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Welcome back from the dark side!  Just kidding.

Certainly like the start to the season, but nothing is guaranteed as of yet.

A few of us were discussing the 2B situation the other day.  The best fit we came up with is Daniel Murphy of the Mets.  The Mets are/will be out of it and are likely sellers.  Shouldn't cost too much and plus I think he is controllable beyond this year through arbitration.  Forming a right/left platoon with Hicks will take pressure off Hicks.  I seriously doubt we see Scutaro this year.

Other 2B options are Rickie Weeks who could be traded even if Milwaukee stays in the race because he has lost 2B job.  However, he's just a different version of Hicks - big power, big strikeouts.

Another name being tossed about is Chase Utley.  He's having a good year and is under contract for 2015 at only $10M.  The problem I see is that Philly will want to get value for the player he is, but also for the icon he is (lifetime Phillie, etc.).  If Amaro trades Utley for a moderate package he gets raked over the coals, therefore I think the price will be high.    On the flip side, 2B is a position the Dodgers may be looking to upgrade despite Gordon's decent start (Gordon could moved to 3B (don't know if he can play it)  actually meaning Utley is replacing Uribe).  That raises the stakes because then getting Utley means the Dodgers don't.

Boy, I see the cost for Samardzija being sky high.  Interesting point...Samardzija and Price made their MLB debuts about seven weeks apart.  However, Price has thrown over 6,000 more pitches in his career than has Samardzija - that is the equivalent of almost two full years.  Look at Price's numbers last year and this year.  Not that great.  There is a perception (especially among Rays fans) that Price's value is way higher than it actually is.  That also puts the GM in a hot spot in trying to work a trade.

I wonder what a combined Petit/Lincecum starter would look like.  It seems like Lincecum struggles early then settles down, whereas Petit pitches well to start the game then h=gets hit.

A few years ago the Rockies stacked their starters (two guys pitched 3-4 innings each).  Its a long shot, but maybe starting Petit for 3-4 innings then bringing in Lincecum for 3-4 innings would yield a good result.  It would be interesting to see those numbers.

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @SheaONeal 

Net worth does not equal cash.  Its fine and dandy for the Giants to have a high value as a franchise, but that is not cash.  Just as having equity in your home can not buy you products.  Besides, I'm sure about 25 of the 30 MLB franchises could spend an extra $50M plus a ear and not dent the net worth of ownership, yet they rarely seem to do so.

For the past few years the Giants have consistently been around 4-7 in terms of revenue and payroll.  The are not spending drastically above or below where they rank on the revenue scale.

Hey Richard.  According to Forbes, the Yankee's revenue is approx. 57% higher than the Dodgers' revenue.  Since the Dodgers payroll is at $235M, does that mean the Yankees should be 57% higher at $370M?  That's the way the math works out.  So what is your opinion of the Yankees as compared to the Dodgers?  Are they underspending?

10 months ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @Donner Party 

Actually, Richard, you are every bit as guilty of this as your commenters.  Almost every time someone criticizes your posts you complain about personal attacks.....schoolyard name-calling, etc.  Try thickening the skin a little.

And if you can't see your love affair with the Dodgers in your posts, you need to reread them.

10 months ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @Sabean Wannabe@Robert Haymond@Daniel_Stern 

Oh geez...come on.  A disagreement does not equate to a personal attack.  I accused you and Robert of being the same person based on your perpetual agreement.  You act like I called you a pedophile.

I have what....maybe 10-12 entries on this post alone and I've used caps on about 6-8 words.  Not exactly a pattern.

And fyi....I don't hate sabermetrics.  I despise the group of unknowledgeable people it has spawned who believe that identifying the larger number on a spreadsheet makes them some kind of genius.

Just look at this post.  You (and Robert) are unable to enjoy the Giants early season success because its not how you would have put the team together.  Thats about all anyone needs to know about sabermetrics.

10 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @


@Robert Haymond @Daniel_Stern@Sabean Wannabe

The required money to what?  Win?  Or to simply hav ethe highest payroll....which seems to be some kind of badge of honor for you.

