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Showing posts from 2011

Giants Depth Chart, Likely 2012 25-man Roster

With the new year just around the corner, this will be our last post of 2011, (wow how time flies) and we figured we'd just go with a basic State-of-the-Giants post and provide who currently holds or is most likely to hold one of their 25-man roster spots come opening day in April. I know we're still 4 months away from games counting, but spring training is just 6 weeks out, and unless the Giants have something up their sleeve (yeah, I'm talkin about you Cespedes), it doesn't look like they're going to do much before pitchers and catchers report in mid-February. Speaking of Cespedes though, it's funny to mention his name because it almost seems like the market has disappeared for the Cuban slugger? I don't know what the deal is but I thought he'd had signed by now and gotten a decent deal. He'd be great in right field at AT&T and make fans forget Beltran in an instant. But enough about him, I talked about him at length in our Christmas Wish list

Giants Continue "Thumb Twiddling"

I thought it was one of the funnier quotes I'd heard all offseason when I believe a Yahoo journalist described the Giants activity, or lack thereof, as them "twiddling their thumbs". Here we are, just days away from the calendar turning to 2012, and the Giants are the same team, add Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera, they were in early November when they lost all their free agents. Sabean said early on not to expect any big splash signings or any earth shattering moves, but they haven't even made little signing yet to help fill the smaller holes on this team. Why they don't have another infielder yet is beyond me, unless they have some plan to trade for one during Spring Training. Also, rumors surfaced right after Christmas that Cody Ross and the Rockies were nearing a deal that would bring the outfielder to Colorado. It makes sense on Cody's part, as he wants to play in a hi tters park if he's going to sign a one-year deal and since the Giants don't seem

Giants Holiday Wish-List, Post Beltran

Well, it's been a pretty dissappointing offseason in the whole scheme of things for the Giants so far, and things probably won't change too much with the free agent market pretty much picked over. But it's Christmas time and the New Year is around the corner, so I thought I'd try and be optimistic for our holiday post before we take a few off for a few days. First off, there are still a few players out there that could help out the Giants right now. If they truly are going to go 100% pitching and try and just dominate teams 2-1, they should look into upgrading their 5th spot in their rotation. Paul Maholm is twice as effective a starter as Barry Zito and and as long as he passed his physical (shoulder strain). He's 29 and could give the Giants some insurance in-case (god forbid) Matt Cain refuses to stick around and pitch for a team in which he deals each night yet ends up with 8-14 seasons! Or maybe look into Edwin Jackson, but only if he got real and broug

Beltran Leaves SF for New Champs

It amazes me that the Brian Sabean felt that Beltran's demands were un-reasonable and counted themselves out of the race so early, because I think the Cards just got themselves the steal of the winter. One the Giants will be kicking themselves for come next season! Seems like teams that won Sereis' the previous season really get to Beltran, as he signs a 2 year, $26 million deal with St. Louis. He'll be their new right fielder, shifting Lance Berkman to first in Albert Pujols former spot. Certainly not going to fill Pujols' shoes, but this move makes the Cards legit World Series contenders again. Brings me back to my original thinking though, and I've been saying it all offseason, the Giants can afford Beltran, they need Beltran, but there must have been something there that turned one off to the other. Either Beltran didn't like the way the Giants management dealt with him or the Giants didn't like Beltran's nonchalant attitude, but it doesn't seem

Giants Putting Too Much Stock in Returnees

I was thinking last night about who the Giants have added this offseason, and who they have lost, and to the surprise of many, the team that's supposed to be one of the top-5 earning teams in baseball has lost more than they've added this winter in terms of players. They haven't signed a single significant free agent, and it's now to the point where there aren't even any more left. For some odd reason, they are hell-bent on staying away from Carlos Beltran even though they clearly saw what he could do for that lineup when he got healthy in September, and that was without Buster. They've lost Jonathan Sanchez, Andres Torres, Cody Ross(?), Beltran and they've basically replaced them with Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera. I'd say the Giants are losing the value end of that swap over. It's not surprising they've been so quiet, as Sabean's been distracted by a new infant son (who wouldn't be), but he's a professional and has been there before

