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  1. seems like a dumb move to me.

    Comment by Vicky Vette — December 1, 2010 @ 12:06 am

  2. I’d say Runzler for Bartlett should get that done. I don’t think even Sabean would sign Tejada to play even one inning at SS. Panda has options left, so I see them taking a hard line with him on his conditioning. Their treatment of Posey this year showed they are not afraid to keep guys in AAA when they don’t belong there.

    Comment by Paul — December 1, 2010 @ 12:14 am

  3. Were those rumours earlier in the year about a possible Sandoval trade legit?

    Comment by Jesse — December 1, 2010 @ 12:14 am

  4. I’m fine with the signing as a Giants fan. Especially when the alternative seemed to be the offer Uribe got. It would be nice to see either Adrianza, or more likely, Crawford show enough in the minors to get a callup around mid-season and serve as a late inning defensive replacement for Tejada. Hopefully this also means the Giants saved some cash to make a bigger splash. I’ll maitain that I think they throw their hat in the ring on Carl Crawford, whether they land him or not is entirely different, but I think they’ll give it the old college try.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 1, 2010 @ 12:27 am

  5. I sadly agree that it is a better move than Uribe for 3 years. However, I wonder if this is more of an expensive leverage signing, so as to not be completely desperate and get raped in trade as Sabean did when he was in dire need of a lefty arm for the bullpen last season. If a decent deal emerges for a SS (Bartlett or Hardy) and Pablo loses some weight, I can see Tejada sitting on the bench next to Aaron Rowand playing high stakes gin rummy.

    Comment by The Wisdom Cow — December 1, 2010 @ 12:31 am

  6. That was a great “exchange” from Opryland. Sometimes it pays off.

    I’d say that in the event a trade for Bartlett is made, Pablo Sandoval starts 2011 in Fresno.

    Comment by Scout Finch — December 1, 2010 @ 12:49 am

  7. Just don’t see how this is a good use of resources. You would think the Giants would get just as much WAR out of an excellent defensive shortstop especially with the excellent staff they will put on the mound.

    Comment by Bobulated — December 1, 2010 @ 12:53 am

  8. “so as to not be completely desperate and get raped in trade as Sabean did when he was in dire need of a lefty arm for the bullpen last season.”

    I’m assuming you are talking about the Javier Lopez trade. That seemed to work out pretty well for the World Series Champs.

    Comment by SF 55 for life — December 1, 2010 @ 12:56 am

  9. there aren’t too many of those available though. Cesar Izturis? No thanks.

    Comment by SF 55 for life — December 1, 2010 @ 1:07 am

  10. an available excellent defensive SS such as…

    Comment by Doug — December 1, 2010 @ 1:09 am

  11. Bartlett for Sandoval would be a horrible, horrible trade.

    Comment by Kool — December 1, 2010 @ 1:20 am

  12. FWIW, according to a Giants beat writer, Sandoval has already lost 10lbs since the World Series.

    Comment by walt526 — December 1, 2010 @ 1:27 am

  13. Giants’ pitchers induced the fewest ground ball outs in baseball last year. They are a strikeout/fly ball pitching staff that needs an excellent defender at SS about as much as groundball happy staffs like the Braves and Cardinals need Carl Crawford.

    Comment by ElJimador — December 1, 2010 @ 1:55 am

  14. The Giants don’t need to allow less runs by getting a light-hitting defensive specialist SS (and, as pointed out, none are available.) The Giants need to try to get 4 runs a game. It is going to be hard to replace Uribe’s 24 home runs, even it seems like most of them were solo shots.

    (Maybe a full season of Posey + Ross + a half season of Belt does the trick.)

    Comment by DH — December 1, 2010 @ 2:03 am

  15. If they could get Hardy for the price of almost on the house, I gotta believe that would still get done and would be happy about that. That would leave Tejada in a Uribe esq role as a reserve getting regular PT early at 3B and SS until injury or ineffectiveness cropped up. As later posts note, the Giants pitchers don’t induce enough groundballs to get full value out of an all glove black hole bat SS, so as it stands, I’m ok with the move.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 1, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  16. I don’t mind Miguel Tejada. Terrible walk rate, bad range at short, getting old, yet I don’t mind him. I suppose it’s the fact that he still manages to put up respectable WAR totals. I just don’t see what the rush was with his $6.5MM deal. It’s not like the Giants needed to jump and immediately seal this “bargain”. They should have been more patient, in my opinion. Tejada’s not the only option out there, although all options out there are quite uninspiring…

    Comment by Julian — December 1, 2010 @ 3:08 am

  17. Brendan Ryan. The Cards seem inclined (for whatever reason) to trade him and replace him w/ … Ryan Theriot?

    Comment by chuckb — December 1, 2010 @ 7:55 am

  18. As a Cards’ fan, I’m glad that Tejada ended up signing with the Giants. The Cards were in on him and it would’ve been a terrible move to replace Ryan with Tejada. It still appears that the Cards plan to replace Ryan rather than Skip Schumaker, since Tony loves Skip’s scrappiness, but this moves holds out hope that John Mozeliak won’t do something stupid (though, perhaps, I’m just in denial!).

    Comment by chuckb — December 1, 2010 @ 7:57 am

  19. Time for one of those obligatory “best shape of his life!” stories!!

    Comment by Jason B — December 1, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  20. Here in Nashville, we got the Opryland hotel dried out and repaired from the flooding just in time for the winter meetings/senior appreciation day.

