Recent reports from around the country have Giants GM Brian Sabean in the thick of the Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes.
But in baseball, as in life, there is no such thing as a free lunch—though who could tell from the Marlins third baseman's expanding beltline?
Giants fans everywhere know that for their team to be involved in the talks for Cabrera—an All Star with his best years still ahead of him—it must be considering paying a steep, steep price.
In fact, the steepest price imaginable in many's eyes—that of rookie phenom pitcher Tim Lincecum. And then some.
The most recent scuttlebutt has Florida not budging from its demand of four top-flight prospects from Cabrera's suitors—most often mentioned as Anaheim and Los Angeles, along with San Francisco.
For the Giants, this poses two problems. First, parting with three prospects in addition to Lincecum is unimaginable, given the team's stated reluctance to part with their prized 2006 first round draft choice.
And second—um, do we have three other top-flight prospects?
And yet, the lure of the deal is unmistakable. Fans have lamented the lack of a corner infielder with power since Sabean traded Matt Williams to Cleveland in 1996. (And never before has a GM gotten so much career mileage out of a single trade.)
Plus, the Giants' current lack of pop in the middle of the lineup is stark. A 3-4-5 combination of Randy Winn, Bengie Molina, and Nate Schierholtz isn't likely to strike fear into the heart of a pitching machine, let alone Major League hurlers.
And let's face it. Talents like Cabrera—still young at 24, with a career arc trending toward superstardom, and under contract for two more years—just don't become available that often. He will still be productive for years to come when, God willing, the Giants are able to finally build a winning team around him.
Yes, Timmy Franchise's wizardry on the mound would be missed. But he's far from a sure thing in the future. Scouts continue to question this mechanics, which seem to defy the known laws of physics when it comes to pitching. He has potential burnout written all over him—and being stuck with Kerry Wood, Jr. doesn't sound appealing, now does it?
So, Sabes—I say, what the hell. If you are actually able to outbid the Angels and Dodgers, pull the damn trigger. I highly doubt your pitching-speed-and-defense manifesto offers much more hope of success than giving up our heralded right-hander and some of our already poor young positional talent.
Besides, it's time you put another trade feather in your cap, and filled that decade-old third-base hole in the process.