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  1. I wondered this same thing, but no way sabean would ever dream of it

    Comment by Jeffrey — November 3, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  2. …where would montero play? would they really give up on brandon belt already? It would have to be a team with a close to ready or in the majors SS or CF elite hitter. I feel like Han-ram for Lincecum would make a lot of sense and would be the coolest blockbuster trade in a while

    Comment by Kyle — November 3, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  3. I believe Belt would be a capable left fielder.

    Comment by SaberTJ — November 3, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  4. I’d think Lincecum would cost a LOT more than Montero and Nunez, but then again, it IS Sabean, they’d be dealing with.

    Comment by jason — November 3, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  5. For instance, let’s say the Giants decided to ask the Yankees for Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez, and just to make sure they didn’t receive a better offer from Boston, they also would like New York to take some of Aubrey Huff’s remaining $12 million contract off their hands.

    Yes, let’s say the Giants asked. Brian Cashman would then laugh in their faces and hang up the phone. You’re basically saying that Cashman will give up six years of Montero (incredible value surplus) to pay Lincecum roughly $30 million/year for two years, which was basically his market rate at his Cy Young-winning peak. No effing way. Say what you will about Montero not having proven himself yet, but players who hit as well as he does as young as he is do not bust. The only pitcher with the combination of cost control and quality I’d even consider moving Montero for is Clayton Kershaw. Even somebody like Felix Hernandez makes too much money to provide as much surplus value as Montero will over the next six years.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

  6. I like the premise but would rather trade Cain than Lincecum. This is definitely the best way to improve the team that is most cost efficient.

    Comment by Ciscoskid — November 3, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  7. “…add a real center fielder”

    The “real center fielder” most talked about going to SF had the same WAR as Andres Torres. SF’s need for a CF upgrade is greatly overstated.

    Comment by Milby — November 3, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  8. Better yet, entice someone to take on Zito’s anvil contract by pairing him with Belt for a mid-ceiling guy or average big-league regular. You take a ton of money off and leave first open for Huff to slot and sprinkled with Sandoval or Posey, who frankly are going to need the rest there anyway.

    Belt’s a nice prospect but the Giants were still contenders without him producing a whole lot (.225/.306/.412). No one can just hope to pull off another Vernon Wells miracle but by attaching Zito to a hyped, top prospect, you’ll find a taker. With Zito’s contract clear, you’ve got your extra 20 mil to spend this year and the next 2-3. Better flexibility to sign a FA bat or lock down Lince/Cain. Way better than giving up an ace to chance on what Belt can become and what Zito can salvage.

    Comment by Jonathan — November 3, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  9. As a Yankees fan, I would love that trade. I’m not impressed with Nunez, and though Montero is a beast, I think Lincecum would add so much to the offense-heavy team that it would more than make up for Montero’s upside.

    Comment by Matt — November 3, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  10. They probably can improve by trading Lincecum. But I love Timmy too much to see him in another uniform.

    Comment by GotHeem — November 3, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  11. Belt would probably play LF in Dave’s scenario. He actually played more of that than 1B this year with the Giants.

    Comment by Nick — November 3, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  12. I think you’re over estimating the value of Montero by a LONG SHOT! Sure he’s young, cost controlled and has a lot of talent. But the Yankee’s don’t receive surplus value out of cost controlled players near as much as other teams do b/c of their budget. Also where is Montero going to play? You’re not moving Teixeira, they don’t like him as an everyday catcher. Are you just going to use him as a DH? Will he even put up the same numbers as a full time DH (not all hitters do). Also saying players like that don’t bust is quite a statement. Plenty of players bust within their first couple years in the league, top prospects or not. I’m not saying he won’t hit or that he won’t be an offensive star, but I’m not sold on any young player as much as you on Montero. I’m just not sure your points are as valid for a team with the circumstances of the Yankees. They need pitching in a big way and much more so than offense. I think Cashman makes that deal in a heartbeat. In reality I wouldn’t make that deal if I were Sabean without more being included.

    Comment by Dang — November 3, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  13. You don’t trade superstars!!!

    -Yankee fan

    Comment by Anthony — November 3, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  14. I doubt his former landlord feels the same.

    Comment by SaberTJ — November 3, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  15. Get off the internetz and take some grounders Jesus.

    Comment by jake — November 3, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  16. Thanks for the putting it out there Dave.

    It almost sounds too good to be true but I love the creativity. I was thinking about the plan you penned out for the Mariners to acquire Votto and was hoping you’d come up with something as bold for the Giants.

    So if this is the Bold Plan A, what do you have cooked up for the real world Plan B?

    Comment by Scout Finch — November 3, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  17. If you think Belt can really play LF… how about trading Timmah for another award-winning player with 2 relatively expensive years of team control remaining before free agency?

    Ladies and gentlemen… Joey Votto.

    Comment by John Franco — November 3, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  18. I actually doubt the Giants would even consider that deal. Montero has great promise, but as a DH or 1B there’s a strong chance he’ll never be an elite player at his position. When elite pitchers like Lincecum are dealt with even just a half season left on their contract at market rate they generally return at least one prospect close to Montero’s level. With 2 years left I actually think Lincecum would get a bigger return than just Montero and Nunez.

    Comment by Sam — November 3, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  19. You cannot be serious.

    You’re a team with a bottomless payroll, a dearth of pitching and a valuable position prospect with nowhere to play, and you’re holding out for Kershaw or Felix because Tim Freakin’ Lincecum isn’t good enough for you?

    Comment by LexDiamonds — November 3, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  20. There is no way the Yankees would do that! Stupid idea!

    Comment by dan l — November 3, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  21. Seriously, this is the most I have ever seen anyone overvalue Montero. Kershaw the only pitcher you would give him up for? Insane. The guy had an .814 OPS this year in AAA! I expect him to be good, even very good, but you make it seem like he is a can’t-miss soon-to-be top 5 hitter in baseball.

    Comment by jake — November 3, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  22. I honestly it would take an offer like Gardner+Montero+one of the killer B’s to get Sabean to even consider trading Lincecum.

    Comment by Sam — November 3, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  23. No, you misread. He wouldn’t even take King Felix, because Montero offers so much excess value. Pure insanity.

    Comment by jake — November 3, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  24. If I’m Cashman, I jump on that opportunity on the condition that there’s a long-term extension as part of the trade. Then I turn around and trade Betances and something to the Royals (who desparately need young close-to MLB pitching) for good ol’ Billy Butler. Now I have my young, cheap DH, get to use Romine at C, and use big-game Timmy Jim to sit at #2 under CC.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — November 3, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  25. lol

    Comment by Eminor3rd — November 3, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  26. An article with this title really only needs to be one word long: “No.”

    Comment by Brendan — November 3, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  27. “They play in AT&T Park, a place that can make any generic right-hander look fantastic. Whether it’s park effects, the influence of Dave Righetti, or some magical being hanging out in the air in San Francisco, the Giants have a long history of being able to turn mediocre pitchers into home run preventing machines, and in turn, get far better performance out of them than you’d expect.”

    Well, almost any right-hander. See: Wellemeyer, Todd.

    Comment by Matt — November 3, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  28. The Giants certainly have the ability to put a fast guy in CF. Take your pick from the minor league talents Justin Christian, Tyler Graham, Darren Ford. Andres Torres certainly hit like a minor leaguer last year. They could bring up Peguero. Anything to keep the seat warm for Gary Brown. But who know how long it will take for Brown to jump from AA to the bigs.

    Comment by Scout Finch — November 3, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  29. As a Jay fan, this article brings back flashbacks of the Lincecum for Rios rumours. Sigh.

    Comment by Geoff — November 3, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  30. i dont get it…

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — November 3, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  31. why? hes only under control for 2 more years, and theyre 2 VERY expensive years.

    gardner + montero + banuelos/betances is waaay too much for lincecum.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — November 3, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  32. Personally, I think they should trade Dave Righetti. I’m guessing they could get somewhere in the ballpark of a few B prospects, a strong OF bat, and a bag of magic beans.

    Comment by Telo — November 3, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  33. Timmy in nyc? doesn’t sound like a match. Don’t they still make you cut your hair to play there? And where are the dispensaries?

    Comment by jesse — November 3, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  34. Sounds like you are as excited for Gary Brown to arrive as I am. “Hitting Prospect” is not a term we Giants fans ever get tired of hearing.

    Comment by Milby — November 3, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  35. I have been thinking similarly. Lincecum is at a fantastically high value, and the Giants could target NYY, BOS, CHI, PHI, ATL, NYM, CHX, etc. Lincecum should easily bring a high value starting player, a high value prospect and a strong pitching prospect. The Wheeler for Beltran trade was absurdly bad, so I have no faith Sabean could pull off such a high profile trade and walk back with the goods, but this is clearly in the Giants best interest.

    I prefer Cain to Lincecum for the next 5 years, Cain is very unlikely to “break down”, where I see Lincecum as being likely, to highly likely to break down in the next couple years, with that small frame and mediocre work habits.

    Comment by trantor — November 3, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  36. Playing for the Yankees apparently makes you twice as valuable as normal.

    Comment by SC2GG — November 3, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  37. The team doesn’t have a bottomless payroll, and Montero absolutely has a place to play for at least the next couple of years. I might have sounded a little hyperbolic in my post, but I don’t think it’s particularly controversial that Lincecum isn’t a $30 million premium over Montero for the next two years, considering that for this to be the case he’d have to return to his ’08-’09 level and that Montero would have to basically be a replacement-level player. If you think that either of these two scenarios would be an expectation, much less a likelihood, you might want to re-tweak your projection system.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  38. I’ll give you Montero, but you have to take Sabean, Huff and Zito too.

    Comment by SC2GG — November 3, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  39. IMO, the dominant issue in San Francisco won’t be wins and losses or getting a hitter that can prosper in AT&T, if such a rare animal exists. The issue will be behinds in seats, and this staff, particularly Lincecum puts them there. This a privately financed park with a big mortgage and a group of owners who, at least in the ear term, want to take money out of the organization. Those two features will keep lincecum in place until past the time the organization probably ought to move him. In any case, if Huff hits .280 with 25-30 HR again, with that pitching, the win the NL West again. If they get in the post season, any team you know want to face that staff in October?

    Comment by channelclemente — November 3, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  40. No. Now let me go back and read the article beneath the headline.

    Comment by Dave — November 3, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  41. If Lincecum were to leave, and that’s a big, big if, look for him to land in Anaheim.

    Comment by channelclemente — November 3, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  42. When elite pitchers like Lincecum are dealt with even just a half season left on their contract at market rate they generally return at least one prospect close to Montero’s level.