Final 2011 NL West Power Rankings

With the Giants staying quieter than a mouse on the player movement front, and nothing likely to be done before now and the first of the new year, I figured I'd do a "mid-offseason" version of the NL West Power Rankings and rank where each team is halfway through the winter. Remember, still a lot can change, but here's sort of the "State of the NL West Address" heading into 2k12: 1. Arizona Diamondbacks : They were the best team at the end of the 2011 season and by more than many people, mostly Giants fans, wanted to believe. Not only that, but they're so young that they're only going to get better over the next few years. They added another potential ace in Trevor Cahill to go atop the rotation with Ian Kennedy (27) and Danny Hudson (24) along with the 23 year-old Cahill. Lost in the Cahill deal was their signing of gnarly set-up man Takashi Saito, who any right-hander in baseball will tell you they'd rather not face and is a nails set-up man fo

Giants 2012 Roster Projection + MLB Notes

We've almost hit the Christmas break in Major League Baseball (when offices shut down for a few days), and most teams are looking for final additions to their roster at this stage in the winter. However, I still see some tinkering with the Giants' roster before spring training 2012 next February, and this is how I think the opening day 25-man roster will play. Projected Signings : OF Ryan Ludwick (1 YR/$3.5M), C Ronny Paulino (minor league deal), IF Ryan Theriot (minor league deal) - Again, not my personal choices on signings, just guys I see fitting the Giants needs/budget/ Sabean's weird obsession with mediocre, mid-aged players! Opening Day Lineup: CF Angel Pagan 2B Freddy Sanchez LF Melky Cabrera 3B Pablo Sandoval C Buster Posey 1B Aubrey Huff RF Ryan Ludwick SS Brandon Crawford Starting Rotation: RH Tim Lincecum RH Matt Cain LH Madison Bumgarner RH Ryan Vogelsong LH Barry Zito Bench: C Hector Sanchez, C Ronny Paulino , 1B/OF Brett Pill, OF Nate Schierholtz

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

Giants' Facing Key Non-Tender Decisions

Checking in from not so sunny Southern California here, and instead of out surfing, I'm catching up on the non-tender buzz because the weather is that bad and the water is that flat. Instead of sitting out on a surfboard doing my best Kelly Slater impression, I've instead been drawn to the curiosity of the non-tender sit going down in baseball tonight. Obviously, if your following the offseason closely, you know that tonight at midnight eastern time is the deadline for teams to offer their arbitration eligible players contracts for the 2012 season. N 0t only the potential free agents that will hit the market, but more importantly just who will still be on the Giants roster come tomorrow morning. The big battle that every one's talking about is tendering either Jeff Keppinger or Mike Fontetnot to become one of the Giants 2 likely backup infielders. Between the two, Fontenot brings better defense and is the more versatile player, but Keppinger has him beat at the plate, hand

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

W.M. Day 3: Giants Finished for Offseason?

If trading for Angel Pagan really killed any shot at retaining Beltran or getting another adequate power bat in here, than I'm starting to dislike the deal a little bit. Sabean said in a mini-conference after the Pagan deal was announced that he Giants are "tapped out" as far as resources in both trade and free agency, and he doesn't expect another significant move before next season. They essentially said goodbye to Cody Ross and have apparently stopped what little talks they've had with Beltran's camp, and appear to be focused on bottom-of-the barrel infielders. If they don't succeed there, they're fully content with Manny Burris and Mike F ontenot backing up Sanchez and Crawford. The only thing worse than the last few sentences I posted would be that the Giants are planning on dealing Lincecum or Cain, but they may as well if they continue to diminish their offense. If they enter 2012 with their current bunch, I actually believe they would have decl

Breaking! Giants Send Torres to NY for Pagan

Well, this one caught me a bit off-guard, even though I knew the Giants were actively involved in trade talks. But judging by the package they gave up, and the player they're getting in return, I think the Giants made out ahead in the Torres/Pagan swap. The main question I have though, is how this will effect the rest of the Giants offseason plans and their pursuit of a power bat. Just hours after our post suggesting the Giants could deal for more outfield help, they indeed strike a deal, but it wasn't for exactly the type of player they needed. So, this deal really could go either way, but as far as the players involved in the deal, I do think Pagan was the best, especially if he shows up in pre-2011 form. Pagan would now would appear to become the everyday center fielder, with Melky Cabrera slated to move to a corner spot. There's a chance Pagan could enter as a fourth outfielder if the Giants are serious about starting Huff in left and Belt at first, but I'd be surpr

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 sh

Winter Meetings Preview

We're just 24 hours away from the start of the Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings, and with many of the top free agents still looking for homes for the 2012 season, it promises to be a busy week. Just how busy the Giants get this week though is anybodies guess. They have been extremely quiet since their trade for Melky Cabrera in early November, and as the offseason moves along, it's looking more and more like that was their big move of the winter. Their still is an outside chance they bring back Carlos Beltran, but Sabean isn't going to get into any bidding wars for the aging outfielder and that's what it would likely take to get him to return to San Francisco. Instead, Giants beat-writer Andrew Baggarly is speculating the club will look to a 2nd-teire free agent to help round out their starting outfield. The name that I immediately think of if Beltran is indeed off the table is former National and A's left fielder, Josh Willingham. The 32 year-old outfiel

