Giants offseason rumor mill

Giants are said to be in the market for Grady Sizemore

Rumors are rumors. But as it’s mid-November, there seems to be little else to talk about.

So here are some the rumors going around about the Giants’ offseason roster plans.

GRADY SIZEMORE: The Giants have been mentioned to be in the group of teams interested in the Indians outfielder. Joining the Giants are the Rangers, Yankees and Cubs, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The Phillies, Red Sox, Indians and Rockies are also said to be interested. That’s a big group with a lot of deep pockets. The oft-injured outfielder is said to be seeking a one-year deal to rebuild his value, which would make a good fit for the Giants. But the Giants are looking for a bargain. They are not in a position to get in a bidding war over damaged goods.

CHONE FIGGINS: The Mariners are reported to be willing to absorb some of the cost if they can find a trade partner for Figgins, who is owed $17 million over the next two seasons (plus at $9 million vesting option if he makes 600 PAs in 2013). Figgins does have two qualities the Giants seriously lack: plate discipline and speed. However, he’s coming off an injury-filled season in which he hit .181 in 313 PAs. His 2010 was also a disappointment, when he hit .259. However, his on-base percentage that season was .340. Nothing special. However, there was only one player who had more than 200 ABs for the Giants last season who had a higher OBP than .340 (Pablo Sandoval). Figgins’ 42 steals that season were more than twice as many as any Giant managed last season. So if the price is right, the Giants would be wise to listen to any deal the Mariners offer. Figgins can play 2B, 3B and outfield. MoreSplashHits actually was considering a trade for Figgins last season for Aaron Rowand, but then the Giants cut Rowand and his $12 million contract for 2012. That may have been the best bad contract-for-bad contract deal for the Giants. I read a blog earlier this fall saying the Giants should deal Barry Zito for Figgins. A good deal for the Giants. But the math doesn’t compute. Zito is owed $46 million over two years, a disparity of $29 million. The only other fat contract the Giants have to offer is Aubrey Huff, who will make $12 million ($10 million, plus a $2 million buyout). And as bad as Huff was last season, Figgins was worse. So I don’t see that as being a deal the Giants would be willing to make. The best deal may be one in which the Mariners are willing to pay at least $12 million of Figgins’ remaining $17 million.

JASON BARTLETT: The Padres are looking to cut costs, so SS Bartlett is said to be available. But at $5.5 million for 2012, the Giants could do better for less.

JOSE REYES: Jon Heyman reported that he didn’t expect the Giants to be a player on Reyes or Jimmy Rollins. We don’t either. Reyes was reportedly offered a six-year deal for $90 million from the Marlins. No way the Giants compete with that. Heyman said the Giants are still in the market for a SS, 1B and OF. Well, the SS and OF we understand, but 1B? They already have Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt and Brett Pill. So what do they need with another 1B?

1 Comment

I have been a diehard Giants fan since 1952 (yes, when they were my hometown team in NY as a youth). Of course, I was thrilled with the 2010 W.S. win. The Giants reaped the reward by selling out every game last year -yet sadly did not make the playoffs due to a variety of factors discussed ad nauseum, primarily injuries (Posey, both Jonathan and Freddy Sanchez, etc) and play regression from key players (Huff, Torres, Jonathan Sanchez, and not surprisingly, Zito.)

Sadly, it now appears the Giants, despite their window of opportunity based on their stellar pitching staff, are moving forward on the cheap. Of course, signing Timmy and Cain should be a priority – but to get them to sign long-term, and to compete for another champoinship the Giants MUST IMPROVE THEIR OFFENSE!! The Giants offense last year was hard to watch – trully TORTURE!!! Yet the Giants appear uninterested, or unwilling to spend any of the high revenues they have enjoyed the past 2 years, and even beforehand based on attendance figures.You can look it up – the Giants home and road attendance figures are among the best in baseball.

I get it – the Giants given their existing payroll, cannot compete for the “high ticket” free agents such as Pujols, Fieder, Reyes and perhaps even Beltran (athough I am not convinced that Beltran is out of their league). However, just today I have seen two one-year signings by other teams that are extremely troubling – Cleveland signing Grady Sizemore (5 million plus incentives) and Doumit signing with the Twins (3 million). No one can convince me that both these players were not out of the Giantsd financial reach.

It is obvious the Giants need outfield help (despite the trade for Cabrera) and at catcher (given Posey’s health issues) and their existing backup catchers both being subpar players – who can’t hit their way out of a paper bag and as such are useless as pinch hitters. I don’t know what it would have taken for the Giants to have obtained both Sizemore and Doumit – but it could not have cost them more than 10-12 million for 1 season – with additional $ incentives for Sizemore. Those cheap (for the market) signings would have strengthened two areas of weakness (catcher and outfield), solidified the bench, and poterntially greatly enhanced the offense. Of course, signing those players would have been somewhat offset by the savings for whoever the backups now wind up being. The potential upside would have been substantial. If Sizemare comes back to even 75% of the player he was before his injuries he would be one of the best Giants outfield options – a good fielder, hitter with power and base runner,not to mention a highly motivated player hoping to them obtain a longer term contract at age 30. I highly doubt Cleveland would have resigned him if after doing their due diligence they did not believe he could make a complete, or near complete recovery from his injuries. Doumit, a switch hitter, would have been good insurance in case Posey cannot catch full-time (no doubt uncertain at this point in time), also enabling Posey to play part-time elsewhere without a nothing bat behind the plate, as well as providing a useful bat off the bench. He certainly did not sign with the Twins for the opportunity to be a full-time catcher givne Mauer/

Am I crazy here? My fear is that Neukom was let go (retired?) because he realized the Giants needed to spend $ to possibly bring another champoinship to SF. Now, even though I like Baer, the edict from above appears to be simply MAXIMIZING PROFITS! That desire will not only prohibt the Giants from competing for a division title next year, let alone another championship in my lifetime, but also will no doubt render their stated desire to lock up Cain and Timmy long-term unrealistic. Why would they stay long-term when they can get as much or more money from a team dedicated to winning and could provide them with offensive support? If the Giants are banking on team loyality as means to get them to sign long-term deals they have their collective heads in the sand. After all the fact that this is a business works both ways! Both Timmy and Cain suffered with aN UNBELEIVEABLE lack of run support this past year, even worse than in years past, and as a result their win/loss records suffered greatly. I understand the team is a business and I am not suggesting that the Giants spend so much money that they wind up in red ink. However, the two noted players, Sizemore and Doumit would not have “broken the bank” on profits.

Sorry for this long rant. I ferventlly hope I am wrong and the Giants brass will pony-up the $ that will be required to guarante that the team will have a fighting chance to compete next year and into the future giving the fans what they deserve for spending their hard earned money supporting their team.

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