    Name one. Sabathia was traded for Matt LaPorta. Cliff Lee was traded for Justin Smoak (and the Mariners took a lesser deal than the Yanks’ offer of Montero and spare change, back when Montero was farther out and not as valuable). Roy Halladay didn’t return any A-prospects. And none of those guys were making Lincecum’s money, nor did any of them come with dead weight attached to them the way Dave has proposed the Yanks’ take on Aubrey Huff. With the incredible amount of long-term money the Yanks have tied up in Sabathia, Teixeira, A-Rod, Burnett and Jeter, the Yankees can’t afford to dump $30 million/year AND one of the best prospects in baseball on any pitcher, even Tim Lincecum.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

  43. Ditto. It ‘ain’t’ the park, it Rags and the cut fastball.

    Comment by channelclemente — November 3, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

  44. At least come up with a trade the Giants would do before posting this idea. Lincecum for Montero and Nunez is a horrible trade. If they trade the face of their franchise the Giants are going to want a proven player/superstar in return.

    Comment by Joseph — November 3, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

  45. Yanks would trade Monetro and Nunez, take the Huff contract, plus give up Banuelos for Lincecum. As they should.

    Comment by Cliff — November 3, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  46. Now that is an idea I like!!

    Comment by Hurtlocker — November 3, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  47. I remember that, thank God that was only a rumor.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — November 3, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  48. Perhaps if you gave linecoke to your editors, they wouldn’t erroneously leave Linecum in the title.

    Comment by Marver — November 3, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  49. True

    Comment by Hurtlocker — November 3, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  50. Giants don’t use cut fastballs, 2 seamer/change up combo.

    Comment by Azmanz — November 3, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  51. Your examples of LaPorta and Smoak are exactly why the Giants won’t even consider dealing Lincecum for essentially just Montero. Those guys were both at least as good of prospects as Montero is now when they were dealt and they were dealt for pitchers with a lot less time under contract left. Neither player has yet come close to meeting expectations. Yes, Lincecum is owed a lot but its still significantly less than what he’d get on the open market. The point is he’s a proven elite player and even at 18-20 mil per year, 2 years of Lincecum is worth a lot more than one very promising, but largely unproven, and perhaps position-less, hitting prospect. If Montero had a larger sample size of being a great hitter at the major league level and still had a lot of cheap service time left it would be a different story, but as of now he doesn’t.

    Comment by Sam — November 3, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  52. What should also be mentioned is that Lincecum actually pitches better away fro AT&T

    Home 2011- ERA 3.07
    Away 2011-ERA 2.38
    so much for ATT being a pitchers park.

    The Giants fans would be upset. I would stop being a giants fan.
    There is no pitcher in baseball that is more fun to watch.
    They can keep kershaw who basically has had one very good year. Timmeh has been the best player for the first four years of his career in almost ever.

    Comment by cl — November 3, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  53. I wonder if Texas could be a good partner for the Giants–trying to repeat next year, lots of good prospects in the system.

    Comment by Max — November 3, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

  54. Articles like this make me nauseous, what is the point of being a fan at this point? Lincecum is our son he came through the organization, watching his first start was one of the proudest days of my life. Seeing him lead the giants into the playoffs for the first time in seven years and then dominate the way he did, was a feeling ill never be able to describe.
    As the rays have shown it’s not enough to win to become a dominant franchise, you have to connect with your fans, give them heroes and memories. Maybe trading lincecum for some super package ultimately does help the giants win a few more games 3 years from now it would still destroy the giants.

    Comment by va — November 3, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  55. I am a Yankee fan, but Cashman would put Montero on the back of a tandem bicycle and pedal him to Seattle for King Felix. Come back to us brother.

    Comment by Steve — November 3, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  56. This is one of the few things I can say made me more stupid as I read.

    Montero and Nunez for Lincecum?

    Either you took a puff from Tim’s water pipe, or you seriously don’t have a clue about Player Values.

    Also, the Giants have more than enough dough to spend on a high-class free agent, but because of their conservative mentality, a Jose Reyes/Carlos Beltran reunion won’t likely happen.

    But their fiscal mentality doesn’t mean that they will make ridiculous trades- even by Sabeans standards (e.i. Aj Pierzynski trade).

    Although I’m in favor for trades involving over paid players such as Huff, Lincecum is worth every penny in his contract.

    Obviously the mudblood who wrote this article needs to be reminded of 2006 team that didn’t have a rotation to save their lives.

    Comment by SwagMasterJames — November 3, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  57. I wonder if that Alex Rios for Timmy L is still on the table?

    Seriously, I bet AA could get SF to TAKE on Rios contract while also trading Lincecum to the Jays!

    Comment by tdotsports1 — November 3, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  58. There would be a fucking riot in SF if Lincecum was traded.

    A peaceful, passive riot mind you, but we’d be really mad and would totally think about breaking shit. I would personally shake my fist in angst for hours. Then I’d get stoned and just be bummed out for a while that Timmy was gone.

    Comment by Bay Area guy — November 3, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

  59. When Matt LaPorta was traded, he was a 23 y.o. in AA. When he was Montero’s age, he was still in college. When Justin Smoak was traded, he was a 23 y.o OPSing .860 as a AAA repeater (or ten points less than Montero posted as a 20 y.o. in AAA the first time around). LaPorta had never been in the majors at all, and Smoak had shown a disappointing debut – Montero’s debut would only help his trade value, especially combined with his prospect pedigree. He was ranked 3rd and 4th among all prospects last year by BA and Keith Law, respectively, and 4th/10th the year before. Smoak only cracked the top ten on Keith’s list once, and never rose above 13th for BA. LaPorta was never a top-20 prospect. But sure, keep on claiming that Smoak and LaPorta were in any way, shape or form comparable to what Montero is now.

    Also, I’d think about it at $18-20 million/year, but that’s not what this article is premised on. Dave thinks Lincecum gets $20 million this year, presumably more in fourth-year arbitration next year, plus Huff’s dead-weight $12 million. That’s a lot closer to $28-30 million/year.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  60. Can they get Pineda, Triunfel, Halman, League, and maybe get the Ms to eat all of Figgins’ salary.

    Comment by Omar — November 3, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  61. Next you should write an article about how if you add up the WARs, Seattle will improve by trading Felix Hernandez.

    Comment by Omar — November 3, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  62. “When Justin Smoak was traded, he was a 23 y.o OPSing .860 as a AAA repeater (or ten points less than Montero posted as a 20 y.o. in AAA the first time around).”

    Or 45 points higher than Montero as a 21 yr old repeating AAA.

    Can’t ignore this year in our evaluations.

    Comment by jake — November 3, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  63. Let me help summarize this article:
    Q: Should the Giants trade Lincecum?
    A: Yes, provided they get back more than they give up.

    It works for any player on any team, actually.

    Q: Should the Phillies trade Halladay?
    A: Yes, provided they get back more than they give up.

    Comment by hunterfan — November 3, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  64. If he’s a 6 win player, he’s worth $30 M or so on the FA market. If he’s going to receive $20-22 M, his surplus value is only about $8 M or so. He’s not worth that much more than Montero and Nunez. Get Boston and Texas involved and maybe you could squeeze another solid prospect out of one but the hefty salary will eat away a lot of his surplus value.

    Comment by chuckb — November 3, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  65. Sure can’t. Of course, I’d take a 21 y.o. OPSing .814 in AAA with a history of having done better over a 23 y.o. OPSing .859 in AAA having the best year of his career. Also, September counts too. I know it’s chic to only look at the five months that help your point and ignore the year before or the month after that slash a hole in it, but you really should try to avoid that.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  66. the whole organizationwould be so stupid to do that!
    were talking about TIM LINCECUM:
    2-time CY Young Award winner
    led a team to a World Series Championship.
    you cant just trade a guy like that!!!!!!!!!!!
    hes special and no doubt, unique.

    Comment by katie — November 3, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  67. I look at all the evidence and see a plus hitter who will never play a position well. Not the superstar you describe.

    Comment by jake — November 3, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  68. A) He doesn’t need to be a superstar for this to be a bad trade, primarily because of the prohibitive financial cost of acquiring Lincecum along with Huff and the fact that anything he provides over replacement value is surplus for at least three years.

    B) I’m going to go with a professional scouting opinion of his bat that has him rated a little higher than just “plus.” Take it away, KLaw!

    We can all agree on one thing about Montero: He’s going to hit. And by that, I mean he’s going to hit for average, get on base and have huge power — the type of offensive profile that plays anywhere on the field and in the lineup. Montero is a physical beast, the rare front-foot hitter who can generate big-time power, reminiscent of Frank Thomas who was, himself, also a patient and disciplined hitter.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  69. Dave, you certainly hit a nerve with the SF faithful. I doubt many even read the article. I agree with the premise: if SF trades Lincecum for some solid MLB-ready hitters they will do better than not. However, Nunez and Montero? I think Montero is going to be an absolutely stellar hitter, but Nunez is a fill-in piece. I’d say Swisher, who I think would fit in SF’s lineup well, and Montero, with NYY picking up a 1/3 or more of Swisher’s salary would be more fair. Doubt NYY do that though.

    Some of my favorites of the Giants homer crowd (not saying all SFG fans are like this):

    “if Huff hits .280 with 25-30 HR again, with that pitching, the win the NL West again”

    – Yeah, and if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a trolley.

    “Lincecum is our son he came through the organization, watching his first start was one of the proudest days of my life.”

    – I have no words…

    Comment by Really? — November 3, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

  70. “the Yankees can’t afford to…”

    Any time you include this in your post, it is going to be tough getting people to take you seriously.

    Comment by Jason F — November 3, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  71. When you’re comparing value, you need to look at who Lincecum who be replacing, as well as who would be filling in for Montero. So, it is not a straight WAR calculation between those involved in the trade.

    Comment by jake — November 3, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

  72. As the Mets have shown, it’s not enough to connect with your fans, give them heroes and memories. You have to win, and become a dominant franchise. Maybe signing Lincecum to a 8 year, 180 million dollar deal does help the Giants sell a few more tickets now, but 5 years they would be cash strapped and hard-pressed to field a contender.

    Comment by Christian — November 3, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

  73. Well Dave, I agree with you that SFG should at least consider trading Lincecum, given his astronomical value in a seller’s market.

    However, I wouldn’t think Montero and Nunez would be nearly enough. If that’s all the market dictates, then I wouldn’t pull the trigger. Having a Carlos Lee type is nice, but Montero will be a liability in so many ways.

    What about the Rangers? They have Andrus, might be willing to build a package around Jurickson Profar.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — November 3, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  74. Mediocre work habits? Where did you get that from?