10 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @


@maxwell623 @RDyer @Daniel_Stern @Robert Haymond

I'd like to see that article.  I think would be in the Giant's favor.  While Sandoval is the superior hitter and has more upside, that would eliminate a he risk for them.  To sign or not to sign Sandoval is a big risk either way.  Since Prado is signed through 2016, that would give the Giants 2-3 more years to develop another player or make an opportunistic signing on the FA market.  Plus, Prado can play 2B, 3B or LF giving them many options in the FA market.  I like Sandoval and he's the better player of the two, but that body type typically does not age well.  I can't see AZ doing it, but it hard to figure them out.  Maybe Sandoval isn't "gritty" enough for them.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @Sabean Wannabe

I said almost nothing like what you just claimed I said.  I made no personal attacks.  I back up nearly everything I say with facts and the link to prove it.

First of all, this is your blog so YOU are the one who needs to be prepared for opposing views, otherwise close out the comments section.

Secondly, you were the one who claimed to be "pro-offense".  I found that interesting.  My point was that a fan wants their team to win whether its 1-0 or 20-19.  I even provided information showing that when taking out park factors, the Giants offense over the last few years has ranged fro above average to very good.

While the "accumulation of statistics" is not TECHNICALLY the definition of sabermetrics, some clear headed reading of a few baseball blogs will lead you to believe that.  Just look at this blog.  The Giants have been one of the most successful teams in the NL over the last 10-15 years, but they have not done it in a way that pleases you. Sounds like winning is not the primary thing you want out of your team..

The problem with the sabermetric crowd is the multitude of half-wits who can look at a spreadsheet and determine that .357 is larger than .339 and now they think they are some kind of expert.  First of all, the Giants are just as well staffed with number crunchers as any other team in baseball.  Perhaps the Giants success can be attributed to the fact that Brian Sabean, while not perfect, knows baseball.

Daniel Descalso is not a quality back up, or at least no better than any Giant reserve.  Every World Series winner has these types of players who now have WS rings- including the Giant reserves you think are so weak (such as Arias, Blanco and Sanchez).

I was not disputing any point about St. Louis being a well run franchise, I was disputing your claim that they currently have a strong bench.  I still see no proof that they have a strong bench.  The numbers are publicly available.

In Sabean's years as GM, St. Louis has clearly been the class of the NL with eight NLCS appearances.   The Giants could make a strong case as the second best run organization in that time frame (Atlanta has a good case as well.....although the Giants have matched St. Louis is that time period in the ultimate goal - WS Championships).  Is that what is bothersome to you?  That if they are second best in that time frame they are really just the first loser?

11 months ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @Sabean Wannabe @Robert Haymond

The Giants famously play things close to the vest.  You don't know the degree that they "kicked the tires".  Plus, they do their homework.  They likely assessed their chances of landing Tanaka and decided the low probability was not worth the effort.  Isn't it funny how he ended up with the team that had the greatest need and the most money and is the team thought to be his eventual landing spot from the beginning?

And why didn't Tanaka sign with your beloved, free-spending Dodgers?  I thought money didn't matter to them.  Wouldn't that have just about wrapped up the World Series for them?  Remember, LA is WAAAAAAAY closer to Japan than New York.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @Sabean Wannabe

Richard, if you are truly a fan then what you should be is "pro-winning", not "pro-offense".  Whether its 20-19 or 1-0, each win counts the same.  Would you have preferred to be a Rockies fan over the past twelve years?  One playoff appearance but plenty of runs scored?  Take a look at runs scored in away games.  In the past four years the Giants rank 5th, 1st, 7th and 5th in the NL in road offense.  Clearly AT&T is a factor.

Or at least give your readers full-disclosure.  Make it be known that you care less about winning and more about the accumulation of statistics and/or building a team the "right way".  That is, after-all, the definition of "sabermatrician".

BTW....Dominguez currently sports a .566 OPS in a hitter-friendly AAA league and nothing about his previous minor league experience indicates he could contribute more than someone like Arias.

I'm currently looking at St. Louis' roster.  Who are these great back ups you are talking about.  Daniel Descalso?

11 months ago on Conversation @


@Robert Haymond @Sabean Wannabe

You got me there.  I don't know much about New York City, but I'll have to take your word for it that it doesn't have much of a Japanese Community.....