    Comment by Jason B — December 1, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  21. “seem inclined (for whatever reason) to trade him”

    The reason may be because for all his grit and scrapiness, he offers zero contribution on offense, perhaps? And their lineup last year (after Freese went down and Rasmus was inexplicably left to rot) was filled with Holliday, Pujols, and a bunch of non-contributors?

    Comment by Jason B — December 1, 2010 @ 9:04 am

  22. Yes. The proof is in the pudding. See Giants’ shortstops 2010.

    Comment by Scout Finch — December 1, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  23. He made 6 last year and performed adequately for that amount. What was his hypothetical floor this year? 5 ?

    Comment by Scout Finch — December 1, 2010 @ 9:42 am

  24. @ Jason –

    Ryan offers more than just “grit and scrappiness”, he also offers tremendous defense, something that Skip Schumaker does not. I have no problem if the Cards want to replace Ryan w/ someone who offers an appreciable upgrade, but getting rid of Ryan and replacing him w/ Ryan Theriot, while keeping Skip at the keystone strikes me as a profound mistake.

    Comment by chuckb — December 1, 2010 @ 10:12 am

  25. I’m interested to see what Alderson does with Reyes.

    Comment by MC — December 1, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  26. >>Time for one of those obligatory “best shape of his life!” stories!<<

    Followed by a photo of him posing with a giant sundae.

    Comment by Bigmouth — December 1, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  27. I think (hope) this is just insurance and prelude to a trade for Bartlett.

    Comment by Bigmouth — December 1, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  28. As a Giants fan I’m fine with this. There aren’t really any SS available to sign and anyone using the words “trade” and “Sabean” in the same sentence and thinks it’s anything but a bad idea is insane.

    It’s one year. The money isn’t going to cripple the team.

    Comment by Mike — December 1, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  29. I think a lot of this discussion is getting a bit off track, because there are too many things being taken out of context.

    First, people will say that it’s a bad signing because Tejada is an old, relatively immobile, declining player, but then there are people stepping in to say that it’s not bad because there was very little available. I can understand this objection, since, all things being equal, you’re probably better off with Tejada than with Burriss or whatever other dregs you have in the system. What this misses though, is that it’s simply not good to have to rely on Tejada, especially when you are expecting everyone on the team to have a good season again. Don’t forget the simple fact that Tejada is no longer a particularly good player. That there was little else available does not suddenly make the same amount of wins gained (or perhaps lost, in this case) “worth it”. $6.5 million is only worth it if it doesn’t go down the drain.

    Too many of us continue to talk about the value of a dollar spent as though we’re in a vacuum. If the Giants are going to spend a few million dollars re-upping Huff and signing a broke-down veteran with the hope that the offense can tread water (which in this case would mean another chance at a World Series), we should discuss the Tejada signing as part of that strategy. If we do, I think most of us would predict that the strategy is going to fail. If we knew that they were just trying to lock down Tejada as a placeholder in the midst of a larger effort to move the team forward, like with a longer-term commitment to a star player (like Crawford), it might be a different story.

    The Giants are doing what just about every Cinderella team does, and that’s overrating what they have. That or they just don’t care that much, so they’re doing the minimum to maintain the perception that they’re “going for it” so that they can cash in on a couple of honeymoon years. In my opinion, they have no excuse for going on the cheap this offseason, right after winning the World Series. If Tejada at $6.5 million is “worth it”, then the good will and increased odds of a few division championships are probably worth whatever difference there is between what the Giants are willing to pay Crawford and the Angels are willing to pay Crawford.

    By signing Tejada, the Giants took themselves from an 87-win team to an 87-to-89 win team. Yawn.

    Comment by Oakland Dan — December 1, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  30. I agree that TLR loves him scrappy infielder … but Ryan also appeared to have quite a few issues in 2010, not just at the plate, but also with positioning during counts and his pitchers (Yeah, the Carpenter thing).

    For a situation to blow up like that, there was likely quite a few minor discussions previously.

    TLR is reportedly a smart manager. I know he’s a “smart guy”, but he also is known as an intelligent manager. That makes me wonder if he’s more stubborn than intelligent, because there is simply no intelligent reason to maintain the Skip Experiment.

    Felipe Lopez just declined arbitration with BOS, and I’d rather have him at 2B.

    At this point, i don’t think it’s fair to AP5 to ask him to continue to carry the offense and play D on the whole right side of the IF.

    I think Ryan will be fine, unless he’s somehow lost the confidence of his manager/pitchers, but he’s a solid fielding SS who can hit enough to keep his job.

    Skip is just a ground ball hacking machine, that lacks speed to make that methodology work.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 1, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  31. There will be a trade, and there should be. The only thing “insane” is the notion that Tejada can play 162 games at SS.

    Comment by Bigmouth — December 1, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  32. While the argument can be made that Tejada may not be worth $6.5M, at least Sabean locked down a serviceable shortstop and didnt have to commit to a monster contract.

    Comment by Bless Your Hart — December 1, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  33. Okay, so are we patting Sabean on the back for not giving Tejada a Rowand-like contract? What is the point of signing Tejada? I know, you need a shortstop, but why do you need one that doesn’t make your team better?