    Comment by Jason F — November 3, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  75. In a general sort of way, certainly. But players can be worth more or less to a particular team based on other circumstances, like if said team is in an extremely tight competition for a playoff spot. If the difference between Lincecum and the next best player available is (lets say) 2 wins, but those 2 wins increase that team’s playoff odds from 50 to 70% (again, making up numbers), and there’s no easy way to make up those wins elsewhere on the roster, then that upgrade is worth more to the team than the absolute difference in value would suggest.

    Exactly how that calculus works out in this specific case, I’m not sure.

    Comment by Bhaakon — November 3, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  76. Where did Jose Reyes sign?!?!

    Comment by BlackOps — November 3, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  77. Um, you know after Timmy’s rookie season, after he got a “flu” sometime between touching down in NYC for the All-Star Game and game time, Timmy for Alex Rios was openly floated by sources within the Giants front office – with breakability and “work-ethic” being the stated reasons.

    So, the never-before-discussed part is empty hyperbole.

    Comment by Cuban X Senators — November 3, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  78. I called Sabean and he said he doesn’t give a damn what Bochy says. It’s not his decision to make and that Timmy is as good as gone, primarily because of this article.

    Comment by Jason F — November 3, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  79. Lincecum value will not be any higher going forward. A 20 million dollar pitcher is an incredible risk, particularly in light of his frame and his cumulative workload.

    Comment by Scout Finch — November 3, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  80. The Giants could certainly improve by dealing Lincecum, but a deal revolving around Montero is laughable.

    Comment by Matt — November 3, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  81. Surplus value is only important when you have finite financial resources. The Yankees have infinite (for all practical baseball purposes) monies, and as such only care about absolute value; they could give a shit if they are loosing out on “surplus” – they make it back and more if they make the W.S.

    Comment by AK707 — November 3, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  82. Which is why the Yankees’ payroll has plateaued ever since 2005, right? Shockingly, even the Yankees have a budget. Pretending this isn’t the case is foolish.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

  83. Funny, I heard the EXACT same thing from Twins fans about Joe Mauer and that whole situation.

    How is that working out?

    Comment by Logic — November 3, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  84. AK707 has it right. The Yankees’ top priority is winning the World Series. That’s much more important than maximizing surplus value.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 3, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  85. Was this article linked to MLBTR? It sure got a lot of chucklehead comments.

    Comment by John R — November 3, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  86. Didn’t Bochy call him out this year for being out of shape? I assume that’s what trantor is referring to.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 3, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  87. For sure. And I hope it’s clear that I’ve never claimed that Jesus Montero is better than Tim Lincecum in any absolute sense. But the Yankees are currently committed to $174 million in guaranteed contracts for next season before even considering what Martin, Hughes, Chamberlain, Logan, Gardner and Robertson make in arbitration. Add on Lincecum’s (presumed) $20 million and Huff’s $10 million, and that brings the Yanks’ payroll guarantees to $204 million. Taking MLBTR’s arbitration estimates would run the Yanks’ payroll to $222 million, $15 million more than they paid last year and $9 million more than they paid in 2010, the highest payroll they’ve ever had. This does not include a DH, a fourth outfielder, a competent caddy for A-Rod/Jeter, any rotation depth whatsoever or a LOOGY. Lincecum projects (by a simple 4/3/2/1 Marcel) to be a 5-win pitcher next year. The guy he probably replaces is Freddy Garcia, who likely comes back for roughly $5-6 million and 1.6 wins. Montero will likely be better than whatever scrap-heap DH they picked up, since they won’t be able to spend any money on the spot if they get Lincecum. At this point, the Yankees have spent an extra $25 million to gain maybe two wins, which can probably be made up for far less than $25 million by tweaking the bullpen, the rotation depth and the reserves. The trade doesn’t just not make sense in a vacuum, it doesn’t make sense for this Yankees team.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  88. The Yankees payroll is roughly the same as it was in 2005. Acquiring Lincecum would, as I’ve laid out below, probably push their payroll $15-20 million past that level for a gain that can likely be made up for much cheaper. But sure, let’s ignore that evidence and just pretend the Yankees can afford whatever they want.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  89. No, they wouldn’t. Trading Swisher to the Giants would make sense from the Yankees’ standpoint, but straight-up for Matt Cain. Swisher projects to be a 3.8-win player next year (again, simple Marcel) while Cain projects at 4.4. They’re both in the last year of their contracts, with Cain making $5 million more. That is a fair trade that fills holes for both teams.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

  90. he’s a giant pothead

    Comment by cliff lee's changeup — November 3, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  91. Atlanta? They have a surplus of young pitching and as bad an offensive deficit as the Giants. Hard to imagine the Braves trading offense for even a clearly premium pitcher – it just isn’t a fit.

    Comment by blwfish — November 3, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  92. I don’t remember Bochy calling him out. Link it if you’ve got it, but I’ve never heard that. Lincecum is in outstanding physical shape. As for being a pothead, crazy as it sounds, people who smoke pot can actually lead a normal life, work hard and be successful as long as it is done in moderation and it doesn’t interfere with their profession. I happen to be a shining example of just that.

    Comment by Jason F — November 3, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

  93. Oh, go pleasure yourself with your rubber chicken for crying out loud (and for using all caps)!

    Comment by reillocity — November 3, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  94. Except starting pitching is more difficult to find than outfield help. I think the Yankees would have to kick in more than Swisher for Cain. And honestly, I believe San Francisco and New York would both rather obtain players through free agency before trading away major pieces of their ballclubs.

    Comment by Brian S. — November 3, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

  95. It’d be more like a Timmy Pride Parade, I suspect.

    Comment by reillocity — November 3, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

  96. Cool you possibly found an example, pretty sure one example doesn’t prove a theory. Wanna ask a sox fan how fun letting pedro go was?

    Comment by va — November 3, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  97. They throw the cut fastball, absolutely.

    Comment by channelclemente — November 3, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  98. They apparently lust after Matt Cain, and after Carpenter, it’s become almost a psychotic craving.

    Comment by channelclemente — November 3, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  99. Scarcity is accounted for in the WAR calculation, but in case that doesn’t convince you, Swisher is 20th among all OF in WAR over the last three seasons and 7th among RF (those rankings drop to 19th and 6th if you don’t count Zobrist as a RF). Cain is 17th among SP. Obviously, since there are more SP than there are starting OF, Cain is more valuable despite being ranked near Swisher, but I wasn’t claiming they were equal – that’s what the $5 million in salary difference represents, $5 million the Giants could use to fix one of their other areas of need.

    And while it’s true that both clubs would rather acquire players through FA, those players would probably come with a higher premium in terms of both years and salary, and both teams have the internal options to partially replace the players they would be trading. It’s a classic “trade from strength” move for both teams.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

  100. Wanna ask a Sox fan if it would have been worthwhile to commit those resources to Pedro’s decline and possibly not win a second WS title in ’07?

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  101. Lincecum for Rios! Sorry, Dave. Keep dreaming about a division where your Rockies have a chance.

    Comment by Willie M — November 3, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  102. I feel like they would also want a ML ready pitcher, either Hector Noesi or Adam Warren maybe and an OF prospect, not that the Yanks have many of those in the upper levels.

    Comment by Preston — November 3, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  103. So 1 season from 1 pitcher means the jury can go home and AT & T is not a pitcher’s park? Whatevs . . .

    Comment by Matt — November 3, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

  104. Why would you suggest that Timmy is more likely to break down over Cain? Timmy has never had health issues while Cain has only had mild injury issues. Neither has a max effort delivery. Timmy has a relative good body only lacking size but what he lacks in size his mechanics compensate for. Cain is just about prototypical in size in build. SF is closer to “home” for Timmy where as Cain might be more comfortable in the south or the east coast.

    Personally I would trade Cain over Timmy as Timmy is also more marketable than Cain is as well. I enjoy watching both pitch but Timmy more and its not close for me.

    Comment by Ciscoskid — November 3, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  105. Surely you mean Expos, not Sox, watching Pedro leave was the real crime. Plus there was Larry Walker. And John Wetteland. And Ken Hill. And Marquis Grissom. I could go on, but it’s time for my therapy session.

    Comment by Matt — November 3, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  106. No chance Swisher is worth Cain. Supply and demand . . . this is just business 101.

    Comment by Matt — November 3, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

  107. Yes, it is… and I just demonstrated how that creates a match. In fact, there’s probably more CO scarcity on the market this offseason than SP. Carlos Beltran is really the only acceptable corner outfielder available, while Yu Darvish, Mark Buehrle, C.J. Wilson and Edwin Jackson are all quality starters available (and in the Giants’ case, Kuroda and Vazquez might be playable too).

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 3, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  108. 2009 was the only year he was better at home.
    so three out of four years .he was better in his non full year 2007 away too

    Comment by cl — November 3, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

  109. I just can’t get my mind around Lincecum pitching for anyone but the Giants. I just can’t.

    Comment by jirish — November 3, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

  110. I think Timmy is going to run into problems as his body ages and he becomes less flexible. Don’t know for sure when that is going to happen, but his delivery depends on an unusual degree of flexiblity in his body. Gymnasts are usually done by their early 20’s, right?

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — November 3, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

  111. The Giants may have great pitching at the MLB level, but the cupboard is bare on the farm above the rookie leagues. Any trade involving Timmy or Cainer has to have young pitching coming back. The other part of this scenario that doesn’t fit is Montero. I agree he is a fine hitter, but he’s not a fit on an NL team.

    The one scenario I’ve thought of is a package of Montero, Banuelos and Betances with the Giants flipping Montero to an AL team for a CF or SS.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — November 3, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  112. People, it is not just the WAR and dollars per WAR. There are leverages, supply and demand function, and even winner’s curse in play. On paper Lincecum is worth maybe a B level prospect and not much more, but in reality he may pull in more than just an A level prospect. There are multiple teams in baseball who can go from non-contender to contender just by acquiring Lincecum. Think the Reds. They have really high marginal value on a proven ACE. C.J. Wilson is good but the mileage on his arm is worrisome. The sudden jump in IP coupled with his recent performance strike concerns into all GMs’ heart. Think another team like the RedSox. If they acquire yet another multi-million dollars arm in C.J. and Lincecum(it will empty their system totally), the Yankees (more like Brain Cashman) is forced to make plays at least to the media to drive up the price. Yankees fans will be unforgiving if Cashman just stays down without a move. It means that the Giants has all the leverage to pull of a deal similar to Matt Garza who was dealt last year. And that was a pretty good trade.