Don't give me that tired old crap about SF being closer.  Its a 14 hour flight from NYC to Japan and 11 from SF.  Is that really going to be that much of a factor?

And please, show me something that indicates Tanaka's interest in coming to SF.  I might think Scarlett Johansson would be a great fit for you, but it doesn't mean she will be interested.  The Giants do not advertise their free agent interests or negotiations.  Perhaps they made contact and were told that Tanaka had no interest in coming to SF.  Maybe they offered something but were outbid in both $$ and years and not given the chance to counter.  The point is YOU DO NOT KNOW!

11 months ago on Conversation @


@Daniel_Stern @Sabean Wannabe @maxwell623

its kinda funny (sad really), but baseball from the saber point of view is becoming about the accumulation of pretty statistics as opposed to winning.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@Robert Haymond

Name the free agents and post something that indicates that free agent was interested in coming to SF.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@maxwell623 @Robert Haymond

Can you please name Choo's five tools?  I'm assuming shoe tying must be one of them.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@Robert Haymond @maxwell623

Name me some Dodger winning teams.  Last WS appearance......26 years ago.  The Giants have gone to four in that time frame.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@Daniel_Stern @Robert Haymond @RDyer @maxwell623

As far as Posey at 3B, it always nice to have options  The Giants have Sanchez plus Susac in the minors.  Chase Headley and JJ Hardy (A SS who could be moved to 3B).  None of the track record of Sandoval, but are options nonetheless.

I think an AL team will push the envelope on Sandoval knowing that if his fielding becomes an issue thy always have 1B or DH available for Sandoval.  I think the Giants would like to keep Belt at 1B but are open to moving him to LF if it ultimately helps the team.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @maxwell623 @Daniel_Stern @Robert Haymond

Richard, so are you pro-Pablo (as the above comment would suggest) or do you want to bring up Dominguez from the minors as you mention above.

11 months ago on Conversation @


@RDyer @Sabean Wannabe

Please show me a blog that simply says "The Giants are Awesome....., etc, etc".  I have never seen one (a respectable one at least).  Now, do people say things like that in the comments section of two-bit sites like Bleacher Report, Rant Sports and CBS Sportsline?  Sure.  But the average age (and IQ) of those commenters is under 15 and should be easily disregarded.

About 25-28 teams in MLB would gladly trade their success over the last 15 years with that of the Giants.  Hardly a failing franchise.

1 year, 2 months ago on SF Giants Elect to Spend Good Will, Save Money


Do you realize you write the exact same article every time?

1 year, 2 months ago on SF Giants Elect to Spend Good Will, Save Money


@RDyer @Sabean Wannabe @LoneStarGiantFan  

Again, Richard.  I have to agree with the others that your research leaves something to be desired.

Here is a link from Fangraphs entitled "Building Through the Draft"

It rates which teams have gotten the most WAR from their own draftees over the past ten years.  Lo and behold.....who comes in at #2.....its the good ol' "inept" San Francisco Giants!

 Now, granted, this was done in February 2012, so we have played two full seasons since.  However, I checked the Fangraphs pages for posey/cain/lincecum/bumgarner/belt/romo/sandoval/crawford and that group has put up approx. 40 WAR since then.  If that article were rewritten today, the Giants could very well come in at #1.  At the very least, they must still be Top 5.

What does that mean?  It means the Giants have done a great job of drafting and developing players who contribute at the major league level (that is if you think WAR is a good measurement).

Are there teams that have done better?  Sure there are. One of the reasons the Giants system is on the weaker side now is that they did such a great job over a few year period in bringing players up.  And considering how highly some people think of the stable of young arms the Giants have at the A/AA levels, they are surely to rise on that list soon (fingers crossed).

Lets put it another way.  The Giants were able to turn four bad seasons (2005-2008) into the following top draft picks - Lincecum, Bumgarner, Posey, Wheeler.  The first three combined with several other players drafted in later rounds such as Wilson, Romo and J. Sanchez to bring that first title in 2010 (not sure if Sandoval counts....he was an international signee, not a draftee).  After that, the Giants have drafted later in the first round and none of those draft picks have made it yet.