    Comment by Oakland Dan — December 1, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  34. Sabean used to be known for good trades. The Matt Williams trade, the White Flag deal with the White Sox, getting Jason Schmidt in ’01…

    Comment by tomemos — December 1, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  35. Actually, I think you are taking things out of context.

    As many people here know, the “value” of a contract is a factor of both money and years. Taken at face value, Tejada at 1/6.5 is seen as a much better option than Uribe at 3/21.

    Also, the Giants do need a shortstop…….Carl Crawford can’t play there. Plus, there is NO WAY the Giants will outbid Boston or LAA on Crawford.

    Despite being the defending WS champs with the core nucleus back, many players (read “stats oriented players”) still do not see SF as a desirable location. Many players will still see a big money team (NY, Boston, LAA) as having the “better chance to win”.

    The Giants core players (Lincecum, Cain, J. Sanchez, Bumgarner, Torres, Huff, Uribe, Posey, B. Wilson) earned $27M last year. With the increasing in contracts plus the signings of Huff and tejada, that amount is now near $55 (assuming $5/6 for Sanchez and $2/3 for Torres). That is reality…..not going on the cheap.

    Comment by Joe S. — December 1, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

  36. I’ve noticed these type players are consistently under-rated on this site. Tejada and Uribe both got a bit more than I would of thought but players that can play at least decent defense at SS and 2B and/or 3B are fairly valuable. Sure they have to be able to hit some but those two qualify. Uribe if he didn’t hit a lick would be a valuable bench player and Tejada is only a year or two from some outstanding hitting stats. Barmes is another one that can’t hit much but plays above average defense at both middle infield positions. That has value. I don’t like Bartlett but Hardy would make for a nice trade for a team that cares about defense.

    Comment by Griggs — December 1, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  37. Uribe would have been worth it. I just don’t think a 37-year old (at least) is a good bet to give you much of anything beyond what can be had elsewhere for less money. I know Uribe is more expensive, but you also need a shortstop next year and the year after that. So it’s worse to have Uribe at age 33 than it is to have exactly the same problem the Giants have now? Why? Also, keep in mind that Tejada doesn’t actually make the team better. He is a merely a placeholder, and there’s a decent chance he’s even worse than that. If you’re not going to go for it, don’t go for it. If you are, then do better than treading water.

    It is a waste of time and money to spend $17.5 million on players that aren’t going to make your team better. Better to just move Sandoval over to 1st, trade for a SS (like Bartlett), and then spend some real money for a real outfielder, like Crawford, who is a perfect fit for the Giants. Yes, it’s a much bigger commitment, but so what? You just won a championship, and you have the pitching to provide a pretty big window for a few more chances. This is no time to get stingy.

    Comment by Oakland Dan — December 1, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  38. Good points there, Joe S, but the Giants will need a SS next year, too. Why is it good to have to have this problem again, and why is Uribe at 32 a worse problem at 7 or 8 million than the problem they have now? Whois the big league-ready SS that’s going to come up and take his place.

    It IS going on the cheap. They have plenty of money, they have the hearts of a very big fan base at this point, and they have big window to work with. If you don’t think they have the money to spend on Crawford, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s what MLB execs want everyone to think. It’s BS.

    Comment by Oakland Dan — December 1, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

  39. Sorry, buncha typos there. Hopefully you get the idea.

    Also, Torres, Huff and Uribe (obviously), are not what I;d call core players going forward. This is why teams make moves. This is why there is turnover. The smart teams do it well, and the stupid teams do it poorly. Sometimes it’s best to set yourself up for the future by not hamstringing yourself with bad contracts, and sometimes you have to pull the trigger on something big. If the Giants shouldn’t spend on a player like Crawford, when should they? Never?

    Comment by Oakland Dan — December 1, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  40. you need one because not having one makes your team worse. Really, they needed SOMEONE to play SS. Tejada is bad, but he’s better than Emmanuel Burriss. The only other option is a trade for a *slightly* better Bartlett or *slightly* less available JJ Hardy, or a no-hit scrub. Tejada’s probably better than a no-hit scrub (Izturis?) … now is he $5M better? Probably not, but unless you perfect storm all your scrimping and saving into the Carl Crawford fund, it’s hardly relevant.

    And the Giants can still technically sign Crawford or Werth. A few million allocated in 2011 doesn’t change that.

    Comment by zenbitz — December 1, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  41. prospects or middle relievers (traded for Bartlett) aren’t free.

    Comment by zenbitz — December 1, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  42. OD

    I must not be current on the Giants but didn’t they sign Huff(are you expecting him to play OF if Sandoval goes to 1B?) And then who at 3B?

    The Giants are a perfect fit for a Uribe/Tejada like insurance policy because they have so many questions at 2B(who are you playing here?), SS and 3B. They had a similar sitation last off season which they solved by signing Uribe. That decision helped them win a world series wouldn’t you agree?

    Comment by Griggs — December 1, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  43. I’ve lost 10 lbs. since the end of the World Series (180 to 170), and I haven’t even been dieting.
    10 lbs. out of nearly 300 is trivial.

    Comment by GiantHusker — December 1, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  44. I would agree, but they also got really lucky. Huff and Torres put up huge seasons, and the pitching staff was perfect down the stretch, while the Padres blew it. You can’t expect this team to repeat last year’s performance without making an attempt to get better. They are overrating themselves.