    Comment by Kampfer — November 3, 2011 @ 9:20 pm


    Comment by vivalajeter — November 3, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

  114. I can’t believe I’m reading this.

    On the one hand, I guess I get it from a standpoint of maximizing future value times unknowns with Lincecum. On the other hand, as an Angels fan, I hear echoes of Buzzie Bavasi and his catastrophic decision to unload Nolan Ryan, quipping (with epic falsehood) that he could sign a pair of 8-7 pitchers to replace his 16-14 record (from 1979).

    Ace starters do not grow on trees.

    Comment by Rob McMillin — November 3, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  115. No need to pretend – they CAN afford whatever they want.

    Comment by CubFan — November 3, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

  116. @Kevin S.

    Seriously when has the issue of “surplus value”, or anything else for that matter, ever stopped the Yankees from doing everything they can to get a guy they covet? If the Yankees cared about it that much they wouldn’t sign Type A free agents every year and forfeit draft picks. The team does have INFINITE resources. The Yanks could easily support a $300 payroll. The reason why they have a self-imposed cap is because they wanna toe the line. If they start trotting out a $300 mil team, the fans, the media, the other owners and other connected baseball people would cry for a reform of the system. At the very least it would cause a stir and that’s in the best interest of nobody (well maybe the media). Everyone is happy and making money and the yankees know they already have a massive advantage and don’t wanna blow that. The last thing they want is more guys like Attanasio complaining that there should be a salary cap.

    CC, Cliff Lee and Halladay, are all very poor comps. Two of the were signifigantly older. CC was a pure rental so that hurt Cleveland. Also, LaPorta was considered a big time prospect even if his status that time was a notch or two below what Montero’s is now. Doc had 10 & 5 rights so he was able to dictate his trade to Philly killing Toronto’s leverage. Lee was also a rental for the M’s and Philly.

    There isn’t a good comp because two time CYA winners that are as young as Timmy and under team control are never made available. The numbers that he’s put up to start his career are stunning. The Mets didn’t deal Gooden four years in. The Sox didn’t deal Clemmens early. The Cubs would not have dealt Prior if he had stayed healthy. The Cards traded Steve Carlton when he was very young and coming off a big year. How did that one turn out? My point is that guys who dominate major league hitters immediatly upon entering the league the way Timmy has are extremely rare. The yankees will give up Montero and whatever else it takes in a nanosecond to get Timmy.

    Comment by jpg — November 3, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

  117. This is why stat-heads are so hard to tolerate. If you think SF can improve itself by trading Lincecum for Nunez and Montero, then I want to know when poker night is at your house. I’d trade Swisher, Nunez and Montero for Lincecum and Huff in a heart beat. Swisher is 31 and in the last year of his contract, Montero doesn’t have a position on the Yankee team (DH at 21? c’mon), and Nunez stinks (iron glove, scattershot arm, base-running foul ups constantly, no bat). For NY getting an elite pitcher for this mess is a no-brainer. The main points though, are that Sabean is incompetent and this team is so desperate for hitting folks are thinking about trading a Cy Young pitcher for hitters like Swisher and Montero. Go for it! Yankee fans will thank you for the next 10 years.

    Comment by Tanned Tom — November 3, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

  118. It’s been mentioned at least once above, but Lincecum for Votto does feel like a natural. Yeah. Votto’s lower risk than Lincecum, but top pitchers seem to get almost as much as top hitters in the FA market so clearly teams aren’t really discounting much for that risk differential. A B prospect can even things out if needed.

    Comment by bookbook — November 3, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  119. Big-Game Timmy Jim?

    Comment by Bryan — November 4, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  120. I wonder if they could still get Alex Rios for him…

    Comment by Bret — November 4, 2011 @ 12:04 am

  121. First thing I’m a Yankee fan. Second thing is any baseball fan/Yankee fan who thinks trading for Lincecum is a bad idea is on crack or just plain stupid. In fact I’d go as far to say those two & a minor league pitcher & a low A position player for Lincecum. If Jimenez commanded as much as he did Timmy is worth much more… He’s proven. And for those who stick their nose in the air & wouldn’t give up Montero, you’re drinking the koolaid Cashman has been spinning for 6 yrs. don’t be surprised if a big trade comes along in Dec which has him as a center piece. Our pitching sux

    Comment by Jay — November 4, 2011 @ 12:13 am

  122. Like the idea, but another first basemen is not what the Giants need (between Belt, Pill, Sandoval, Posey, Oropesa, Villalona…) how bout this…

    Lincecum and Huff to Baltimore for CF Adam Jones, SS prospect Manny Machado and two pitching prospects.

    with the money saved from the trade, lock up cain and bumgarner for next five, sign vogelsong for next three, and pick up Mark Buehrle for 3, maybe Buehrle teaches Jo Sanchez a thing or two and you still have a brilliant rotation.

    Machado is a future franchise player. imagine in two years an infield of Posey C, Sandoval 3B, Belt 1B, and Panik 2B) thats something dynamic and positive for Giants fans to think about. Jones is 27 and could slot over to left when Brown is ready for center.

    Comment by coachtemp — November 4, 2011 @ 12:23 am

  123. Wilson throws it, that’s about it.

    Comment by Bhaakon — November 4, 2011 @ 12:27 am

  124. Except last year when they took Smoak over Montero, Jesus was in the middle of an .870 OPS in AAA as a 20 YO, while now he is coming off a .814 OPS in AAA as a 21 YO and proved he is no catcher…. how is he more valuable now?

    Comment by Mr wOBAto — November 4, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  125. now that might work

    Comment by Mr wOBAto — November 4, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  126. Trade Lincecum for two prospects…. I have no words.

    Comment by JD — November 4, 2011 @ 1:01 am

  127. “if such a rare animal exists”

    Barry Bonds.

    Comment by lonewolf — November 4, 2011 @ 1:13 am

  128. All of these talks are centered on Yankees. What about the Red Sox? Ellisbury would be a nice start for Lincecum.

    Comment by willy — November 4, 2011 @ 1:15 am

  129. If you honestly believe that Nick Swisher is worth Matt Cain I suggest you write a fanpost on Mccovey Chronicles saying so. You will be proved very, very wrong.

    Comment by lonewolf — November 4, 2011 @ 1:23 am

  130. I mean Cain is only four years younger, has been playing in the Majors for 1 less year and has been worth 2 more WAR than Swisher so far, even though I’m not WARs biggest fan. A corner outfielder can be replaced easily considering nearly all OFs are COFs. Even then their production can be replaced by mix and matching 8 other position players. A starting pitcher cannot be replaced by anyone other than a starting pitcher. Considering how the Yankees are more adept at finding bats in FA than anyone else and how huge an improvement Cain would be over Garcia I don’t see your argument.

    Comment by lonewolf — November 4, 2011 @ 1:36 am

  131. Lincecum & Cain need to be career Giants.

    Comment by kriz — November 4, 2011 @ 1:58 am

  132. “and have enough left over to bring in a pitcher to replace Lincecum in the rotation.” <— did you actually type that? There is no pitcher out there that can replace Lincecum in the rotation. If they traded Tim, they wouldn't even bring in a starting pitcher, because they would just re-sign Vogelsong, and be stuck with Zito and Sanchez in the rotation with Cain and Bumgarner.

    This will never happen, so stop suggesting it. Lincecum will never play for anyone but San Francisco. Same with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. Only scenario would be like Glavine and Smoltz who wanted to continue their careers in their late 30's and into their 40's. However, every single prime year for both of these guys will be in orange and black.

    Comment by Michael Saltzman — November 4, 2011 @ 2:17 am

  133. Because Yankees fans are used to the team trading and/or overpaying for superstars?

    Comment by Astromets — November 4, 2011 @ 2:36 am

  134. I like how the article is from 2010

    Comment by Brian — November 4, 2011 @ 2:39 am

  135. Why the heck would the Giants trade him to an in-state rival?

    Comment by Astromets — November 4, 2011 @ 2:40 am

  136. I’m guessing this article would be as well-received by Giants fans as the incessant suggestions that the M’s trade Felix.

    Comment by mrg — November 4, 2011 @ 3:42 am

  137. you talked a lot about the respective ages and level of production of Smoak and LaPorta but once again failed to address the issue that Lincecum has 1.5 more season left on his contract than Sabathia or Lee did and is younger than either of those two were when they were traded, and certainly has a much more consistent track record than Lee did when he was dealt. Evaluate total WAR and cost all you want but the simple fact remains that the current trade value of elite starting pitchers very much in their prime simply IS more than one very promising, but maybe position-less hitting prospect coming off a year that saw his value diminish greatly. You may not agree with a deal that sends at least Montero and one of the pitching B’s to the Giants for Lincecum, but in reality thats at least what it would cost.

    Comment by Sam — November 4, 2011 @ 3:43 am

  138. …as well as the suggestions to trade Felix are received by most M’s fans, that is.

    Comment by mrg — November 4, 2011 @ 3:43 am

  139. I’d think so due to his small frame, and you never know how long he’s going to be considered elite. He’s thrown a ton of innings, and I know that he supposedly due to his odd wind up will not suffer anything. And they could ask for a lot and maybe even another all-star teamed up with a few prospects.

    But they’d risk upsetting him, and have to get A LOT

    Comment by Kyle — November 4, 2011 @ 4:04 am

  140. OK fine, we’re willing to help you guys out. As a Yankee fan, I say yes to Lincecum for Nunez & Montero & some cash.

    Comment by Luds — November 4, 2011 @ 6:38 am

  141. That trade is probably too favorable for the Giants, but it’s more realistic than DC’s proposal. When you just look at WAR vs Salary (something no GM does, no matter how many times DC tells you they do.. LOL WAR = FIP X innings) Machado is the most valuable player in that deal, and Jones is probably the second most.

    Comment by The Real Neal — November 4, 2011 @ 7:41 am

  142. What a dumb idea

    Comment by Joe — November 4, 2011 @ 7:51 am

  143. Since when did Montero get that much value? in 69 PA’s in the majors? sample size people, according to fangraphs, only his swing rate has stabilized. I don’t get the huge buzz about him, he’s a DH who put up a 120 wRC+ in AAA.

    Montero and Nunez is so laughable.

    How can Lincecum only get Montero and Nunez
    Adrian Gonzalez got Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo, I think Rizzo is a better prospect than Montero and Kelly is still a great pitching prospect.

    Zack Greinke who at the time of the trade only had 1 good year(note: I really like Greinke)
    got Chris Archer and Hak- Ju Lee

    all these packages are better than Montero/Nunez
    The Red Sox would top the Yankees offer easily if that was as far as they would go. They would offer Middlebrooks, Ranaudo and an arm close to the majors like Alex Wilson.

    That would easily be worth getting Lincecum.

    Comment by Thomas — November 4, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  144. Ellsbury Bard and one more prospect for Lincecum?