I'm glad you dropped Tampa Bay into the discussion....all hail the Rays.  Sure, they have done a good job of developing players......that is what coming in last for ten years will do for you.  The Rays average draft position from 99-08 was 3rd.  It really helps to have the #1 pick (David Price), or the #3 pick (Longoria).  That can make any GM look brilliant.  The Giants turn four bad seasons into the basis of a championship team, and Tampa can't do it in ten.....yet they are the geniuses.  Also, Tampa has a history of not signing their good players when they reach free agency (which gives them extra first round picks) as well as trading players as they near free agency for players with more team control (as they did last year with James Shields and may do now with Price).  Would Tampa have been a more formidable playoff team with James Shields instead of Wil Myers?  Who knows?  Tampa seems content to just be "in the running" as opposed to "winning the World Series".

Back to this year and the hole in left field.  First of all, per MLB Trade Rumors, only 9 of the top 50 free agents are off the board...and only 3 of the top 25 with McCann being the only big one.  This is how they play the game.  Doesn't mean the Giants will make any big signings, but to have expected something by now is unreasonable.

 I think Choo would be great.....better than Ellsbury because I think he will cost less.  But there are three components to the "cost" of a free agent.....the years....the money.....the draft pick.  I think the top free agents (Cano, Ellsbury, Choo...a few others) will command (and get) too many years + too much money.  To throw a draft pick on top of that makes it excessive.

Still, that doesn't mean the Giants wouldn't do it.  But, here's another thing to remember.  The first word in "Free Agent" is "free".  These guys can go where they want.  How do you know they don't tell their agent "I don't want to go to SF".  Its my belief that players want money and stats more than they want winning.  There are plenty of teams with just as much money as the Giants, just as good of a chance to win and much smaller ballparks.  You may not think it matters, but it does.  The only time players indicate a willingness to sign here is when they are traded here and experience what its like to play here (Ross and Pence come to mind).  When was the last time a free agent expressed how much he wanted to come to SF? Rumor has it that numerous free agent plays by the Giants in the past have been rebuffed because the players didn't want to play here (Soriano, Carlos Lee, Berkman (twice)).  You act as if these players are waiting by the phone ready to give the Giants a discount but that they are too stubborn to do it.  You simply don't know.  The Giants may make the calls and told the player is not interested.  The only way to get them here after that is to drastically overpay....which doesn't go over well on the blogs either.

What is it that you want, Richard?  A team that wins the World Series every year, has the top rated farm system every year, signs all the best free agents every year....and what....has free beer?  You're starting to sound like a typical Yankees/Red Sox fan who doesn't just want that, but feels entitled to it.  I think that for an "inept" franchise, the Giants have been doing quite well.

1 year, 4 months ago on SF Giants On a Spending Spree? Not So Far


@RDyer @LoneStarGiantFan  

@tzill  @LSGF 

Great points.  First of all, I have not read any piece that calls the Giants "big spenders"....unless its Bleacher Report or some other hack publication (can you provide us a couple of links?).

The bottom line is the numbers are available, and tzill and LSFG have put good narrative around them.  The Giants will continue to rank in the Top 10 in MLB in both revenue and payroll.  Beyond that, I'd like to make a few points;

- having worked many years in corporate fnance, I can tell you that outsiders (the media, wall street analysts, etc.) make estimates about your income (based on information you chose to provide )and may come close, but are never spot on.  Bottom line is we don't know exactly what the Giants revenue is - could be higher than thought...could be lower than thought.

- being in a high tax, high regulatory state, I'm willing to be the Giants have many more expenses than do other teams.  The Giants can't spend their revenue, the can only spend the net.

- You act as those MLB teams should not have a budget.  Why wouldn't an MLB franchise have a budget?  So many people (present blog included) act as though MLB teams should operate as if they have unlimited budgets.  Lets look at that in real life....

......lets say Jacoby Ellsbury is desired by seven teams who have very high revenue....NYY, LAD, LAA, BOS, PHI, SFG, TEX.  The bidding starts at 6yr/$125M.  Why would the bidding ever stop?  If they each have an unlimited budget, wouldn't the bidding keep going?  Wouldn't we soon  be at 10yr/$500M and beyond?  Remember, the teams don't matter about the price because they all have an unlimited budget.

