MLB Hot Stove: If I Were San Francisco Giants GM For a Day
With the MLB free agent market opening shop this past Friday, it is time for teams to dish out the dough to sign up the pros.
One team that really needs to make a splash in this year's free agent pool is the San Francisco Giants.
With the announcement of Tim Lincecum's 2nd consecutive Cy Young Award just days ago.
*pauses for applause*
It is obvious that the Giants' organization is staring at a once in a lifetime opportunity, in the form of a long haired, bud blazing, flame throwing ace.
All they have to do is put a somewhat competent major league lineup around this guy, and they will be contender's for years to come.
So lets say, hypothetically speaking, that the Giants fire incumbent GM Brian Sabean and they hire myself for a year... This is what I would do:
1. TRADE FOR DAN UGGLA/JORGE CANTU
The Giants could definitely use both of these guys in their lineup. Uggla has averaged exactly 30 HR and 90 RBI over his 4 year career. Sure he has a low BA (.257), but who other than Sandoval on the Giants doesn't have a low BA?
Cantu on the other hand is a much better contact hitter. Although he hit .289 last season, I could see him hitting closer to .275. Combine that with 20 HR pop and you got a solid player to man 3rd.
Both players are entering arbitration years, so their price tag would be roughly $13 mil combined. Pricy, but definitely worth the investment considering how terrible their lineup was last season.
Then there is the issue of who to deal for them. Aside from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Marlins are an organization that constantly sells off their players to keep their cap number low.
So I would offer Jonathon Sanchez, who would only cost them $455K. And he offers them a Hispanic, young, left-handed pitcher with above average potential. Just like they like.
Sanchez would obviously not be enough to attain Uggla AND Cantu. So I would possibly add all-star closer Brian Wilson in the deal.
Although he has been money for the Giants since taking the closer role. He has built a reputation of being a closer who is "wildly effective". Take Brad Lidge as evidence that non-elite closers are very volatile.
I wouldn't mind having Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo as my closer-set up duo either. Not to mention that Wilson is going to want big money coming off a contract year.
And the Marlins are weak at the closer position, so I could see them going for that type of deal.
2. SIGN JASON BAY
But lets be realistic, he would never come to the Giants.
He would probably want a park that he can smack doubles of off, like he was doing at Fenway. And AT&T is notorious for being harsh on good, but not great, power hitters. Ask Aaron Rowand.
Even if he were willing to come here, it would come at an inflated price. The Giants just can't afford to overpay for another outfielder.
So what to do instead...
3. SIGN JERMAINE DYE INSTEAD
Jermaine Dye is a Bay Area guy who would fit right in the middle of the San Francisco Giant's lineup.
He is up there in age (will be 36 next year). Plus he is also an injury risk. But these are reasons why he will come at a discount.
Something along the lines of a $3 mil contract that is incentive based so he could earn more if he stays healthy and performs.
Another worrisome thought is that he disappeared in the 2nd half of last season. That could be contributed to a possible decline in talent or simply fatigue.
I assume it was the latter because he clubbed 20 of his 27 HRs before the all-star break. So the Giants would have to give him a decent amount of rest days to keep him healthy throughout the season.
But overall, this could be a low-risk, high-reward type signing, and I would make it in an instant.
4. RE-SIGN JUAN URIBE
Anyone who followed the Giants last year knows what a pleasant offensive surprise this guy was.
He signed a minor league contract at the beginning of the year. And took control of 3rd base and the role of Kung-Fu Panda's sidekick. He was our most clutch player last season.
With the "additions" of Cantu and Uggla, there would be no place for OOH-RIBE on the infield. But if he would sign for relatively cheap, then I would love him as a utility/spot-starter kind of player.
It was signings like Uribe that remind people that Brian Sabean could actually be a great GM.
Then there are signings like Edgar Renteria that make you forget those exact thoughts very quickly.
5. CUT RENTERIA
Speaking of Renteria... I would cut him immediately.
Not only is he getting overpaid at $9.5 mil a year, but he also hit career lows in every statistical category. Sabean must have had one too many martinis when he signed off on that deal (I bet Renteria was surprised he even got offered such an unreal contract).
Terrible, old, slower than Benjie, and can't stay healthy? No thanks.
So my 2010 San Francisco Opening Day Roster Would Be...
1. Freddy Sanchez (SS)
2. Jorge Cantu (3B)
3. Pablo Sandoval (1B)
4. Dan Uggla (2B)
5. Jermaine Dye (LF)
6. Aaron Rowand (CF)
7. Nate Schierholtz (RF)
8. Buster Posey/Veteran FA catcher (C)
9. Timmy-K and the gang
UTIL. Juan Uribe, Eugenio Velez, Andres Torres, Ryan Garko
And it wouldn't even cost them more than they have spent in the past few off-seasons.
If the Giants are serious about winning a championship. And more importantly, keeping Tim Lincecum in town. Then they have to make some aggressive moves such as these this upcoming off-season.