    Comment by Ryan — November 4, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  145. Very intriguing proposition. I like the idea a lot, especially the aspect that would save them all that money to sign a couple real outfielders.

    Besides, (I don’t mean to be a rotted horse, but…) who knows if The Freak will finally have some injury issues or ineffectiveness, not that it is likely, but it is always a real possibility.

    Comment by Matty Brown — November 4, 2011 @ 9:00 am

  146. *beat a rotted horse, haha. (a Freudian slip perhaps…)

    Comment by Matty Brown — November 4, 2011 @ 9:00 am

  147. lol Sabean would be lynched if he traded Lincecum for Montero and Nunez. The revenue and popularity Lincecum generates for that franchise is almost immeasurable.

    Comment by Wayne — November 4, 2011 @ 9:07 am

  148. In state rival? What is this, college football? Anaheim and San Francisco have no rivalry whatsoever, aside from the 2002 world series. You take your chances that you don’t run into him there again…

    Comment by test — November 4, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  149. No

    Comment by Aaron — November 4, 2011 @ 9:32 am

  150. The Mariners were universally panned for taking Smoak, Montero’s ratings never assumed he would be a catcher, September 2011 happened, and he’s still two years younger now than Smoak was then.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  151. Yes, I will evaluate those things! Cost is incredibly important! Lincecum (if you attach the Huff anchor to him) will cost over $20 million MORE per year than either Lee or Sabathia did, and he’s coming off worse seasons than either of them were when they were traded. It’s like everybody here has forgotten that Fangraphs is all about considering all of the variables that impact decision-making and just went off name recognition. No pitcher has ever been paid $30 million/year, period, and now you’re all suggesting that not only will the Yankees do just that, they’ll give up one of the top 2-3 prospects in baseball, one who had a smashingly successful debut, for the right to do so. Madness.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 9:45 am

  152. Holy hell, does nobody even look at contracts any more? I said one year of Nick Swisher + $5 million = one year of Matt Cain. That is what’s being traded. Their relative youth is absolutely irrelevant, because each team would need to bid on their respective player on the open market to retain their services next season. Yes, I’m sure if I write a post on a friggin’ Giants’ fansite they’ll all evaluate that neutrally. Right.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  153. Ubaldo is owed either $11 million over the next two years or $18 million over the next three, depending on whether or not he voids his 2014 option. Lincecum + Huff will be owed roughly $60 million over the next two. Gee, maybe the extra FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS over the next two years has something to do with the fact that Ubaldo was worth four prospects, none of which, by the way, were ever ranked any higher than 47th by either BA or KLaw.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  154. Do you even read prospect information? If so, you’d realize that not one of those players has been ranked nearly as high as Montero. Reading would also inform you that not one of the players they were traded for was making anywhere remotely close to $60 million over two years. But sure, there’s absolutely no value to salary relief in major league baseball trades.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  155. Zack Greinke who at the time of the trade only had 1 good year(note: I really like Greinke)
    got Chris Archer and Hak- Ju Lee

    That is what the Cubs gave up for Matt Garza.

    Greinke was traded for Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress, Jake Odorizzi and Lorenzo Cain.
    Get your facts straight.

    Comment by Jason — November 4, 2011 @ 10:18 am


    Apparently, Morosi reads Fangraphs.

    Comment by olethros — November 4, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  157. Seriously. Not even any credit given.

    Comment by Josh — November 4, 2011 @ 10:23 am


    Comment by Eminor3rd — November 4, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  159. this is another junkee rear kisser masquerading as a reporter.

    Comment by bobby — November 4, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  160. Lincecum for Montero and a righty with some upside, Phil Hughes. Or hell, AJ can pitch, he just can’t pitch for the Yankees.

    Comment by Justin — November 4, 2011 @ 11:04 am

  161. Between this, the Mariners offseason debacle, and, well, a slew of other things, it might be time to wrap up your writing career, Dave.

    Comment by Nick — November 4, 2011 @ 11:05 am

  162. Kevin S., while I do believe that the Yankees’ payroll is effectively limitless, I assume that their “plateaued” ~$200MM payroll is the result of pressure from the commissioner’s office. It is illogical for the Yankees to continue widening the payroll gap, since the Yankees are irrelevant without opponents to beat up on. While it is certainly not the fault of the Yankees that some markets are better than others, they would certainly be opposed to a small market opponent improving their situation by moving to New York; that is why revenue sharing exists.

    Comment by Matt — November 4, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  163. Montero was a top 5 prospect this year. I don’t think Rizzo approached the top 30, and he and Kelly are both looking like they aren’t going to be that special. Rizzo’s ceiling is probably Adam LaRoche.

    Comment by Nick — November 4, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  164. revenue sharing portions of the yankees, sox and phillies need to be at least quadrupled to make some kind of fair game.

    Comment by bobby — November 4, 2011 @ 11:13 am

  165. If external pressure is the reason it’s plateaued, then that would still prevent them from blasting upward, wouldn’t it? My point was that I’d rather look at the evidence (Yankees’ payroll plateau, Cashman’s public statements and actions) rather just say “ZOMG, teh Yankeez can spend infinity dollars!!1!1!” without any kind of evidence backing up their ability to do so.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  166. Hi agree with ciscokid, leave Timmy with the Giants and take Cain instead for the Yankees. If we gave away our most valueable player and the yankees have the best offense, then we would be helping them out…..

    Comment by Dianna Aguilar — November 4, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  167. Kevin, I know you seem to think that you are right about everything and the consensus of the people here are wrong (and even when they make cogent points, you choose to ignore them, in true, stereotypical hard-headed style), but it’s about time you look in a mirror here and stop being a slave to surplus value and WAR calculations.

    The goal of a major league franchise is to win the World Series. NOT to accumulate the most surplus value. I don’t want to have to mention again what many people on here have about position scarcity, market forces, etc. But if you think Nick Swisher for Matt Cain is a fair trade simply because Cain is $5 million more expensive, well, then, using your Yankees as an example…

    C.C. Sabathia for Brandon Beachy is a fair trade because the projected ~3-4 WAR difference will be made up for by the ~$18 million difference in salary.

    Robinson Cano for Danny Espinosa is a fair trade because the projected ~3 WAR difference will be made up for by the ~$13 million difference in salary.

    Curtis Granderson for Jon Jay is a fair trade because the projected ~2 WAR difference will be made up for by the ~$10 million difference in salary.

    those are really stupid trades with really dumb reasoning, right? right. Just like your Swisher for Cain proposal.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  168. Do you really think that the Yankees’ revenue curve has flattened since 2006? Since they moved into their new stadium in 2009? Jesus, man, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Stop underrating how much money the Yankees have — their estimated revenue for 2012 is ~$450 million, their franchise value is approaching $2 billion…you think they give a flying fuck about surplus value??? Why don’t they just field a team of 0-3s with 2 WAR who give them way more surplus value than sabathia or rivera or cano or granderson or tex?

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 11:27 am

  169. “Universally panned”???

    I don’t remember it like that at all.

    Maybe they were panned in NYC talk radio…but I thought most people were saying, “The Mariners used the Yankees and Montero to get the guy they really wanted.”

    Comment by jake — November 4, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  170. What evidence? When have they decided to NOT pursue someone who would fit their team / long term on-field plan because of money?

    Their payroll has stabilized because they’ve been smart about spending, not because they’ve met their budget. They could EASILY sustain a payroll $100 million more, probably even higher. But there are only so many premium free agents, so many positions on a baseball team, etc.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  171. I never said they should go with a team of 0-3s, but nice strawman. I said that it was fairly obvious that their major league budget was in the $205-210 MM range, and I’d have to see some pretty convincing evidence that they’re able and willing to bust that up to $225-230 MM for what’s likely a 2-3 win upgrade over their current situation. Who’s the one who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, now?

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 11:34 am

  172. And to continue piling on, you’re basically rating Montero as one of the top 10-15 assets in the game. Which is absolutely fucking ridiculous. The guy is a 3-4 WAR DH *AT BEST*, and the attrition rate for top rated hitting prospects is a fuckton higher than you seem to think. Don’t let one hot month and some scouting reports make you think he’s a future HOF.

    Remember Jeremy Hermida? Top 5 prospect, had an awesome debut at age 21? How did his career work out? And that guy at least could play the field.

    how about Travis Snider? Top prospect, 1 good month at age 20. You want him now?

    Ben Grieve? Top prospect, great debut at 21, never approached that again. Out of baseball by 30.

    Ruben Rivera? Top prospect forever who had a very good debut at age 22. And he was a five-tool talent. Or Jeffrey Hammonds. Or Cliff Floyd. Or Karim Garcia.

    Here are some other top 3 hitting prospects in the last decade. Corey Patterson. Sean Burroughs. Hank Blalock. Rocco Baldelli. Delmon Young. Joel Guzman. Ian Stewart.

    Get yourself educated or else you’ll keep looking like a fool.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 11:45 am

  173. The whole thing about how the Giants could throw any RHP out there and get decent results is kind of irritating. Yes, Ryan Vogelsong was good this year. And I guess you could look at Brad Penny in a SSS in 2009. But go before him and over the last few years, you have guys like Todd Wellemeyer, Joey Martinez, Kevin Correia, Brad Hennessey, Ryan Sadowski, Russ Ortiz, Matt Morris and Jamey Wright who are all RHP that pitched pretty poorly for the Giants.

    Other than Vogelsong, who else are all of these mediocre pitchers that the Giants have turned into pitching machines by acquiring them, exposing them to Righetti and pitching them in AT&T? I’m not seeing it. Everyone who has pitched well for the Giants in the past five years (other than Vogelsong) is, I would argue, an actual good pitcher. I would be pretty loathe to think we could easily find (cheap?) average production to plug into Lincecum’s pitching spot just because of Ryan Vogelsong, when I’ve had the pleasure of watching plenty of mediocre to awful right-handed pitching in SF in the past five years.

    Comment by jp_on_rye — November 4, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  174. And yet my own points on the relative scarcity of corner outfielders and starting pitchers in this free agent market aren’t relevant, right? The entire premise of Dave’s article was that the Giants should trade from their strengths to free up cash and improve their weaknesses elsewhere. According to MLBTR’s arbitration estimates, those raises will take the Giants right back to last year’s payroll, with the site hearing payroll won’t significantly increase. That leaves the Giants without a shortstop and unpleasant options at one or two of the corners. The expected difference between Matt Cain and Barry Zito (the presumptive odd man out of the rotation) is about the same as the expected difference between Nick Swisher and Aubrey Huff or Nate Schierholtz. So, the Giants have saved $5 million dollars without really changing their team’s expected win output (and if you believe there’s any value to balancing the offense/defense disparity, there’s that as a positive, too). Now, they can take that $5 million and at least put it towards a short stop who isn’t a complete fiasco. That makes the Giants a better team, and explains why they should consider this trade. Are you actually going to respond to anything I say, or are you just going to continue insulting me and appealing to the authority of the crowds?

