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  1. Every time I see George Kontos’s name I just think of a large Native American man:

    STELLIO! STELLIO KONTOS!

    Comment by Wil — February 19, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

  2. I still can’t believe that the Giants only had to give up Chris Stewart, a journeyman AAAA catcher, to get Kontos last year. He’s a solid middle reliever who will be quite cheap for a few more years (won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2015, according to BBRef). Given that the Giants basically didn’t have a spot on the 25 man roster, it’s pretty impressive that Sabean was able to get someone with the type of upside that Kontos had, even if he was something of a project last spring.

    Comment by walt526 — February 19, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

  3. Great article, I greatly enjoyed reading it. It was very informative.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — February 19, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

  4. I wouldn’t quite label Stewart that way. Despite playing perhaps a third of the innings that starting catchers do, in 2011, he had a DRS up among the leaders in the league. On top of that, he hit LHP very well.

    Because of that, I felt that he had a spot sewn up on the Giants roster for 2012. Posey needed days off at 1B, so the Giants could use a top defensive backup like Stewart. Since Stewart hit LHP well, I figured he could get a lot of the LHP starts, so that there is negligible drop in offense as a result of replacing Belt at 1B with a catcher, as I expected Belt to still not be hitting his potential yet.

    I was disappointed by the trade when it was announced, but upon looking at his numbers, was happy for the trade, just disappointed to lose Stewart. And Hector worked out pretty well too.

    Look at Stewart’s contact rate and K/BB ratio, he’s actually a pretty good hitter, and in my mind, since catcher’s offense develops last, typically, he could be one of those late bloomers who become a starter in his 30’s (he was 30 last year if I recall right).

    And frankly, most sabers dismiss the value of a good reliever, it is not like Kontos is closer material. I appreciate a good strong bullpen, from the work that Tom Tippett did while he was at Diamond Mind.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — February 19, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  5. I looked at Stewart’s stats: he was a .611 OPS hitter in 2012, and he’s 31 in a couple of days. His only offensive weapon is a decent contact rate.

    Comment by brian fawcett — February 19, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  6. Heading into 2012, Stewart was a 30 year-old catcher with fewer than 250 career MLB plate appearances that had been accumulated over parts of 5 different seasons with 5 different teams. Most of which came in 2011, when he was on the roster only because of Posey’s injury. I agree that he has an above-average glove, but if he isn’t a AAAA journeyman than I don’t know what is.

    In my view, Stewart was pretty expendable for the Giants at the start of 2012 and I didn’t really lament giving him up at the time. In addition to Sanchez, they had Eli Whiteside stashed in AAA at the start of 2012. I agree that Stewart was preferable to Whiteside, but the two are pretty similar players: good defense (Stewart’s is better, but Whiteside is above-average), weak bat (both were predicted to be ~65 OPS+), and reputation as having a good relationship with the pitching staff.

    Given that the Giants were going to break camp with Sanchez as the backup catcher, they had no place on the 25 man roster for Stewart. He also didn’t have remaining options and someone likely would have picked him off waivers. For Sabean to get anything halfway useful for him is pretty remarkable. To get a guy like Kontos, who was a project with relatively high upside and quite cheap for several years, is an outstanding acquisition.

    Comment by walt526 — February 19, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

  7. I’d rather have Kontos. A spare part for a useful bullpen arm with team control a cheap salary, already had the elbow done and in his baseball prime (relievers bloom late). YES PLEASE

    Comment by Spit Ball — February 19, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

  8. Last I knew contact percentage was not aa offensive strength when your OPS is .611. Wasn’t it like a decade ago we figured out an out was an out and that a strikeout was no worse then a batted ball out with runners on due to those dang double and triple plays. The pesky 2 hole hit and run man is a farce.

    Comment by Spit Ball — February 19, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

  9. What are you talking about with this nonsense about Stewart?
    “he’s actually a pretty good hitter”?
    Really?

    His career 59 RC+, .281 OBP, and .085 ISO say the exact opposite.

    Comment by cs3 — February 20, 2013 @ 12:46 am

  10. WIN!!

    So do I!

    Comment by Josh — February 20, 2013 @ 2:16 am

  11. that has to be a troll job. When Stewart played the defense was amazing, but it was like having TWO pitchers in the lineup.

    Comment by Kellin — February 20, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

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