar Izturis and Da

Evaluating '07

The negatives certainly outweighed positives for the Giants in 2007 as they finished in last place in the NL West for the first time since 1996. Here is an evaluation of the San Francisco Giants' 2007 season. Starting Pitching : Matt Morris carried the staff early, then Noah Lowry and Tim Lincecum emerged and ended up having very good years. Lincecum , Lowry and Matt Cain give Giants fans reason to be optimistic about the future. Cain pitched well enough to win 15+ games if he had gotten proper run support and relief help. The team also got a very good contribution out of Kevin Corriea as a starter and he could be in line for the 5 th spot next year. The only negative this season was Barry Zito . He pitched a lot better towards the end of the season, but the 126 million dollar man was struggling so bad at one point that Bruce Bochy used him in relief a few times to give him extra work. Regardless, the Giants starting pitching is the best thing they have going for them and wi

The City Says Goodbye to Barry

Bonds in from Left 1 last time If your a Giants fan, hopefully you had a chance to make it out to the ballpark on Wednesday night to give Barry Bonds one final farewell. We all knew this day would eventually come, but it sure did feel weird cheering on Bonds for the last time. Even though the Giants were once again shut down by Jake Peavy , it certainly was a special, surreal night at AT&T Park. Bonds came about 10 feet short of putting a perfect ending to his Giant career when he hit a ball out to warning track in right center in the 6 th inning, his final at-bat as a Giant in San Francisco. It wasn't until after he came running back into the dugout when he stopped and gave Jake Peavy a hug and waved goodbye to the Padre bench that it sunk in; This is the last time we get to see Barry. After that at-bat, Bonds waved goodbye to the fans and that was it. I'm not sure Giants fans are fully aware of the greatness they have been able to witness firsthand over the last 15 year

Who Is Going to Replace Bonds?

Now that the Giants have made it official that Barry Bonds will not be with the team in 2008, the search begins for his replacement. Obviously the team isn't going to find another Bonds on the free agent market to carry them for next 15 years like they did in winter of 1992, but they are going to have to find another player outside of the organization to help build a lineup around. I don't think Brian Sabean is looking to head to spring training next season with the heart of the order consisting of Randy Winn, Ray Durham and Bengie Molina, so here are just a few options that could be available this winter: Possible Free Agents: Tori Hunter: Will likely be the most sought after free agent on the market this winter. His speed and exceptional defense would fit very well at AT&T Park and his right handed power bat would be more ideal for this ballpark than a lefty. He also expressed some interest in San Francisco when he was here for the All-Star game in July. The only proble

Bonds' Final Homestand As A Giant?

The teams' final homestand of the season gets started Thursday night and it could be the final time Giants' fans get to see Barry Bonds wearing the orange and black at AT&T Park. Bonds is going to become a free agent after the world series ends and while I have a tough time picturing him in any other uniform, I don't think Bonds will be back with the Giants next year. He had his spurts at times early this season in which he carried the club with his bat, but it's clear that he no longer is the offensive catalyst he once was. Bonds currently has 28 home runs on the year and is hitting .279 which are still very good numbers for a 43 year old, but his play has dropped off significantly over the second half of the season and he just isn't worth the 18+ million dollars he's being paid this season. September has been the roughest month of the year so far for Bonds as he's gone deep just once and has battled nagging injuries. As much as I support Bonds and ap

Giants Offense Can't Help Cain

Two trends that have haunted the Giants all year continued this weekend in San Diego. While the Giants offense has looked downright horrible a lot this season, I don't think I have been more frustrated watching this team at the plate than I was watching Saturday's game vs. San Diego. The Giants' hitters were once again shut down, but it was the fact they where dominated by Brett Tomko that really magnified things. Tomko was 2-11 with an era in the high 5's coming into that start and had been released by the Dodgers just a few weeks earlier, but he looked like an ace vs. the Giants' pathetic bats. And not only was the offense embarrassed by a very hittable pitcher, they once again failed to support another quality start by Matt Cain. They couldn't even muster a run off Tomko or anyone else to get Cain off the hook for the game, so he suffered another loss in a game in which he gave up 1 base runner in 6 innings pitched. Matt Cain has to be wondering what in th

A Look Towards '08

There are still about 3 weeks left in the regular season, but with the season winding down and not much going on with the club, I figured it would be a good time to throw out some wild guesses as to who might fill out the San Francisco Giants roster in 2008. So here we go: Trade: (Jonathon Sanchez and Kevin Frandsen to Cincinnati for Edwin Encarnacion ) FA Signings: (*Adam Dunn, Tony Clark, Scott Linebrink ) *potential free agent FA Losses: (Barry Bonds, Pedro Feliz , Ryan Klesko ) Lineup: 1. CF Dave Roberts (still under contract for 2 more seasons, will likely platoon with Davis) 2. RF Randy Winn (like Roberts, not going anywhere) 3. 3B Edwin Encarnacion (*obtained from Cinci via Jonathon Sanchez trade) 4. LF Adam Dunn (the Giants will need a big bat to replace Bonds and Dunn could be the guy) 5.C Bengie Molina (the solid backstop will be here for 2 more years) 6. 1B Dan Ortmeier (Giants are talking like Ortmeier will be starting next year) 7. 2B Ray Durham (under contract fo