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  175. Wow, solid comeback. Creative. While neither of us have an idea of what their budget is, you using the fact that their payroll has flattened is irrelevant. Their revenue has risen considerably in the past 5 years (by about $150 million) and so it seems pretty clear that they are ABLE to afford Lincecum. Which is the only part of this argument that matters. Whether they are WILLING TO doesn’t affect an analysis of the trade, it just affects the likelihood of it happening.

    Not to mention calling it a 2-3 win upgrade is completely faulty analysis. Lincecum is a 4-5 win upgrade over whatever shitty starter would be filling the spot. Montero is a 2-3 win DH next year, if they are lucky (see my post above for a ton of examples of hitting prospects busting. And I could list another long group of guys who panned out eventually but struggled their first 1-3 years in the majors). They could go out and trade for Billy Butler or sign Carlos Beltran or any number of things to fill that production, or better than production.

    Would they be willing to spend the money for a 4-5 win upgrade? I don’t know. Are they able to? Absolutely. Like everyone is saying, surplus value means even less to the Yankees than it does to other teams. We all know winning and winning championships is what matters. So what does it matter to you if the Yankees aren’t maximizing their resource efficiency? It’s not your money, and it’s not going to prevent them from spending on draft picks or other free agents or whatever.

    You seem like a smart guy, but with the rhetoric level of a high schooler (the burden of proof is not solely on your opponent all the time, despite what you might thnk) and the FOX news stubborness and inability to admit in any way that you are wrong. You don’t win arguments merely by sticking to your guns. But keep telling yourself you’re right and maybe it’ll come true, despite the majority of probably the most well-educated, analytical and articulate group of baseball fans out there telling you you’re wrong.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

  176. Schockingly, you chose examples of players who weren’t all the similar in talent or compensation, making it not really comparable to my proposal at all, but we’ll have at it. Further, the going rate for a win is $5 million, I believe, making all of those bad trades for the Yankees just in terms of $/win (and you underrated the projected gap between Granderson and Jay – I have it at 2.5-3 wins). Further, while my proposed trade fills a hole from a position of depth while also providing some extra salary space, your trades all simply swap one player for a worse player at that position, doing nothing to address any Yankee needs which, realistically, the Yankees have the ability to do through free agency if they so choose (at least one of Jackson, Buehrle, Yu and Wilson should fall under the roughly $15 million I think the Yankees have to spend this offseason). The Giants don’t have that luxury, hence the premise of the entire article.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  177. +1 on this. I guess some people are so desperate to not admit that these Giants pitchers are, you know, actually very good, they are reduced to hypothesizing that it’s something in the air in SF. Of course that doesn’t explain why they don’t have a significant Home/Road split either.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — November 4, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  178. Right, so if Lincecum is a 4-5 win upgrade over the Yankees’ next pitching option, and Montero is a 2-3 win DH, then, yeah, the Yankees would be spending $30 million for a 2-3 win upgrade, going well past any previous payroll level they’ve had before. Glad we agree on that. If the Steinbrothers have told Cashman he has a budget, something he’s alluded to repeatedly in the past, then that’s just as relevant to any analysis as the supposition that the Yankees don’t care about how many bucks they spend to get their bang. Billy Butler will cost prospects and $8 million/year. Carlos Beltran will cost greater than $10 million/year. You’ve got the Yankees going up towards $240 million in payroll now. On what basis can you possibly think it’s reasonable that they might do this?

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  179. I was responding to one of your points, in that simply evaluating a trade based on war / salary difference is silly. How about Roy Halladay for Logan Morrison? or Justin Verlander for Matt Joyce? Clearly there are club control differences here, etc., but the point stands.

    Okay, but to address directly your arguments here — I don’t agree with your initial point that there are more top-line SPs (Buehrle and Jackson are not as good as Cain, and Darvish is a wild card) on the market than OFs comparable to Swisher (Beltran, Cuddyer, Willingam, DeJesus). But even still, the relative scarcity of these positions on the FA market is really not that relevant — much more relevant is the relative scarcity throughout baseball. It’s not as if top-line SPs see their trade value decrease when there are a few more on the FA market while corner OFs see their trade value increase when there are relatively few on the market. (and WAR does not take into account hitter/pitcher relative scarcity, BTW). Top level SPs are worth more than comparable corner OFs because they are much harder to develop and acquire.

    I don’t think trading Matt Cain for a hitter is a bad idea. Trading anyone can be a good idea, depending on the trade. But you’re again overrating Swisher, who is heading into his decline phase (sure he might be a 4 win player, but it’s just as likely he’s a 3 win player) — he might be a 2 in upgrade over Schierholtz, but that’s no guarantee.

    Cain is a very solid bet for a 4-5 win season and as has been discussed ad naseaum on this site is underrated by FG WAR. Zito has not been more than 2 win pitcher in a long time, is coming off a terrible, injury-filled season. Not to mention the value in having more than 5 major league starters — and the Giants have no pitching depth whatsoever at the moment unless you happen to like the Eric Surkamps of the world.

    So I don’t buy that trading Cain for Swisher keeps their win expectation the same. Regardless, because I believe Cain’s trade value is clearly higher than Swisher’s, they could do much better if they were to trade Cain.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  180. Well, I had some hopes that you might be reasonable enough to actually have an argument with, but you’ve disappointed me.

    To quickly address your reply without wasting much more of my time (and it’s clearly being wasted, because you either can’t or won’t process my arguments) — it’s not spending $30 million on a 2 win upgrade. The Yankees aren’t going to get 0 WAR from their DH if they trade Montero. Not sure how you can’t see this.

    And to reiterate, it is not relevant to this entire discussion whether the Yankees are WILLING TO spend the money to do it. You’re arguing that it’d be ridiculous for the Yankees to accept the trade, because a) Montero is awesome (addressed in posts above) and b) the upgrade is not worth the money. The second argument is mostly predicated on the Yankees not being ABLE to afford it. Because if they are ABLE to afford it without sacrificing other parts of their operation, then b) is an irrelevant argument. The trade makes their team better and more likely to win the World Series. I don’t need to have a basis for saying it’s reasonable that they might raise payroll. I just need a reasonable basis for saying that they are ABLE to. And I do — their enormous, growing revenue base. Sure, they might not want to. They may not want to win, maybe they are most concerned with maximizing profits. Who knows? BUT you cannot evaluate a baseball trade on those merits, because you don’t know their motivations. You can only evaluate it on the basis of what makes sense for the teams based on the goal of winning the most championships possible. And in that context, trading $$$, Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez for Lincecum and Huff makes absolute sense.

    That’s the last I’ll say on this. There’s no point talking past someone.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

  181. You must be a Yankee fan.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — November 4, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  182. Its official, Kevin is an idiot.

    He is soooo wrapped up in stats and prospect rankings that he is completely blind to the actual trade at hand. First of all, the Ubaldo trade not getting any prospects that were ranked high is a joke. The prospect rankings put out by all organizations are before the start of the season and rarely take into account those players drafted that year. I.e. Drew Pomeranz, who by all account and measures is a Top 10-15 prospect in the game. He was drafted after the “prospect year” was established hence the reason why he was the PTBNL in the trade.

    Lincecum is more than a number. He is one of the very few players in the league that every 5 games takes the ball and puts fans in the seats. While the Yankees and Red Sox may not be to worried about attendance, any team like the Rangers, Angels, Dodgers, Cardinals, or Orioles look at a trade with a guy like Lincecum as a business move. A move that drives up revenue. This factor involved with the fact that Lincecum is one of the top pitchers in the game is why if the giants even entertained the thought of moving him, he would be stalked by numerous teams besides the yankees, causing the value to skyrocket.

    Kevin get your head out of your ass as well. A rotation with Lincecum, Sabathia in it would make your team unbelievable… The problem is that most Yankee fans have this notion that Montero is the next Babe Ruth or something.

    Comment by Rio — November 4, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  183. I think the Giants should trade Wilson’s beard for those two yankee prospects. That beard has made mega cash.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — November 4, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  184. I think its funny that all the talk is about the Yankees. The Yanks are least likely to trade their prospects because they can afford to be the highest bidder when free agents become available. They have never been in the business of trading their premium prospects (see: Jeter, Rivera, Pettite, Gardner, Cano, Nova, etc).

    First off, Halladay, with one season left on his contract, was traded for 3 A prospects. Drabek, Taylor and D’arnaud were 2,4 and 6 in the Phils system. Drabek has had some reversals, Taylor was traded for Wallace, who was then traded for Gose. D’Arnaud is one of the best catching prospects in the minors (was AA player of the year for New Hampshire).

    Oh, and btw, the Giants have a catcher. What they need is an OF and a SS. Their production from SS was laughable last year.

    The Blue Jays have the best pieces for a deal for Lincecum, and the payroll to make it happen. They have two top tier SS, Escobar, under a very nice four year deal, and Hechevarria, the best fielding ss in the minors (not even close, actually). They can take a bit of a hit on their offense. And they can spare a B arm out of their system, as well as a good of with lots of upside (they have R Davis, Snider, and Thames fighting for a single spot in OF). They can offer Hechevarria, Thames and Deck McGuire (major league ready arm), along with one of their top tier catching prospects (not darnaud). Addresses several issues for the Giants at once, while giving the Jays a scary ‘win now’ rotation of Linc, Romero, Morrow, Alvarez and Cecil (ignoring Drabek, Hutchinson and other talents), and not cutting into their already potent offense.

    Comment by Scot P — November 4, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

  185. You are obviously not a Giant fan…we won a World Series. I’d rather have linecum stay as a Giant and bever win a world series again than trade him.

    Potential Hall of Fame pitcher and you think the Giants should trade him? Screw that…

    Comment by peteva — November 4, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

  186. This is crazy talk……why trade one of the best pitchers in baseball….and maybe the best big game playoff pitcher(with respect to Halladay and Lee, Timmy beat em both).
    If the Giants make this proposed trade just to get some more offense, with the Assumption that because AT&T is a pitcher’s park and can turn any RHP into a affective starter, they are crazy. SF would turn into the Rangers. A good offensive team with a bunch of above ave. starters, but no one elite to anchor.
    A team needs that 1 elite pitcher to win it all……NY in 2009 had CC, SF in 2010 had Timmy, and STL in 2011 had Carpenter.
    Articles like these put bad ideas into fans.