    Wasn’t DeRosa going to maybe play 3B? You’re already committed to him on a bad contract, so you might as well go that direction.

    Tejada is no Juan Uribe. Tejada straight up sucks at this point. Uribe’s a pretty good player.

    Also, I know that prospects and middle relievers aren’t free, but the Giants prospects, beyond Wheeler and Belt, aren’t all that great. Wouldn’t take that much to get it done. I disagree that Bartlett is “slighty” better than Tejada. He’s way better than Tejada starting from right about now.

    People are making excuses for this team, and it’s ridiculous. They won the World Series, and now they are going to tighten up the purse strings and collect on a couple of honeymoon years. It’s a joke. Crawford would be a perfect fit, and if you don’t think they have the money, you’re wrong.

    Comment by Oakland Dan — December 1, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  45. The Giants can’t sign anybody else of significance, let alone Crawford. Their payroll for next year is already $95M, not counting all the minimum salaries and the arbitration results for Ross, Sanchez, Torres, et. al. They’ve probably already exceeded their budget.

    Comment by GiantHusker — December 1, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  46. I like how people think the Giants were actually the best team in baseball in 2010. They sure were in October, but they were pretty mediocre during the regular season, feasting on such powerhouses as Arizona, Houston, Chicago and Milwaukee while getting destroyed by the Padres all year long. They won by Cody Ross and Juan Uribe somehow channeling Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday when they were at the plate in the playoffs. Hey, its all gravy and good for them, but signing anyone who isn’t an A-list star is not going to help them get there again in 2011.

    Sandoval’s .350 2009 BABIP screams “rookie luck”, he’s not an Ichiro-type, you cannot expect him to have that number on a regular basis. His .291 this year is more in tune with the league average and is a better year to analyze him. He’s more the 2010 guy than the 2009 one.

    You cannot catch lightning in a bottle twice, and is a very safe bet SF will not be a relevant team in 2011. Their lineup aside from Posey is awful and unless they sign Carl Crawford or Jason Werth, will continue to be also-rans.

    Comment by PL — December 1, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  47. They also play SS on a team that K’s a lot of batters. It makes a difference if your staff is stocked with K pitchers or GB pitchers.

    Having an average (or worse) SS when your team features Tim Hudson and Jake Westbrook is different than when it features Lincecum and Cain.

    For some reason, in baseball, we tend to look at the individual player without the team, wheras in basketball or football, we look at how the player fits in with the other players on the team. For example, a team with a great running game and outstanding defense, doesn’t need to acquire a 100M QB.

    As a Giants fan, I wouldn’t mind them making a series of 1-year signings and seeing where this team goes in terms of development of the core and what the long-term needs are … versus them making sa bunch of long-term signings under the impression that they are going to be a force for years to come, only to find out that the over-valued some of their key parts.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 1, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  48. You omitted the really good contracts: Zito, Rowand, DeRosa.

    Comment by GiantHusker — December 1, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  49. They won because their pitching staff is set up very well for the playoffs. 3 very good to outstanding SP’s (possibly a 4th).

    They would not be a “favorite” for regular season, or something like that. But in terms of the playoffs …. their top 3 pitchers are as good, probably better, than any other team’s top 3.

    Another difference in baseball … we don’t look at how well teams are composed to win short series after short series. We keep looking at regular season stats, even though 75% of the teams won’t be in the playoffs, and teams typically only use 60% of the starting rotation. Completely different situations.

    IMHO, all SF needs to do is “make the playoffs”, and they’re set up nicely.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 1, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  50. Contract commitments of $95M plus arbitration plus minium salaries come to about $105M. Is 105 your idea of “a few”?

    Comment by GiantHusker — December 1, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

  51. I assume the $17.5M figure is Huff and Tejada. The MAJOR problem with your theory is that it is a house of cards. If the Giants are unable to sign Crawford, then it all falls apart. The Giants are then drastically worse than last year. The only way then to assure that you get Crawford is too WAY overbid for him……something that has not worked out well for the Giants in the past (btw….I’m not personally sold on Crawford as someone being worth 6/100+…..the Giants would probably have to top that by at least $10M to get him).

    If you factor in Ross and J. Sanchez at $5M and Torres at $2M and all the pre-arb players at the MLB minimum, then the Giants’ payroll increases from $96M in 2010 to $110M in 2011. Pretty good increase.

    Once more, despite being WS champs, a lot of players still do not see SF as a desirable place to play. That means even more overbidding. The Giants just proved that dominant pitching and a statistically average offense can win the world series. The may lose some offense with Uribe, but a full year of Posey, Ross and Torres and a (hopefully) rebounding Sandoval give them hopes for increases elsewhere.

    The Giants are spending money….where they just proved it counts….on pitching. I just showed their payroll is increasing in 2011. For 2012, Cain’s salary increases by $8M, BWilson by $2M….JSanchez, Bumgarner and Posey will soon cost more. I think the Giants are spending money where it has worked for them.

    Comment by Joe S. — December 1, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  52. if Sandoval lost 10 lbs already i’d bet half of that is just water weight…read up on how hard it is too actually burn off 3,500 calories

    he’d have to do at least 3 hours of strenuous bicycling or running or rowing, etc and not compensate with increased caloric intake…its possible but he’s got a long way to go to get into decent shape…best indicator by far is measuring change in body fat %…

    Comment by Stoya — December 1, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  53. lol, he didn’t even earn the $6 mil he made last year and he’s 37 and unlikely to repeat what he did last year. dumb move.

