Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hot Stove Update: Winter Meetings Day 3

Brian Sabean got into the interview act today with Bobby Evans also making another appearance on MLB Network.  I don't know how many of you saw those interviews or what you thought of them if you did, but I got the distinct sense of a lack of urgency from both.  I get the feeling that with Samardzija safely tucked away, they are content to let the market come to them, which may turn out to be a good strategy.  They both seemed to indicate that getting another dependable SP was the priority, although I thought Sabes was more forceful in saying it.  Bobby was more about keeping all options on the table and seemed more open to flipping the priorities for the right deal, but he also said that pitching would most likely be the bigger deal.

Meanwhile, there were several lower level, but interesting deals that went down:

The Pirates traded Neil Walker to the Mets for LHP Jonathan Niese.  This looks like a win-win trade filling complementary needs.  Walker is a solid, though unspectacular 2B while Niese is an underrated SP who can also come out of the bullpen if need be.

The Mets also signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a 2 year contract.  He'll be their starting SS with Walker starting at 2B.  You have to think Murph's ship out of NY has sailed.

The Phillies traded Ken Giles to the Astros for LHP Brett Oberholtzer, RHP Vincent Velasquez and OF Derek Fisher.  Probably a good trade for both.  The Phillies do not need a closer right now so much as they need talent.  They get a hard thrower in Velasquez and a big, athletic OF in Fisher.

The Mariners acquired Adam Lind from the Brewers for a couple of low level minor leaguers.  Lind is a platoon lefty bat who is better suited to the AL where he can DH.

Lastly, Billy Beane ran up the white flag on the Josh Donaldson trade sending Brett Lawrie to the ChiSox for a couple of minor league pitchers of some promise, but oh my!  That's what he ends up with  for Josh Donaldson?  I guess they still have Barreto in the minors but still……

Early in the day, it looked like Mike Leake might be on the verge of signing with the Nationals, but he apparently rejected a formal offer and the Nats were reportedly backing off by the end of the day.  They do seem close to signing Yusmeiro Petit.  I guess they haven't forgotten what he did to them in the 2014 postseason?

The big guns usually catch an early flight before the Rule 5 Draft starts, so don't hold your breath on any deals getting done tomorrow.  2 years ago, the Giants hung around to sign Michael Morse.  It does not sound like things are that urgent this year, but we'll see.


  1. Let's call it: Beane's spastic trading schedule is an epic disaster. Epic. Disaster.

    He built up a fun team with Cespedes, Donaldson, drafted well with Sonny Grey, Addison Russell. And just pissed it away. I gotta quote Hank Hill on this one: "Something Ain't Right With That Boy". I think he is a trade junkie who gets his kicks over the move over the results. The results are bad. And they have been bad for a long time. Nothing to show for a lot of guys like Ethier, CarGo (subject of some silly trade juju with Los Gigantes today, I'm not buying that one), but these latest ones are even worse. Donaldson in his prime. You don't ship that, you play it. This is a move that should result in termination. We'll see how it gets polished, but don't kid yourself, its a disaster.

    Nice call on Morse. I loved that signing. Worked out well. Gotta go see the 2014 Cards series one more time real quick before the Rule 5 draft!

  2. Per csnbayarea (, sounds like the Giants are out of the Heyward sweepstakes. Glad to hear it, as that's too much money for too long of a period for a guy who has pretty darn close numbers to Duffy. I know that they play different positions but still. Not sure I'm sold on Gordon as he's touted for his defense but that'll probably be the first thing to diminish as he gets older.

    Today might be a very interesting day...


    1. Agree with you 100%. Some other people just look at WAR and they don't take the time to see that skills diminish into a player's mid to late 30's. A 5 year deal for Gordon is ages 32-37. I am betting 35 through 37 aren't going to be too good. Giving him $20MM/year for each of those years is stupid. I would rather try a platoon of Blanco, Williamson and Parker than to get Gordon.

      I would not feel too bad about the last 2 years of CarGo's contract. You could get some real value if he stays healthy and worst case it is only 2 years. 2 years could help a player in our system be ready for the OF like Williamson, Parker and Cole. Even a guy like Slater who has lots of experience in the OF from Stanford could possibly play there instead of 2B.

