Brian Sabean has done some good things and he's done some bad things, but one thing is for sure: He's always done controversial things.
Come on, the guy's first move was to ship off legendary Matt Williams in a trade that (luckily) brought in Jeff Kent!
Recently, he shipped off Fred Lewis (who is now tearing up the American League) and received nothing in return.
In Andrew Benning's recent article in defense of Sabean, he points out beautifully that Lewis is a better fit for Toronto than San Francisco. Nonetheless, you would think that all the numbers the article referenced would have some value to the Blue Jays and that a better GM would not have given away said value for nothing in return.
You can argue that Aaron Rowand getting hit in the face at the plate against the Dodgers the day after the Lewis trade was just an unfortunate coincidence, or that the losing streak which soon followed wasn't due in part to a lack of outfield depth: a lack that was caused by the trade a day earlier. The truth, though, is that people get hurt in baseball and it's the general manager's responsibility to plan for that occurrence. Surely, trading away that depth means trading away value which means you can fetch something more substantial than "Future Considerations."
This recent move involving Lewis is a microcosm of previous blunders Sabean has made with position players (he does well with pitchers for the most part) since day one.
Sure, Sabean didn't have a crystal ball and, by now, we know what we are getting with him. Just as he overpaid for Freddy Sanchez last year, he under-valued Lewis's contribution to the team and, consequently, gave him away to the Blue Jays for nothing in return.
Players are like assets for a GM and we all know by now that Sabean doesn't manage these assets well.
Without Barry Bonds, Sabean would have been gone years ago.
Remember, when Sabean traded Matt Williams, the key piece in return was a run-of-the-mill reliever named Julien Tavares. Getting Jeff Kent was a fluke and, if Sabean was smart enough to only target Kent, the Giants would have gotten Kent for a lot less than Matt Williams. Williams: who would have solidified the hot corner as opposed to overpaying the rotisserie of losers we have had there until Pablo Sandoval.
We know what we get with Sabean and we know what we don't get. We don't get a World Series. Sabean's time has passed. If you can't win the World Series with the most dominant player of this generation (Barry Bonds) on your team, then you can't win a World Series.
Brian Sabean can't win a World Series. So the choice is simple. If you are happy with mediocrity and always looking for the last few pieces of the puzzle, then Sabean is your choice . If, however, you want to win a World Series, then you choose someone else.
There's a guy across the Bay with the initials BB who could bring the Giants a World Series with the Giants budget. I say ownership should offer Billy Beane a generous chunk of ownership in the Giants (as he currently is now a minority owner in the A's) and hire the best GM in the game.