    Comment by Stoya — December 1, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  54. Forgot about Derosa, he is just one step up from the Shumacher, Fontenout and Theriot ilk IMO.

    Comment by Griggs — December 1, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  55. Great points and your plan makes a lot of sense to me. The Tejada signing would seem to fit.

    Comment by Griggs — December 1, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

  56. 2B is Freddie Sanchez for one more year at least. no problems there for now.

    Comment by Stoya — December 1, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  57. can’t count on Sandoval – i think he’s more likely to show up at 320 lbs than he is 240.

    Comment by Stoya — December 1, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  58. WOW!………my lips are puckering from all the sour grapes in this post.

    Don’t want to turn this forum nasty, but you must be a fan of the ECE (east coast elite…..Yankees, Boston or Philly)…..teams with fans who think it is their divine right to win the WS. Or maybe you’re a fan of an LA team or even San Diego.

    The Giants played National League teams just like the rest of the National League did. There also happens to be bad teams in the AL if you didn’t notice.

    Some players get hot during the playoffs, some don’t. Ross kicked ass, but Burrell sucked. Uribe hit a couple of key homers but his overall playoff stats were terrible. Torres started off bad….got benched…..then came back strong.

    Baseball has this thing called the playoffs. They don’t crown the team that won the most games during the regular season. Nearly every year we learn that the playoffs can be a crap shoot. This is why the Giants won’t sign Werth or Crawford. They just need to make the playoffs then let their pitching take over.

    The Giants were the best team in baseball in 2010……..their name engraved on the trophy proves it.

    Comment by Joe S. — December 1, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  59. dude – if Lincecum doesn’t give up that solo HR to Cruz in the 7th, they shut out the Rangers 3 times in 5 games. Get it?

    Comment by Stoya — December 1, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  60. I agree…..

    You could have made an argument for Lopez as NLCS MVP. They gave up a guy whose upside is a 4/5 starter (Martinez) and a AAAA player (Bowker) who is not projected to crack the starting lineup of the worst team in baseball.

    Comment by Joe S. — December 1, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  61. Quickly, immerse him in water!

    Comment by pitnick — December 1, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  62. “Their lineup aside from Posey is awful and unless they sign Carl Crawford or Jason Werth, will continue to be also-rans.”

    That was my favorite part of PL’s post. Not often you see the team that just won the World Series referred to as an “also-ran”.

    Comment by Joe S. — December 1, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  63. Yeah, one year for a modest sum is pretty much a shrug move in terms of risk. He may not (probably won’t) give good WAR per dollar, but there’s no reason for anyone to faint and get the vapors over this.

    Comment by bflaff — December 1, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

  64. If one were to sit down and look at each team, and decide which team they’d like to have in the playoffs, the Giants would have to be a strong consideration.

    Seriously, you have to beat Cain, Lincecum, and Sanchez 3 times out of 5 games, or 4 times out of 7. Good freackin luck with that. The offense probably has to score 3-4 runs a game for that to happen. Even a poor MLB offense (with a few, rare exceptions) can do that regularly.

    In regards to evaluating the playoff teams, my preference is to basically throw out regular season stats that include games against non-playoff teams. Who cares how players/teams did against average or below average teams? That tells us little to nothing about how they could/should perform in the playoffs.

    I would be interested in seeing how the SFG performed against the stronger teams in the league. My guess is that they did pretty darn well. Limit that to just games that features “playoff SP vs. Playoff SP”, and you have more relevant information, although SSS becomes an issue.

    IMO, if we looked at more relevant stats, we might not chalk so much stuff up to “luck” in the playoffs.

    So much of the analysis here about playoffs looked at teams’ wOBA against ALL teams and pitcher FIP against ALL opponents. Why?

    My guess is because we choose sample size qualifications over relevant data. Mistake, IMHO.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 1, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  65. but they also got really lucky


    We’d say the same thing about ANY team that won the WS without a 200M payroll.

    Almost every team that wins the WS has a new guy have a career/breakout year. That goes without saying. So why say it?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 1, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  66. I know he is very old and getting older fast, but his track record of playing 162 games a year at shortstop is pretty good.

    Comment by dxclancy — December 1, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  67. Here is how Uribe channeled Pujols in the playoffs:
    Or maybe you meant Roy Halladay, not Matt Holliday? =:>

    I was at the game in which he got his first biggest “hit” of the playoffs, to go ahead of the phillies in the best game of the playoffs, and I loved him for it. It was a Sac Fly. That was bookended with a home run in the clincher against the phillies, and a home run in one of the high scoring series games. Some big hits, timeliness wise, but that’s about it.

    Comment by dxclancy — December 1, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

  68. Uribe has also been know to channel Serrano.

    Comment by Scout Finch — December 1, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  69. That’s where the bratwurst comes from at AT&T…….all the chickens that Uribe sacrificed….

    Comment by Joe S. — December 1, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

  70. Ah, but for the convenience of arm-chairing Sabean in a comfortably obviated vacuum…

    Many here are usually familiar that one of the recently identified trends in marginal success is that veteran players on short-term deals have been undervalued. The value extends further than the sticker price vs. WAR, most especially for playoff teams needing positive incremental one-win improvements. I feel its too easy to be a reactionary type on average pay for average player deals, so why climb that short lil podium.

