THE San Francisco Giants Blog

I’m No Oak Town Dreamer

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on January 16, 2018

I’m 100% behind the moves this off season. Not because I love the pick ups of Longo and ‘Cutch. I don’t love them. What I do love is the idea of not having to watch another 98 loss season. And while I moderately support the idea of a re-build, I know the Giants brass don’t know how to do that. So why try?

I’m not an A’s fan. I don’t jizz at the possibility of tomorrow. Tomorrow is bullshit, it doesn’t exist. The baseball season is looooong. At this point in my life, with 3 beauties in the bank, I just want my team to be as competitive as they can for 6 long-ass months. If we have to sneak in the wild card window, so be it.

‘Cutch and Longo make our team better. There’s no point in spending the rest of the off season debating how much better, those opinions will be worthless after this all unfolds. And I recognize the risk of expecting so many bounce back seasons for some of last year’s under-performers. I’m skeptical of Pence and Cueto bouncing back. But I do think Crawford, Bum, Melancon and don’t forget that FLR….all those guys could all bounce back.

I think the biggest fear for SF will be injuries as this leaky boat is not built for a long journey.

I’m not ready to sit back and wistfully dream about a future that never comes. Screw that. Go Giants.

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  1. gianthead said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:18 am

    I am with that spirit of playing with what you got and try and make that work…Cot’s has salary at $192 mill. I did not see we get some money back for McCutch and forgot about Longoria. So that gives them $5 mill to play with…come on down Jarod Dyson…but also seeing how little we had to give up for McCutch, that might drive the price down on prospects for Billy Hamilton…maybe now it is a Jarrett Parker/Williamson/lesser pitching prospect to get this done…

    • xoot said, on January 16, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Baggarly’s piece in The Athletic right now, on the McCutchen trade, goes through the current CBT situation about as well as it’s possible to do. The trade was luxury-tax neutral, so the Giants are still under–but obviously that could change if they decide to blow by it.

      • YogiBarrister (@Yogi47951368) said, on January 16, 2018 at 11:20 am

        Is The Athletic any good, worth 48 bucks a year?

      • sfsarge said, on January 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

        In my opinion the athletic is absolutely worth $99 a year and it doesn’t even cost that much. They got good writers and they let them write good material and from what Baggarly says they aren’t as crushed with deadlines as they may be with a printed paper.

      • YogiBarrister (@Yogi47951368) said, on January 16, 2018 at 12:11 pm

        I just subscribed, $30 a year, today only. $48 after that, $60 next year. Baggs needs new shoes.

      • xoot said, on January 16, 2018 at 12:12 pm

        I agree. I’m enjoying The Athletic so far. Local coverage is good and there’s a lot of national stuff to browse through, if you’re interested. Baggarly’s piece on the McCutchen trade is a typical first-rate job from him, and Melissa Lockhard’s detailed look at Crick and Reynolds (the price tag) is good, too. If you’re heavily into fantasy leagues or gambling you may not need the journalism. Otherwise, I’d say it’s a pretty good deal.

  2. gianthead said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Hamilton is getting $4.6 mill in arb for this year (which was just struck on Friday)..fits pretty nicely into the existing salary structure for the Giants and would take them right to $197 mill luxury tax threshold…

    1) Hamilton – Switch
    2) Panik – Lefty
    3) McCutch – Right
    4) Posey – Right
    5) Longoria – Right
    6) Belt – Left
    7) Pence – Right (Parker as a lefty probably lands on the roster and back up Pence)
    8) Crawford – Left

    I think that is wild card competitive…add 1-2 bullpen arms before trade deadline…

    • gianthead said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:36 am

      If Parker is not traded…maybe Slater goes…Duggar seems to be the one they are high on inside the org…

      • Lurker John said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:40 am

        Slater showed flashes of being pretty good last year. I don’t know why he wouldn’t get a shot to earn a spot in ST.

      • gianthead said, on January 16, 2018 at 5:05 pm

        If we add a CF, there are 2 spots and Parker would seem to have the inside track being lefty and out of options, Slater as the second bench OF makes sense but dont we want him hitting daily in AAA???

        Pence and likely McCutch gone in 2019 so there will be spots for Slater and Duggar and conceivably Parket…up to them to prove they can hit big league ball…

  3. Lurker John said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Blade, I don’t buy that McCutchen is past his prime. His history as a good defender makes him better than what we had last year by itself. He may not be the GG CF he once was, but it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be playing there anyway, at least not every day. And like I mentioned, last year his offense was pretty much spot-on his 162 game average for his career. I don’t see how this doesn’t make the Giants better. I agree that rebuilding is needed, but if the team decides that’s not the plan at this time, these moves look to be good ones.