    Comment by dubD — November 4, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  187. And why the hell do we need Bard? If you put pedroia with ellsbury, that would be just the opening of a discussion for linceum, but it will take more than that to get Timmy…

    Comment by peteva — November 4, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  188. Why would we trade a hall of famer for that deal…Giants could probably put J. Sanchez and some prospects and get jones and machado…

    Comment by peteva — November 4, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  189. Thanks for comparing Willingham, Cuddyer and DeJesus to Swisher – now I know I don’t have to bother taking you seriously. Also, it’s xFIP that underrates Cain – FIP takes his HR-suppressing abilities at face value.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

  190. Mudblood? We’re throwing insults from Harry Potter now? As if this place couldn’t get any nerdier…

    Comment by Steve — November 4, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  191. Sir, I’ve listen to my friend say Kenny Lofton was the best CF in baseball, ever. I’ve heard people say Keith Foulke was unhittable in 2004. I’ve heard people say the 90s Braves were the greatest teams ever to play baseball and said nothing but I simply can not sit by and hear you say Middlebrooks, Ranaudo and Wilson is better than Montero and Nunez. Thats just the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

    Comment by THU — November 4, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  192. Agreed. If anything its a change or a split they teach.

    Comment by E — November 4, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  193. He is, but not all Yankee fans agree with his premise.

    The Giants would never do Swisher for Cain. By trading away Cain, they probably forfeit any chance of signing Cain past this season. They probably have designs at extending him and being the current employer and having exclusive negotiating rights for a year is certainly worth something.

    Now, if Cain had publicly stated that he plans to test the market at the end of the year, and the Yankees sweetened the deal a little, it’s not absurd.

    Comment by Steve — November 4, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  194. Except the SF Giants have their first world series win already in the bag. I don’t want to see Timmy in any other uni.

    Comment by E — November 4, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  195. Can we get an official FanGraphs trade machine (similar to the basketball trade machine on ESPN)?

    I can’t imagine how many work hours would be *cough* wasted on it…

    Comment by not bill simmons — November 4, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  196. Dude,

    I’m a huge Blue Jays fan, but this is an over-the-top amount of Anthopolous ball washing.

    It’s bordering on obnoxious, at least to me.

    Comment by Statement — November 4, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  197. You Sir are on drugs.

    Hey I know, lets trade Travis Snider for Tim Lincecum…surplus value and blah blah rah rah.

    Yankees fans are dumb.

    Comment by Statement — November 4, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  198. Should read

    lets NOT trade Travis Snider for Tim Lincecum…

    Looks like I’M the one on drugs, or am at least sharing them with Kevin.

    Comment by Statement — November 4, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  199. @Kevin S.

    One thing I feel you fail to consider is that Lincecum would have a much better lineup supporting him then he had in SF. So he could pitch the same he has the last two years and more then likely be equal or better then Sabathia.

    Also the Yankees I feel would rather have good backups for Arod and Jeter so they can take a day off from playing the field by DHing rather then having a full time young DH who can’t really play a position. Add in the fact that the Yanks were willing to give this kind of money to Cliff Lee to play alongside Sabathia and they would pay the money for Lincecum. Not sure if they would take on Huff’s contract. But that would depend on how much they would have to shoulder.

    Also you need to take into consideration that Boston is desperate for arms. And this is Lincecum I think even the Blue Jays would at least kick the tires on acquiring him if he is available. By adding Lincecum to Romero, Morrow and the pitching depth Toronto is developing as well as keeping him away from Boston or New York gives Toronto a serious chance over the next few years. I know some people might laugh at the notion of Toronto spending money but you need to consider that the Blue Jays are Rogers (Blue Jays owners) biggest sporting attraction on TV and that they have probably more money at their disposal then the Yankees. Mind you I doubt they will ever spend like the Yankees because they have a large diversification of products unlike the Yankees.

    All these factors would make the Yankees willing to part with a fair amount to acquire Lincecum. Another factor is that the Yankees have proven to be quite adept at developing prospects that either turn into Yankees or used as trade bait to acquire the exact type of player we are talking about here.

    Comment by WillDS — November 4, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  200. Dude,

    No way is Hech, Thames and McGuire getting Lincecum.

    Hech doesn’t hit, Thames doesn’t defend and McGuire is unproven.

    I would believe Montero et all over this hypothetical Jays package.

    Comment by Statement — November 4, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  201. As a Yankee fan I don’t like the trade of Montero and Nunez for Lincecum. The reason isn’t that I am overvaluing Montero. It’s hard for me to see where Montero fits in the Yankees plans because of the long term contracts that the Yankees have and because of his inability to play any of the positions where the Yankees have needs. I would definitely like to trade Montero for a front line starter. I loved the proposed Cliff Lee trade for example.

    I just suspect that Lincecum will not be a front line starter in the AL East. It seems to me like Lincecum’s stuff has diminished a bit since he came into the league and his most recent two years don’t match his first two years. I’m not convinced he will translate to the AL East very well. I don’t really have much to base it on, its just a suspicion. …and apparently I’m alone, as no one else has mentioned it.

    Comment by Jason — November 4, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  202. They absolutely can bust. Gordan Beckham? I could name 100 of these people. Montero has how many plate appearances in mlb?

    He wasn’t that good in AAA.

    He’s a good power, decent contact, low patience guy with maybe a bit more offensive upside than say Adam Jones, but less overall upside as adam Jones can play D.

    Comment by joeiq — November 4, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  203. Kevin S.

    Matt Laporta was beasting it at the time of the CC trade. .288/.402/.576 in AA that season, and beastly number in short time in A ball after he was drafted the season before.

    As for the Halladay trade, Kyle Drabek was one of the better pitching prospects in baseball at the time, top 25 prospect if I’m not mistaken at the time.

    As for the Yankees spending, they have proved they can absolutely get any player for any price and it won’t hurt them in any way. Igawa has been making crap loads of money to be the AAA Yankees ace.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  204. This surplus game you are playing is for teams that aren’t named the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Tigers, Angels, (and soon!) Dodgers, and maybe a few more teams. Other teams have to worry about having a player on their roster making lots of money, and whether or not it’s better for them to have a young player not as good making way less money or the much better guy making much more.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  205. Trading for a player like Lincecum isn’t for the years they have left on their contract, it’s to get them and extend them for many more years.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  206. I would like to +1 this about 10 times if I could.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  207. That’s something I would do in MLB Mogul, and it was awesome, lol.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  208. That’s still 1 pitcher. Hard to build a body of evidence that way

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  209. I dunno, with the ’13 pitching class crazy deep in high-end starters, probably best off going another route and dumping resources there. Signing Roy Oswalt on a short-term deal, keep Montero, Banuelos & Nunez and look to add one of next years top arms.

    Adding Lincecum at that cost in talent & salary seems like a bit much for a team that lead the league in wins and out scored their opponents more then any team in the game.

    Comment by Amish_Willy — November 4, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  210. Lincecum throws it as well by his own declaration. Affeldt and Casilla tinker with it too. My guess from the slow Krukow uses and his grip, Vogelsong uses it too.

    Comment by channelclemente — November 4, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  211. Is Belt a good enough prospect to make that feasible? I have my doubts. If Zito were a free agent I’d guess he’d be looking at a 1 year deal worth 2-4m. His contract has the scary vesting option that locks in his 2014 salary if he pitches 400 innings these next two years, granted he’s yet to do that in any two years with SF.

    Belt is a nice prospect, but Zito at 2/46m (presuming no vesting option!) is like paying 40m+ for said nice prospect. The Vernon Wells trade was mind-boggling, but unlike Zito he was coming off a very nice season (125 ops+). Take an injury prone starter owed that much money coming off a season with a near 6.00 era, and unless were talking a truly elite prospect, hard to imagine that scenario bearing fruit.

    Comment by Amish_Willy — November 4, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  212. “‘When Justin Smoak was traded, he was a 23 y.o OPSing .860 as a AAA repeater (or ten points less than Montero posted as a 20 y.o. in AAA the first time around).’

    Or 45 points higher than Montero as a 21 yr old repeating AAA.

    Can’t ignore this year in our evaluations.”

    If you can’t ignore this year in our evaluations than why don’t you include September 2011? Montero as a 21 year old produced an .837 OPS in AAA/MLB. So only about 20 points lower while being 2 years younger and facing an overall harder competition. And not just harder because Montero had some MLB time in there but also because the International League (where Montero played) is simply not an altitude league like PCL (where Smoak played).

    A modicum of research on MiLB would inform one that the PCL typically produced much higher OPS rates. If there was anything like park factors or OPS+, the numbers would clear bear in favor of Montero. Montero is easily the better hitting and overall prospect. This was also born out by Baseball America, ranking Montero the #4 and #3 best prospect in baseball. FTW, Smoak’s last two rankings were #23 and #13.

    Last but not least, using ZiPS Montero projects to a .819 OPS in 576 ML AB’s next year. Taking conservative estimates of a wOBA of .355 and negative value for being a full-time DH, he projects to a conservative estimate of 2.5 WAR. The last two years have seen Lincecum produce a WAR of 4.9 and 4.4 with diminished velocity.

    Now simply because you’re the chip leader at the poker table doesn’t mean you go carelessly throwing away your main asset — your massive stacks. That’s the easy way to go broke and lose. No the smart play is to hold onto the tremendous asset they have in Montero, who will be making near the minimum the next 3 years. Heck the Yankees could sign any number of SP’s + hold onto Montero and have a greater boost to their 2012 win probability.

    Comment by Mike — November 4, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

  213. The other solution is to simply SPEND MORE FCKING MONEY. God the Giants are so cheap. WS win, sold out 2011, most likely sold out 2012, waiting list for season tickets, and a self-imposed salary cap.

    That, right there, is bullsh*t. The team and city deserve better.

    Comment by SFan — November 4, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  214. I love it when people cite examples of the possibility of a prospect busting and never doubt the player in question being traded for.

    Yes, prospects are certainly no guarantee. But neither are Major Leaguers, especially pitchers with red flags. Shall I use your same ploy and cite various ML pitchers who put up great stats and then flamed out: Brandon Webb, Chien-Mein Wang, Johan Santana. Add to that the pitchers who seem to peak before the age of 26: Ubaldo Jimenez, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, K-Rod. Oooh this is fun, I love picking out little anecdotes that suit my argument! Heck, you can find these anecdotes for most any baseless claim that’s made.

    Bottom line, if Montero has a 60% of becoming this elite ML, you can’t in the same breath say Lincecum has a 100% of maintaining his production and health. If you handicap the prospect, you also have to handicap the major leaguer. And if Montero has a 60% chance of producing WARs of 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, and 5 over the next 6 years for a total cost of something like $20 million (for 22.5 cumulative WAR). That is still more valuable than an 85% of linecum producing two 5 WAR seasons for about $40 million.