    Operating the age-old, group-think Sabean analysis double standard belies the Giants’ roster-building capabilities going forward. With only a couple roster spots left on the 40, and a lot to prove out of those current Giants (Pablo, DeRosa), the Giants needed to develop the leverage that comes with a flexibly whole team.

    The Sabean trade bashing is really poorly thought out. Other than the AJ trade, Sabean has well above average track record. That AJ trade has become nothing more than a blogger meme at this point. To wit; I ask how many cite Schuerholz’s Teixeira trade? Hmm, seems to me his legacy is still considered HOF-worthy despite hanging this, the greatest of all modern trade fleecing, on his mantle.

    Keep in mind the Giants now have all positions (if only) adequately covered, with a relief pitching surplus going into the rule V, winter meetings, and dumpster diving January.

    La Gua Gua might not be the best possible player, but timing is everything, and the team’s marginal ability to improve vastly increased from here on out.

    Comment by Oddibe McBlauser — December 1, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  71. Tejada had a WAR of 1.3 last year (not sure how it’d look if he was SS the entire year).

    Bartlett was 0.7

    Uribe was 3.2

    As folks have noted around here before, prior to Uribe’s last two years, he put up a COMBINED 1.7 WAR in his previous three years.

    Bartlett had a great 2009, but of course sucked last year.

    Tejada? 2.6, 3.3, 2.8, his three years prior to last year.

    Uribe was signed to a 3 year deal worth $21MM. That’s not chump change and I don’t think it’s crazy to think that deal may bite LA on the ass in the last year (we’ll see).

    I said it before but: WHO ELSE SHOULD THE GIANTS SIGN??? You have to have SOMEONE play SS. Saying, “Just trade for Bartlett” sounds so easy but who knows what the Rays are looking for in return. Is Bartlett worth it if the Giants give up someone like Belt in return? I’d rather have Belt and Tejada than only Bartlett.

    There is a dearth of SS talent available. But it’s unlikely the move bites the Giants too hard. Some act like if Tejada isn’t worth the full value of his contract that it’s a bust. Not true. Maybe he’s only worth 80% of it and the Giants overpay by a million or two. Oh well. It’s one year and maybe overlooked is that Tejada is durable. In the past decade he’s only had one season where he played fewer than 155 games.

    He won’t kill the Giants and can move to 3B is Pablo is deemed too fat to play pro baseball.

    Comment by Mike — December 1, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  72. Playing DeRosa because they’re paying DeRosa is terrible reasoning. He’ll likely be a utility man or maybe start in LF until Belt arrives. That is IF he comes back healthy and still capable.

    Comment by pitnick — December 1, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  73. Sorry to pile on, but what the heck is rookie luck? You can’t just pick and choose stats. Maybe Sandoval’s BABIP will be at .290 in the future, maybe .350. You can make an educated guess, but we don’t know for sure, and there’s absolutely no reason to write off his 2008 & 2009 completely.

    Comment by pitnick — December 1, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

  74. I question their budget, in terms of what they are willing to spend I should say. I got the impression last off-season that if they didn’t land a premium bat, namely Jason Bay, that they’d be pursuing one this year, with Werth being the rumored name. Maybe I’m mis-remembering things though.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 1, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  75. OD,
    I believe the Giants feel they have long term options at SS, perhaps as soon as 2012, which I’m guessing is part of the reluctance to giving a three year deal to Uribe. I think they are going to use this season to further evaluate Ehire Adrianza, and even more so, Brandon Crawford. Crawford’s glove rates well, I think there hope is that he can be a JJ Hardy type, great glove, okay OBP, solid pop, low batting average. Seems like a reasonable expectation to me. If they believe that internally, why shell out three years to Uribe? If they are incorrect, and Crawford and Adrianza continue to be all glove no bat shortstops, then they look into dealing for or signing another SS next year.

    As far as DeRosa goes, first things first, he has to prove himself healthy. At that point, if the Giants don’t make any major signing to impact their OF, I think DeRosa, as someone else pointed out, plays LF early in the season until Belt is promoted. At which time he is shifted to a super utility role.

    I think when it’s said and done though, the Giants have a fairly busy offseason, either through making a surprising splash in free agency, or perhaps revisiting dealing Jonathan Sanchez. I’ll also be closely tracking Thomas Neal this year, because I’d imagine they’ll start him at Triple-A, meaning he’s not far from being a 4th OF, and hopefully a contributor.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 1, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

  76. Agreed pitnick. Toss in that his HR/FB was cut in half from his previous season (14.0% in 2009, 7.0% in 2010) and I see reason for optimism as he physically matures. While his .350 BABIP seems low, he did post a high BABIP in his time up in 2008 as well. I suspect his BABIP most seasons will fall below .350, but I think above .300 is reasonable for a batter with a solid career LD rate of 18.8%.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 1, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

  77. Not be a relevant team in 2011, really? I’ve already offered some thoughts on Panda below, but lets look at some other reasons the Giants will be relevant in 2011, and most likely a better team. Whether being a better team than the 2010 edition results in a WS title is another story, but here are some things to keep in mind:

    1- Aaron Rowand won’t be starting in CF to open the season, that position will be manned by Andres Torres from the get go.

    2- Buster Posey will be starting the season with the parent club, not in Fresno.