    • blade3colorado said, on January 16, 2018 at 8:12 am

      I love the move too LJ . . . Basically, we got Cutch for almost free. He definitely isn’t playing CF full time – he would be a liability. Regardless, it was a brilliant tactical move by Sabevans.

      I guess I haven’t been clear. In my opinion, the Giants have failed miserably with their strategy this season. Longoria’s contract hurts them long term. This is compounded by our other bad contracts. This just prolongs the wilderness years. The “new strategy” seems to be satisfying the fan base with a couple of former All Stars, and hope for a half dozen comeback seasons from the existing roster.

      I’m skeptical it gets them to .500, much less a playoff spot.

      • Lurker John said, on January 16, 2018 at 9:47 am

        I don’t like the idea of appeasing the fans by making these types of moves either. At some point they’re going to have to “blow things up,” so to speak, because they have a bunch of old dudes and seemingly no one behind them on the farm to take over when those guys retire.

        The kicker might be David Bell, fresh blood scouting talent on the farm. If he can actually make a difference and pump up the system, a la the Astros, that would be a huge boost. Logic dictates that at some point the wheels are going to come off this current model of adding pieces. I don’t have much confidence in Evans, but these two additions are positives. It’s hard to see him as the GM down the road. He’s just not that talented, imo.

  4. willedav said, on January 16, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I think any rebuild would have to have a foundation to build on. right now Giants do not have enough in farm to do start selling off vets. Give Bell a couple years, see what they can do with this year’s draft yada yada.
    I’m also not fully convinced a ballplayer turning 30 hits a wall and self destructs. I like Longoria, and keeping Panik and Belt and Posey is a good thing to me. Crawford is a key guy to watch for me

    Pitching, esp SPs, I think will be large issue. Elite guys are expensive and like an Arrieta, aging too. Giants have to fill in gaps at back end and hope someone develops into front end guy next 2-3 years.

  5. blade3colorado said, on January 16, 2018 at 8:24 am

    I’m curious (and anyone jump in) . . . When DO the Giants get rid of these “over 30 year olds?” Do they all get a pass? Do we re-sign Bumgarner?

    Maybe a better question is – what’s the hot stove off-season plan after next season when all of these guys are a year older?

  6. unca_chuck said, on January 16, 2018 at 8:32 am

    The brass is stalling while the new guys try to build the farm system back. That’s all this is. They can wait on all the older guys for 2 years at least. This year and next are simply forestalling the purge in 2020.

    But even then it won’t be a purge. It’ll be piecemeal. They’ll jettison these guys one by one as they come due. There is no reason to do anything about Bummie’s deal now, or the rest of them. Pence will be tossed after this year’s debacle. I have hope for Cueto, Crawfish, and Belt. Posey? No idea if he’ll ever get his power stroke back. Bummie cancelled his subscription to Easy Rider magazine, so we’re good there.

    Get Hamilton and we could sneak into a WC spot.

    • Lurker John said, on January 16, 2018 at 9:48 am

      The farm seriously needs an influx of top-flight talent, offense and pitching, no question.

  7. sandog said, on January 16, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I like what they are doing. We’ve got a bunch of non-tradable guys tied up on long term deals anyway—why not add to it and see if we can make one last run? Somewhere George Allen is loving this.
    Flav—I don’t get the constant comments you make about the Giants brass “not knowing how” to rebuild.
    Do you honestly believe that for some reason Sabean and Evans et all don’t understand the concept and proper process for tearing down a team and rebuilding it? I don’t buy that. Now if you want to say they are UNWILLING to go through that painful process, that I can totally buy. Personally, I don’t think there are some trade secrets that only Theo Epstein and Andrew Freedman (or whatever the hell his name is) know and Sabean and Evans can’t grasp or embrace.

  8. YogiBarrister (@Yogi47951368) said, on January 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

    A Tale Of Three Cities
    Clifton Ross is a political writer/ activist from Berkeley who just published a book about the troubles in Venezuela. Last month at a party, I had an interesting and productive conversation with him. He, a one-time Hugo Chavez supporter, who is now vehemently opposed to his successor. Me, a longtime friend and supporter of Bernie Sanders, but I’m in no way a diehard loyalist, to him or any sports team. Put it this way, if it would help get the Republicans out of office, I’d wear a Hillary pantsuit with a Puig jersey and a “Make This Shithole Great Again” hat.
    Anyway, in fifteen minutes, Clif and I reduced all the disparate problems facing Venezuela, the US, the Giants and A’s to one word, INFRASTRUCTURE.
    In baseball, that means: the ball park, the 40 man roster, and minor league system.
    Both teams are coming off bad years, one has the best ball park in baseball, the other plays in a shithole, literally. One has a depleted system; the other has prospects, still parlaying the Mulder and Swisher trades.
    Who’s in better shape? The Giants of course. You only need to home grow a relatively few major league players, sign a free agent or two, make a couple of trades with the Pirates and Rays.