    2. From Baggarly, it seems that the Giants are in on Justin Upton. I'm sure that they are in on a lot of players... In Sabean/Evans we trust...


  3. I do not mind the Giants strategy of collecting all the info and being patient and carefull and letting the market come back to them.It's smart...Also have no problem with not being in on Heyward either---ain't worth it..

    However, from some of the things I'm reading from the Beat writers, I also feel that the Giants management might be getting a little cocky and over-estimating what they have. I love the home grown IF but 1) Belt is as streaky as they come and his concussion history, despite his clearance, may rear it's ugly head....2) The Giants have absolutely nobody to back up DUFFY at 3B if he gets hit on the wrist...3) Panik's back can not just be forgotten, not yet..At least here they have Tomlinson as a backup...4) Their current starting CF is physically shot...

    The first three above will probably all work out in the Giants favor, but maybe not..I don't think the Giants have a roster that--when faced by the competition by the new DBs and the Dodgers (they will do stuff soon)for one PO spot--- can just settle for nice little mid-tier pick ups at SP and OF after the better ones are scooped up else....I like the patience and due dillignece, but there has to be some aggressiveness in going for the better players.....We shall see..


  4. Joe Biagini was selected by the Blue Jays in the Rule 5 draft today.

    1. As a UCD alum, I am sad.

    2. Me too...Good luck Joe. Go Ags!

      UCD 1989

  5. One player I haven't seen much discussion on who I think might at least be checking on is Denard Span. He's a solid CF with speed, and could come with a 'reasonable' (relative term) price tag. Admitted, not much power, but since Stanford hasn't cloned us up a new Willie Mays, he might be the best deal on the market.
    What do folks think?

  6. Solid points all around folks. I'll say this: At this platitude in the offseason and having reflected on these various players & options with you all over the last few weeks, I'm coming to what's to me a very succinct and clear cut conclusion:

    1) The Giants do not yet, and need to have a VERY strong top 3 in the rotation if they want to compete in the National League, given that many of our rivals are not done compiling their next year's roster. To this effect - Johnny Cueto is by far the money move for the Giants to make.

    It's not inconceivable that the Dodgers pick up a Chris Sale or equivalent through trade, since they have ample prospects to use for currency & many are rated well (though I'd also contend that many of said prospects are highly Over-rated, which seems to be a habit of the prospecting community...goodness knows why). The Giants cannot be so heavily out matched by TWO West rivals at the nucleus of the team - the starting pitching! Additionally, as for trades, with what Arizona gave up for Miller, I can't imagine that the fans nor FO could stomach what it would cost to pick up a Johnny Cueto-type on the trade front! It's complete turmoil out there and I honestly don't even want to lose Arroyo, let alone Duffy or Panik!

    2) Mac Williamson, though he'll likely struggle to adapt at the start, has the tools & projection to play Just As Good! on defense than either of JHey or Gordon - Particularly considering his youth vs their contact years 3-5!! His hit tool is as ready to step up as it's going to be, and Parker is a fantastic backup contingency. If the Giants want to stay flexible enough for retaining this cadre of young rising stars we've assembled, we've got to allow the youth to rise from our system at the positions where it arrives, instead of buying strong on marginal upgrades - particular marginal defensive upgrades. Mac Williamson has great wheels, a canon arm & I've seen him make some tremendous and very athletic plays in the OF via MiLB highlight reels. The kids will bring value via D, and has Pence-type strength for easy power to all fields (watching just some of his AFL clips).

    Yes, there's the danger of Cueto's injury history. However, his level of talent was on-par with Bumgarner over the last 4 years, and that's exactly the pairing the Giants require in order to make true use of these times of absolute abundance, where we have a potential All-Star at all 5 IF positions (C included) and another in Right. These are high times, and we'd do wisely to take the bull by the horn & roll. 5/125 or 6/135 is what I'd be hopeful for. And yes, I'd go the sixth year. Window!!