Sabean Looking into Gonzalez, Shortstops

The Giants may have narrowed their search for a new shortstop in a shrinking market, but it's hardly the guy you were hoping for when the offseason started up last month. After announcing Sabean and Bochy had their contracts extended through 2014, the Giants went public with their interest in free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez. First, the big news from this week regarding the Giants was the announcement of the renewal of both Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean's contracts through the 2014 season. At the conference call, we heard much of the same talk that the front office has been spewing out this whole offseason; "Pitching is Priority #1" and "We Won't Make a Big Splash in FA". T hese announcements should come as little surprise to any Giants' fan, but I'm a little unclear on what exactly Sabean means by "Big Splash" free agent. We all knew they weren't going to be in on Fielder or Pujols before the offseason even starter and Sabean made

Giants Slowly Assessing Free Agency

We're nearly into December, which tends to be the most active month of the player movement season in baseball, and the Giants have been extremely quiet since their Jonathan Sanchez/ Melky Cabrera swap early in the month. However, I do expect things to take off here in the next couple of weeks with anticipated Winter Meetings starting up on December 5 th . Once the Meetings start, we're certain to see a flurry of moves and things start to fall into place, but I must say how surprised I am at the lack of movement early on so far. All the elite talents are still available an d normally the dominoes don't fall until those guys sign. One domino who may be out of the Giants mix in 2012 is 2010 NLCS MVP, Cody Ross. The Giants failed to offer Ross arbitration before last weeks deadline, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the end of the road for Cody in the orange and black. Ross has expressed on numerous occasions that he wants to return and I believe him. His injury

Potential Fifth Starters for SF to Consider

After dealing Jonathan Sanchez away earlier this offseason, it opened up a spot in the Giants starting rotation. Barry Zito currently holds the spot, but the Giants haven't exactly give him a vote of confidence or made any kind of guarantee to him and could very well be assessing some free agent starters. We all know that the team's top priority in free agency is to shore up their outfield and add some depth to their shortstop position, but one thing I think they're doing behind the scenes so to speak, is exploring some of mid-level starting pitcher options. After the success the Giants had with Ryan Vogelsong in 2011, they could find themselves again scraping the barrell for depth in their rotation, and there are a surprising amount of effective starters out on the market. Obviously they don't need to get in on the top guys like C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt, but this market is deep with 2nd-tiere starters who could fit very well at the end of a rotation. Javier Vazquez w

Beltran Still Makes Most Sense for Giants

With the Giants continuing their search for outfield help after acquiring Melky Cabrera earlier this month, they have to keep circling back to Carlos Beltran, as he still remains the best fit for the Giants outfield. We just talked about Beltran possibly heading to Boston in our last post, and Brian Sabean has already gone on record as saying that Beltran would likely be out of the Giants price range. However, despite rumors of him close to signing in Boston, the fact that it hasn't happened yet could signal that he's still keeping his options open at this time. He fits so well with the Giants for a couple of reasons, one of which his contract demands aren't actually that outrageous. He's apparently looking for a 2-3 year deal and it's not like he tore it up so much in 2011 that he's going to command a huge annual salary. In this market, where mediocre players are getting multi-year deals, Beltran at 2 years and $15 million per season doesn't look so bad. No

Rumors Swirling Around San Francisco

While the Giants haven't done anything of note since their trade for Melky Cabrera earlier this month, it hasn't stopped the rumors from rolling in as MLB's Hot Stove heats up. What appears to be the most likely of all rumors surrounding the Giants lately, is Carlos Beltran likely headed Boston on a two-year deal. Beltran said he'd prefer to stay in the NL but could very well see Boston as a spot with a legit chance at 2 World Series runs over the next 2 seasons. Add a healthy Beltran to Bostons lineup and they've got themselves a huge upgrade over J.D. Drew. This shouldn't be too surprising of news though, as Brian Sabean has already stated that he believes Beltran wouldn't fit into the Giants budget. Now the focus is turning to who may be replacing Beltran in right field for SF. The name of the week as far as free agent outfielders has been Grady Sizemore, who the Giants have apparently expressed some interest in. I like Sizemore, and don't think a 1 y