    3- Madison Bumgarner will be opening the season in the rotation, not Todd Wellemeyer who was terrible.

    4- Brandon Belt is likely to be promoted at somepoint this season. It is possible he isn’t, or he struggles to adjust to the major leagues, but it is also possible he is promoted and is a valuable asset.

    5- Freddy Sanchez will be opening the year healthy, unlike in 2010.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 1, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

  78. the sac fly was a walk-off game winner off Oswalt, then he hit what was essentially a game-winning HR(and backbreaker for the Phils) in the 8th off Madsen in Game 6 and then he hits the 3-run bomb that effectively ends Game 1 of the WS. He didn’t have many hits but he did have 9 RBIs in the playoffs and made some great plays on defense at both SS and 3B – i believe it was Gload that he made a hell of a play on in the 9th inning of the final game of NLCS and a few of the Rangers that got hosed at first had to be thrown out by Uribe. Uribe and Renteria were just money on the left side of infield on defense in the playoffs and not bad on offense either.

    Comment by Bobby Grich — December 2, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  79. I think it was a horrible decision to allow Uribe to sign with LAD, for several reasons beyond that it improves a (hated) division rival. Signing Tejada so quickly for nearly the same annual salary looks like a typical reactionary move by Sabean. Sure, Tejada might actually produce market value WAR for contract dollars, but that is also surely inferior to what Uribe would have meant for SF and likely will mean for LA. Maybe Uribe’s numbers would have regressed with SF somewhat next year, and gone down further in successive years, but right now, the only important factor is that his resigning would have improved the team in 2011 more than the Tejada signing, and thereby improved their chances of repeating–and there can’t be a higher goal for SFG at this point than the 2011 WS. When we further consider the scarcity of available talent at SS, the loss of Uribe is not much short of cataclysmic. I hope the optimists about the Giants prospects are proven right and me wrong that no one other than Belt is anywhere near ML-ready. Bottom line, regardless of whether Uribe’s contract projects as an overpay over the course of the deal, I still think it would have been worth it for his contribution in 2011 (especially with no equal available alternatives, making his performance worth a premium), the fanbase predominantly loved him, and there still doesn’t project to be a ML-ready SS from SF’s MiLB system for 2012.

    Comment by merizobeach — December 2, 2010 @ 10:05 am

  80. Even Chris Haft, who seems to be little more than Sabean’s blogging avatar, anticipates the team’s commitments to reach $110M after resigning the arbitration-eligible players.

    Comment by merizobeach — December 2, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  81. Five excellent points. Apparently Burrell has also just agreed to terms; that’s got to be a valuable component. One big minus is Tejada replacing Uribe; even if Uribe struggles with LA, it wouldn’t convince that he would’ve struggled with SF over the next three years. Oh well.

    Comment by merizobeach — December 2, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  82. Even if Uribe was demanding $25M over 3 years from Sabean, I still think it’s worth it. There is no other way to compensate for the value of marginal utility between Uribe and Tejada (if you accept the idea that Uribe will be better–perhaps a win or more–than Tejada in 2011); as an example, Jeter, even if he is better, is not coming to SF, and not for a bargain. There should be no other goal in the Giants’ front office than repeating in 2011; Uribe was a superior option to Tejada toward that end, (paying his salary for 2012 & ’13 be damned).

    Comment by merizobeach — December 2, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  83. What do you mean, “there can’t be a higher goal than the 2011 WS?” Because they won a World Series, they must now turn into a win-now and screw-the-future team? Why should success in 2010 preclude them from considering the long-term health of the organization? (And I mean 2012 and 2013, not 2020).

    Given the options available to them, the Giants decided on a one-year outlay of cash for an adequate player who can hold down a position of need until they can acquire someone better. There were no magic bullets here, and given the scarcity of good options, I’m glad they went with a one-year commitment rather than tying themselves down for several years to a player of more or less equal ability.

    (On a tangential note: it’s been reported by several media sources that the Giants offered to match Uribe’s deal with the Dodgers…)

    Comment by Graham — December 2, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  84. @Oakland Dan — I’m confused. Are you lumping in Huff as part of the “players who aren’t going to make your team better?” Based on what, exactly? Also — your premise of placeholders being a bad idea because they leave a team in the same position after they depart is flawed. The whole point of a placeholder is to fill a need in the short-term and wait for something better to come along. It’s unlikely that the shortstops available over the next 15 months are going to be a worse crop than what’s out there right now — in fact, it’s highly unlikely.

    As for Uribe — I loved him while he was with the Giants, and his defense and additions to team chemistry will be missed. I won’t particularly miss the fact that he would try to hit a 600-foot home run any time he batted after someone else had gone deep, and I think there’s a very good chance that his body type and poor conditioning will mean that he ages rather poorly.

    Comment by Graham — December 2, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  85. well, the Giants just resigned Pat Burrell for 1 year / $1 million. 3 WAR in less than 400 plate appearances? sounds like a good deal to me.

    Comment by David — December 2, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  86. Chuck -

    I don’t disagree that defense is an important contribution, particularly from a middle infielder. A run saved is as good as a run scored.

    But damn that offense (the non-Pujolsian and non-Hollidayse portion) was utterly punchless last year after Freese went down and TL had a tiff with Colby.

    Comment by Jason B — December 2, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  87. Thank you! For some reason, you are the only one making these obvious, in-context points.