Bottom line is the Giants have a budget.....a budget not set by Brian Sabean.  Its increased by 50% in the space of four years (from approx. $100M to start the 201 season to approx. $150M to start the 2014 season).

Why is rampant spending on free agents the answer?  Hasn't worked for NYY in a while and look at the money they now owe to Jeter, A-Rod, etc.  Boston dumped their high priced free agents and turned themselves from a last place team into a World Series winner.  St. Louis has done pretty well for several years running and their biggest FA move was to let Pujols go.

Why should the Giants bite if they don't like the price?  There is a good chance the price will be better at the trade deadline.

Richard, lay out some examples for us?  Who do you want the Giants to spend their money on?  Remember, any impact player is likely to cause the Giants to lose the 14th pick in the draft.  That means you can't turn around and complain in a few years about the Giants weak farm system.

 Check out sites like fangraphs that often rate the worst/most unmoveable contracts in baseball.  They are all the ""big spender" contracts you so desire - Fielder, Pujols, Hamilton, Howard, etc.  I simply don't think that is where the Giants need to be.  On a side note.......AL teams can often go more years/money for big bats because they know they can eventually move the guy to DH.  It makes it tough to bid against them.  Can you imagine Prince Fielder playing the filed in five years?

I agree with the others that there is a "Giants are cheap" meme that continues despite little evidence to back it up.

1 year, 4 months ago on SF Giants On a Spending Spree? Not So Far


@RDyer @Sabean Wannabe  

Well, we will just have to agree to disagree on Lincecum's value.  I think if he had any significant trade value and teams were trying to acquire him, we would have heard about on the trade blogs.

And while you did not say in your original blog that Lincecum could bring in several B+ prospects in a trade, you did say it in your first response.  And obviously your post no-hitter blog implies the Giants could get good value for trading him.

I realize its somewhat absurd to make trade recommendations, but its too easy to criticize management for not making trades without suggesting what you think is a viable trade.  This is what you hear on talk radio....."The Giants should trade their veterans for a bunch of good young players"......  Its easy to say, and I'm all for it if it can be done.

I also disagree with your assessment with the Giants having "mediocre drafts".  Since 2006 the Giants have brought on Lincecum, Posey, Bumgarner, Romo, Wilson, J. Sanchez, Sandoval (Int'l signee), Belt and Crawford.  I think a lot of teams would love to have that base of young players.  Its that success that has left it a little bit dry right now.  They hit some home runs over that period, a couple extra singled and doubles would have been nice so they could have a few more guys in the pipeline.  Hopefully Crick, et al are not too far away.

I agree that the Giants have money, and they've been using that money to sign their own players.  They may be be bigger spenders in the offseason because they probably had payroll space set aside for a $20M+ a year contract for Lincecum that now won't be put to use (though I do think they will end up with him for the one year at $14M).  I do think it is difficult to lure outside players here.  Once players are here, they really seem to like it and want to stay (Cody Ross and Pence come to mind), however those are people who came here via trade, not free agent signing.  The Giants have money and win, but there are other teams with money who are always in contention also (NYY, BOS PHI, TEX, LAA, LAD...and soon CHC).  I just don't think the Giants win those bidding wars no matter how much money.  If the money is similar, why not go to a place where you can pad your stats.  You think Granderson, Ellsbury and Choo want to trade in their short fences for cold weather and triples alley?  The Giants would have to WAY over bid. According to MLB Rumors the Giants made competitive or larger bids to Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee back when they signed their big contracts several years ago.  They chose the warm weather and short fences of Chicago and Houston.  lance Berkman has apparently turned down the Giants twice.  

  And besides, when has a bidding war ever paid off.  These mega, over-bid contracts are far more often disastrous than good.  Look at LAA with Pujols and Hamilton.  Boston turned their club around once they got rid of their huge contracts.  I don't think way overbidding for Ellsbury and Choo is the answer.....its spending your money on your own guys like Posey and Cain....which is what the Giants are doing.