  9. mrsprtdude said, on January 16, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I was hoping for a rebuild but since it didn’t happen the Cutch trade was brilliant. FINALLY a deal that seams to be a good one. There is a glut of players still unsigned, and a few will sign a cheap one year deal to re do FA next year. Teams are gearing up for next year, and after the BIG money to Harper et al the value of the lesser guys deals will go up too. SF will get a CF on the cheap. Of course they are talking up Duggar or who ever. What else can they do? We will get a veteran CF cheap, and Pence will shock everyone and be ok. 15/80
    IMO no team I have ever seen literally had almost every starter position player, SP, and closer ALL have worse years than the year before. Crazy. I’m NOT saying they will be all stars, but i believe EVERY SINGLE player ( of the starting 8 and SP’s will improve with the exception of Shark (and Cutch and Longo who don’t count).
    Posey power #’s, ( not ave) Belt Panik, Craw Pence Mad bum, Cueto, Melancin ALL will be better….You heard it here 1st:)
    The bigger question for me that no one is talking about is who the 4th and 5th starters will be???

  10. YogiBarrister (@Yogi47951368) said, on January 16, 2018 at 9:44 am

    “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”
    Said the worst GM ever!

    General managers don’t have the benefit of hindsight. Evaluating trades in real time is pretty straight forward, does it make sense? Here’s a dissection of three bad trades:
    1) Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen
    I called this one in real time. Using new fangled stats gleaned from Baseball Abstract, I told a diehard Red Sox fan how good a hitter their AA third baseman was. He replied (correctly), “We’ve got a third baseman, we need a left-handed reliever”
    2) Nathan and Liriano for Pierzynski
    The Giants needed a catcher. Nathan was a very good set-up man, Liriano was an injury plagued pitcher with a 52.00 ERA, Pierzynski was a great young catcher. Nobody called into KNBR complaining about this trade went it went down. That’s because we didn’t know what a dick A.J. was and that he wouldn’t sign with them. Sabean should have known.
    3) Addison Russell for Samardzija
    At the time, the A’s had the best record in MLB and a legendary run differential. Dissatisfied with winning two AL West titles, then getting knocked out in the ALDS, Beane was lauded for going all in for the playoffs. DUMB! Especially if you’re the A’s. Beane always maintained, winning the division is the goal, playoffs are a small sample crapshoot. He’s right.
    In 2014, the A’s had six better than average to very good starters, a good hitting SS with zero range, and a Gold Glove caliber 2B who couldn’t hit a lick. In AA, they had the highest rated defensive SS in all of minor league baseball. He could hit HRs and steal bases. All Beane needed to do was call him up and move Lowry to 2B, maybe do the back end of that deal for Hamnel.

    Despite what you may hear from KNBR callers or read here, Bobby Evans is a very savvy horse trader.

    • xoot said, on January 16, 2018 at 9:59 am

      xoot said, on December 16, 2014 at 9:29 am
      I’ve been thinking about the difference between the regular and the post season; I guess we all have. Billy Beano was flat wrong, seems to me. It’s the regular season that’s a crap shoot–a really protracted one. (Look at the Giants in 2013–first place for months, then the injuries, the bad luck, started, and so did the nosedive.) It’s the PS where the teams playing the best ball have the edge and luck has less room to wreak havoc. But to get to the PS . . . .

      • xoot said, on January 16, 2018 at 10:28 am

        I guess the math’s pretty simple. You need to win 11 games in the PS (or 12 with the play-in). If a team starts the PS strong and healthy it has a much better chance of getting to 11 without a serious injury than it had during the regular season when it needed to win, say, 90. So you try to build for the PS, I suppose. Sabean and Beane came up through their respective organizations and were named GMs at almost the same time (circa 97). Sabean’s gone to the WS four times. Quite a crap shooter.

      • YogiBarrister (@Yogi47951368) said, on January 16, 2018 at 11:03 am

        Agree about Sabean being a better GM than Beane. That has everything to do with ownership.

  11. YogiBarrister (@Yogi47951368) said, on January 16, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Hmmm, your observation appears to be motivated by something other than the laws of probability. Lucky for me, I have disdain for box cars and snake eyes, but loves me some sevens.