    We don’t have a problem at 2nd. Sanchez is a good player.

    I would add to your five:

    6. another lincecum meltdown is unlikely for a whole month. He will progress towards his mean.

    7. J. Sanchez got better this year, end of playoffs notwithstanding

    8. A sandoval progression towards the mean would be add quite a few runs

    9. Cody Ross in the opening day outfield.

    We’re an improved team. I predict we’ll be better than 41-40 at midway in 2011, and that the Padres won’t completely spank us all season. We will compete for the NL West this year, which is all you can ask.

    Comment by DH — December 2, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  88. I’ve found that the first 10-15 pounds are the easiest to lose. Harder to keep the weight off and keep the pounds trending downward. Seems like Panda found that out the hard way last year.

    It’s also been said that he’d tried to lose weight during the season but the conditioning on the side led to a lot of extra fatigue. He’s probably battling a combination of genetics, diet and lifestyle problems, and hopefully it isn’t anything more. I don’t envy his situation… except for the being a pro baseball player/millionaire part. OK I envy his situation.

    Comment by J.M. — December 2, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

  89. The more I retrace the timeline, the more I see Miggy & Juanito having done a lil colluding to each get good early contracts from the NL West. That at least explains the anecdotes on Uribe’s strange negotiating.

    Comment by Oddibe McBlauser — December 2, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  90. Nobody said the Giants were the best team in the league during the regular season. But mediocre? They won the 5th most games in the majors, and 2nd in the NL. Isn’t that at least “pretty good?”

    They won 92 games, and would have won a 93rd if not for a blown call by Phil Cuzzi costing a victory against the Mets. Their Pythagorean W/L was 94-68. Is that how you measure “mediocre?”

    They didn’t even play in a particularly weak division. The NL East and AL East were bere better, but the NL West stands up to the others just fine and actually averaged more wins than the other 3 divisions. The Padres were a legit 90-win team, whether you like the way they win (pitching and defense) or not, and the Rockies played well until punting the last two weeks when they fell out of contention. The only really bad team in that division were the DBacks.

    The lineup aside from Posey is awful? Andres Torres and Huff were two of the best 20 players in baseball according to Fangraphs WAR. Freddy Sanchez isn’t special, but he isn’t awful. Pat Burrell put up a .872 OPS after joining the Giants, in line with his last 4 non-DH seasons. Is he awful? Cody Ross can be counted on for a 2-3 WAR. And neither of Torres, Sanchez, Posey, Burrell and Ross were playing everyday from the start of the season.

    I also liked how you said the World Champs will “continue to be also-rans.” The Giants are good; get used to it.

    Comment by J.M. — December 2, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  91. Poor conditioning? It was my understanding that Uribe was built like a wall of muscle.

    I really admired his all or nothing swing. It must intimidate pitchers.

    Comment by merizobeach — December 3, 2010 @ 12:32 am

  92. Graham, I start with the premise that Uribe will be better in 2011 than Tejada; nevermind that I think Uribe would have been better in SF than he will be in LA. Therefore, Uribe would have given the team a better shot at repeating next year, and the goal of the front office ought to be to repeat at any affordable cost. In no way would $25M to Uribe over three years have hamstrung the club, especially when he had a decent chance of providing adequate WAR for dollars over the span of the contract. Tejada is a downgrade on the field, in the batters box, and in the clubhouse. Sabean botched this one.

    Comment by merizobeach — December 3, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  93. The Giants couldn’t wait to get rid of Bonds because of the steroids stain. Yet they signed Miguel, who has without question stained. Bad signing. This guy’s power has decreased ever since he left Baltimore and he has never hit for average, not to even mention his lack of range at shortstop. He is going to flop even worse from Edgar Alonso (remember him?) There is going to be a big hole at shortstop at AT&T park in SF.

    Comment by Nightrider — December 3, 2010 @ 5:35 am

  94. Everything I read says Tejada is a great clubhouse guy. Uribe is NOT 31.
    Tejada has a better BA and more clutch hits than Uribe last year + 154 games.

    Comment by mark — December 3, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

  95. Tejada plays more games and Uribe is like 35

    Comment by mark — December 3, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  96. Make that 4 pitchers!

    Comment by mark — December 3, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  97. I wouldn’t want to face Posey, Huff, Belt, Ross with Timmy or Matt on the mound

    Comment by mark — December 3, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

  98. Tejada had 2 more game-winning hits than Uribe in 2010 regular season.

    Comment by mark — December 3, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  99. Based on what?

    Comment by mark — December 3, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

  100. I thought the Giants were the only thing that kept barry in baseball. Everyone else wanted him out, and SFG kept giving him money to play for a team not in contention.

    SFG signed Tejada for ONE year.

    Bonds was making ~20M as a 41yo.

    The situations really aren’t that similar other than both are veterans past their prime and they both have been suspected of steroids. We could use that criteria to link any number of guys.

    I’d rather see a team sign a vet for 1 year rather than overdo it and sign someone for 4-5 seasons and have the contract impede their progress, or be a result of over-valuing their current situation.

    I like the Giants approach of “let’s get through next year or two, and see where we’re at”. Not many teams do that after winning a title. Many start signing guys to long contracts for big money and it becomes a real problem. Start the list of examples.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 3, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  101. I’d start that list in Philly.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 3, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

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