And no, Posey is not an idiot.  Once guys are here, they love it.  Its just getting them here to begin with that is difficult.  he was born and raised (baseball wise) in SF, he's a hero here and doesn't want to leave.

1 year, 7 months ago on Giants Choose Mediocrity to Appease Fanbase at Trade Deadline



Richard, first off my apologies if you read my post as being hostile.  I'm 47 years old and while enjoy reading a baseball blog hear and there, I rarely post anything because the level of discourse is typically that of an eleven year old boy trying to make himself feel better by calling everyone else an idiot, asshole, etc., etc.  That was not my intent, so if you read it that way, my apologies.

 However, I used the terms misinformed/uneducated for two primary reasons;

 1. You failed to mention the issue of qualifying offers which is extremely pertinent to the issue, and

2. You are (in my opinion) far off on what certain players have in trade value.

You want the Giants to trade some of these players for B+ prospects, yet dismiss players that will be available in the top 30-50 players drafted next year.  That sounds like the potential for B+ or better to me.

But here is where the rubber meets the road.  Who are these prospects?  Name some names.  Who are these B+ prospects and which team has several of them to trade away?  Last year the Giants traded an established 4th/5th outfielder (Nate Schierholtz.....and congrats to Nate for making some changes to his swing and improving his output) and a guy who could probably be labeled a B/B+ prospect (Tommy Joseph) for 14 months of Hunter Pence.  What is someone going to give up several prospects for two months of Pence.

Also, I don't think the no hitter changed Lincecum's trade value much at all.  Everyone in baseball knows what he is capable of - on both the upside and downside.  One outing won't change that.  Besides, no GM in their right mind would have traded for Lincecum right after the no-hitter if the Giants had jacked the price up exorbitantly.  They would have waited to see a couple more outings.  And, predictably, he followed the no-hitter with a horrendous outing.  And I feel you contradict yourself regarding Lincecum's worth in your response.  You seem to think he would bring a great package of young players in a trade, yet would not be worth a 1-year, $14M contract.  Considering baseball's current economics, 1-year at $14M would be a steal for a pitcher who can bring a package a several B+ prospects in a trade.

But lets play this out.  Pick a team and suggest a trade.  Lincecum for 3-4 of some team's top 15 prospects.....throw a few ideas out on the table.

MLB Trade Rumors mentioned that Cleveland was interested in Lopez and that the Giants had a pretty high price tag on him and Cleveland declined.

Speaking of that site, while they are not always 100% accurate, they do seem to be in the ballpark quite often with their updates.  That being said, I read that site religiously in July, and there were very few rumblings about Lincecum and Pence.  Remember, the Giants don't have to call other teams and let them know certain players are available.  Other teams are free to contact the Giants and ask.  That's my point....where are the updates showing that teams are hot and heavy for Pence and Lincecum and are offering a great package of players?  Plenty of teams would have taken them for a pittance.  Obviously no one offered anything that the Giants thought was better than the potential draft pick for losing them as free agents.

Lastly, I disagree with what you think of next year's outfield free agent class.  Ellsbury would look great in SF and I would love it, but there is little chance the Giants outbid NYY, BOS, LAA, CHC.  Choo would also fit nicely, but I think he will also go to a high bidder.  Granderson is a potential buy low guy since he is just coming back from injury and will be 33 when the season starts next year.  I don't think Crisp is as good and he's almost four years older than Pence  I'm shocked you mentioned Morse.  He actually has a negative WAR this year and is known as an atrocious defensive player.

A couple more points.  The Giants need another bat with the lineup they have.  If they lose Pence they need TWO bats.  Granderson in left with Pence in right, Pagan back in center and Blanco off the bench would add significant pop.  I just don't see Ellsbury or Choo happening.

Have you ever noticed that the Giants have never really made a significant free agent signing of a position player (Aaron Rowand not withstanding) since they have been at AT&T?  Bottom line is hitters don't want to play here.  They may like winning but they like their stats and the glory and money that comes with it.  If you have a guy like Pence who is a decent producer and wants to play here, I think that's pretty valuable.

1 year, 7 months ago on Giants Choose Mediocrity to Appease Fanbase at Trade Deadline