    Sports results easiest to predict to hardest:
    Regular season division winners: basketball, baseball, football, hockey
    Playoff winners: basketball, football, baseball, hockey

  12. unca_chuck said, on January 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Xoot, your post brings to mind the Dodgers failings in recent times. They seem to be built to feast on the dregs of the league and sail through the regular season, but stagger in the playoffs. You could say the same thing about the Yanks. Thing is, though how do you switch gears?

    One would think that teams would be looking to improve their pitching before the deadline as for the most part pitching wins in the playoffs. I mean, it sounds easy, right?

  13. mrsprtdude said, on January 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    2 thumbs up for the Athletic. been a subscriber since November.

    • Flavor said, on January 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      i’m gonna do it. I keep meaning to do it. Why haven’t I done it?

  14. zumiee said, on January 16, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    It’s being reported that McCutchen will play rightfield and Pence will be in left.
    And the starting centerfielder is…..

    • djloo27 said, on January 16, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      • Lurker John said, on January 16, 2018 at 6:04 pm

        lol

  15. gianthead said, on January 16, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    I think Chuck is essentially right that mgmt is just trying to prolong doing anything long-term. McCutch is a one year fix and Pence is gone next year. If they sign a cheapie CF like Dyson or Jay, I could see it being a one-year deal.

    I think Flav also would agree Dog that anyone would know how to rebuild but this mgmt is unwilling to because their focus is bringing 30k fans every night. That is the main focus.

    So in my mind, they will have $70-$80 mill to play with next off-season, I certainly think there is no way in hell we get into the sweepstakes for Harper, Machado or Donaldson and there are probably many good reasons not to do so. Blackmon as a 32 year old is not someone I build around either. I would not be shocked to see the three OF starters in 2019 being Parker, Slater and Duggar to be honest.

    This year is also a proving ground on whether Beede is the real deal and is Blach serviceable. If we struggle this year then have to try and trade Cueto, Belt and Crawford and acknowledge it is rebuild time.

  16. gianthead said, on January 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    And who is our Yogi Barrister??? New dude?

    Would be interesting to hear your take on to make Venezuela better. Was there 20 years ago and Chavez and Maduro have fucked up that country. If there was ever need of a revolution that is the place. People will literally be starving to death in droves soon…

    • djloo27 said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      It’s good old SOAD from the Splash, GH…

  17. Lurker John said, on January 16, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Yelich wants out of Miami. Grab him. Four years left on a team-friendly deal, already has a GG and a Silver Slugger award. That would be quite a pick up.

  18. Lurker John said, on January 16, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Jo Jo White, Boston Celtics legend, dead at 71. RIP.

    • djloo27 said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      In his playing days, the word on Jo-Jo was he wanted his 20 first – then he might look for you…

  19. Flavor said, on January 16, 2018 at 6:22 pm

  20. Flavor said, on January 16, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    • xoot said, on January 16, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      Cumulus, the big company that owns KNBR et al., is in bankruptcy proceedings right now.

    • Macdog said, on January 16, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      I’ve lived this. The paper I used to work at had a newsroom peak of 200+ in the 90s. Now it’s probably under 40.

      • Flavor said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:09 pm

        that sucks

      • xoot said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:59 pm

        Without real journalists everywhere, local, national, international, we’ll be screwed.

  21. xoot said, on January 16, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Not to get too political, but you know that dementia test that Trump just “aced” today? It’s a standard test. A few of the questions get shuffled a bit, but most of the items are set. In other words, it’s really easy to practice ahead of time.

    • Flavor said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      he also claims to be 6’3 239 pounds. Now THAT is a good one!

      • Macdog said, on January 16, 2018 at 7:22 pm

        Yeah, even his scale lies.

      • gianthead said, on January 17, 2018 at 3:43 pm

        Oh he is definitely 6’3″…:)

        It is how he keeps score in golf…

  22. snarkk said, on January 16, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Chuck is right. Giants are doing the classic keeping the engine fed with furniture and rugs ripped from the passenger cars, with the coal car running on empty. At some point, you run out of fuel and the train is bare, but it’s a cool ride while it lasted. The 2018 draft better get some good guys, or the Giants are really screwed in the early 2020s…

  23. unca_chuck said, on January 16, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    The good news I suppose is they did gut the faltering scouting department.

    Problem with the baseball draft is the nature of the beast itself. They need 2 good drafts to even hope to be relevant in 4 years. They can only kick that stop-gap can so many times down the road.

  24. gianthead said, on January 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I actually just looked up John Jay’s numbers. I discounted him as an option because not as speedy as Dyson nor Hamilton but he had a far better year than either of them. Hit .296 and on .375. Much higher than Dyson/Hamilton. And he played 141 games last year. He probably cost less and wont have to give up jack in prospects…much better than Gorkys…


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