    Comment by Mike — November 4, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  215. Using more exclamation points and more capitalized words might make your point come across better.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  216. Yes, Swisher is the superior player in that he probably projects to be a 3-4 win guy whereas the other 3 are in the 2.5-3.5 range. He is also 30, while they are 31 or 32. WOW WHAT A HUGE FUCKING DIFFERENCE. I am a total idiot for calling them “comparable”. Especially when you consider that DeJesus and Willingham will likely sign for $5-8MM/yr instead of Swisher’s ten.

    God, you’re insufferable. I think it would literally kill you to admit that you are ever wrong in anything. You must be a joy to hang out with.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  217. Greinke actually had 1 good year and one absolutely crazy elite year. Though since you said Chris Arche and Hak-Ju Lee you’ve gotta be talking about Garza, right?

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  218. My head hurts by the stupidity of wanting Pedroia AND Ellsbury as a starting point.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

  219. First off, I never said Lincecum was a sure thing. This post is entirely about Montero and this sentence:

    “Say what you will about Montero not having proven himself yet, but players who hit as well as he does as young as he is do not bust.”

    Montero might end up being good. He might end up being great. He might end up being shitty. But in order to anoint him as more valuable than the most elite pitchers in the game implies an absolute certainty that he’ll be a superstar, based on his prospect ranking and 69 good PAs (where he struck out 1/4 of the time with a .400 BABIP). I was merely showing that not only is it not certain he’ll develop, many many players with his pedigree bust, more so than succeed.

    As far as your post goes, Lincecum doesn’t have the same red flags as Santana, Harden or Bedard — I don’t understand the K-Rod example as he’s a closer, Wang was never that great, and Webb, yes, shit happens.

    And making up numbers like 60% (way too high) and your WAR numbers and projected salary means absolutely nothing. Not to mention it’s a lot easier to project the next 2 years of Lincecum than the next 6 of Montero.

    Comment by Adam — November 4, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  220. I hardly believe Dave Cameron is desperate to make that point.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  221. One thing not taken into too much consideration from what I see is going from the NL to the AL would likely get him more innings as he wouldn’t have to be hit for later in close games. I know it won’t be a giant factor, but if there’s a game in the 7th inning either tied or down by 1 or 2 with runners on and the pitchers spot up, the pitcher will likely be pinch hit for and lose an inning or more of work. Going to the AL they will get to stay in if they are doing well.

    Comment by Ivdown — November 4, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  222. Why does he keep making it then?

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — November 4, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  223. Trading Tim Lincecum isn’t smart in my opinion unless the players in return are like Curtis Granderson from the Yankees or Jose Bautista from the Blue Jays. There needs to be some serious talent involved for Tim Lincecum, the 2 time cy young award winner and a proven ace.

    Comment by Me — November 4, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  224. The Yankees payroll leveled off after 2005 because they had few remaining needs. The Yanks aren’t likely to go after Fielder and Pujols not because they cannot afford them, but because they have Tex at first, and enough geezers to rotate into the DH everyday of the year.

    In a different way, Montero is surplus value for the Yankees because A-Rod is going to need a walker to get to the plate any year now.

    Maybe the Yanks don’t have a bottomless payroll, but then why did they pay $51 million over three years for Derek Jeter? Surely if they can afford the elderly Jeter they can afford Lincecum.

    The only drawback might be whether that pot-smoking hippie is going to cut his hair.

    Comment by a seattle fan — November 4, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

  225. But in order to anoint him as more valuable than the most elite pitchers in the game implies an absolute certainty that he’ll be a superstar,

    Jesus Christ, how does somebody so illiterate find his way here? I have explicitly and repeatedly stated that Montero making nothing is more valuable than Lincecum effectively making $30 million, or Felix making $20 million, etc. Learn to effing read. Go back and read the Fangraphs’ trade value series, and tell me if it reads as a ranking of best players or not. Lincecum, by the way, was #33 on that list, and that’s with just his contract, not Huff’s dead weight thrown on top.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 4, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  226. I am actually shocked that Cameron is not getting blasted for proposing something so outrageous. I have asked the same type of questions about the Padres and Mat Latos, and was roundly blasted for it. Teams like the Padres and Giants have a harder time getting hitters to their parks, therefore leveraging an asset that is easier to replace than wooing a stud hitter has merit.

    Comment by PadresFuture — November 4, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

  227. Rizzo and Kelly have never been better prospects than Montero.

    Comment by Brian S. — November 5, 2011 @ 12:44 am

  228. And neither have Ranuado or Middlebrooks.

    Comment by Brian S. — November 5, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  229. See: Derek Jeter

    Comment by BJFan — November 5, 2011 @ 12:59 am

  230. I don’t understand why anyone would try to crunch MILB numbers so desperately…

    Comment by baty — November 5, 2011 @ 2:00 am

  231. who? who is karim garcia?

    Comment by Danimal — November 5, 2011 @ 4:30 am

  232. Really? With some GM’s, it might be worth the gamble. But given Sabean’s track record (Rowand, Zito, as FA’s, trading Wheeler for 1 month of Beltran and Neal for Cabrera – Cabrera! Also, how many broken players have the Jints signed the last few years? Yes, Rentaria was the WS MVP but how many games did he play for the 2 years, 18 mil? And then he was insulted with the Giants offer for 2011!) I’d never be comfortable letting Sabean choose who to get for Timmy.

    Comment by Barry — November 5, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  233. Eh, I wouldn’t give too much weight to the possibility that an old school baseball manager took one look at a 5’11” 170 lbs professional baseball player and assumed he was out of shape because he could not run as fast or lift as much as everybody else.

    Comment by Colin — November 5, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  234. Yo. Solidarity.

    Remember when everyone was doing the same thing for Jack Z?

    Comment by André — November 5, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  235. Adam, even if Kevin made a mistake, you can’t force Kevin to realize he made a mistake.

    Comment by André — November 5, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  236. Why would anyone want to pay AJ that much money?

    Comment by André — November 5, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

  237. I just don’t see the Yankees and Giants matching up on a deal like this. I think the based on the Giants needs players teams like the Marlins, Pirates, and Red Sox have the players to get it done. Players like Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison, Andrew McCutchen, and Jacoby Ellsbury seem like much more likely targets. Unfortunately I can’t see the Marlins or Pirates taking on a big salary like that. Maybe with the Marlins new stadium opening they want to make a splash or a 3rd team can get inolved. But if the only team is the Yankees I just don’t see it.

    Comment by Scott — November 5, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  238. Didn’t the article say ‘part’ of Huff’s salary? Quit adding them all up..

    Comment by Brandon — November 5, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  239. You’re making quite a leap Lincecum signs with the Giants as a UFA after next year..

    Comment by Brandon — November 5, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

  240. j sanchez, the oft-injured, oft head-case, would never get a top propect like machado in return let alone an established cf with all star caliber potential. giants dont have any prospects in the same mold as machado.

    j sanchez for bj upton type maybe. (upton has potential but his strikeouts are absurd)

    maybe i just rate jones as potentially one of the best cf in the league. the giants need an elite cf to bring back some of that old say hey feeling. jones could also put up the pre roid bonds like numbers… just saying if the giants were to trade lincecum i like that deal better than montero.

    dont get me wrong i am a lincecum fan and a huge giants fan, but economically players are assets and getting value to better the entire organization and extend its chances of winning and being competitive is worth pissing of the casual fan. it killed me when sabean traded matty williams, thought i could never watch the giants again, but what they got in return put the giants in the post season many times. lincecum puts people in seats not because he is a good pitcher but because the giants win games in which he is pitching. sentimentality doesnt win championships (ie Huffs sentimental two year contract), a winning product wins championships.

    winning will make people come no matter who is on the mound or in the field. fans want a winning product.

    Comment by coachtemp — November 5, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  241. Not male gymnasts.

    Female gymnasts are usually done by their early 20s because the apparatus they use can most easily be manipulated by pixies. Male gymnastics has three apparatus (horse, parallel bars, and rings) which basically require you to be strong as an ox to be any good at them.

    You’re not wrong about flexibility peaking at an early age; you just picked the wrong sport to illustrate the point. (Though, since almost all male sports have a sizable strength component, I’m not sure there IS a “right sport.” Diving, maybe?)

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 6, 2011 @ 2:56 am

  242. There were actual, bona fide riots after the World Series…

    S.F.’s had its fair share of head-busting punchups before. Look up the longshore strikes!

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 6, 2011 @ 3:02 am

  243. @ Adam –

    Carl Crawford and Johan Santana come to mind. Money wasn’t the only factor in avoiding each signing but it certainly was a consideration. If the Yankees truly had bottomless resources, why didn’t they scrap Gardner and take Crawford away from Boston? If money wasn’t an option, why not pay for even that slight upgrade? The Yankees also wouldn’t commit money AND prospects to trade for Santana and chose instead to wait for Sabathia. If money wasn’t an option, why not dream of a rotation headed at the time by Santana and Sabathia?

    Comment by Frank — November 6, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  244. Don’t count the Rangers out of this one. Michael Young would provide the Giants with veteran leadership and the solid bat at SS they thought they were getting with Miguel Tejada. Sabes might bite on that.

    Comment by Taylor — November 6, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  245. I read all these damn posts…

    First of all, while the Yankees may not have “unlimited payroll”, their resources do mean they can match any other team’s offer to a player. Their in-built ROI makes “overpaid” a much higher threshold than any other team. Their payroll isn’t higher only because (as someone posted early on) there’s only so many roster spots, AND all they have to do is pay $1 more – they could indeed have a $300 million payroll, the market just says they don’t have to.

    The other simple point is that Timmy’s elbow or back are going to go. Only way he’ll survive into his 30s is as a finesse pitcher. Sell high now to someone who doesn’t get that (or doesn’t care). Either that or let him walk in two years and let someone else give him $200M over 8 years and greatly regret it.

    If it was realistic he’d stay as good as he is, I wouldn’t trade him in a million years – but I really doubt that’s his future.

    Comment by marc — November 6, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  246. “They owe around $82 million to just eight contracted players for 2012 – Barry Zito, Matt Cain, Aaron Rowand, Aubrey Huff, Brian Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Javier Lopez, and Jeremy Affeldt.”

    BAAAHAHAHA. 3 of those guys are completely washed up, and two of the pitchers combined for 114 innings last year. Unbelievable this guy still has a job.

    Comment by Shrimp & Grits — November 7, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  247. belt could definitely play left field but that would cost more than montero and nunez. lets be real, montero, nunez, AND a good major league. this is tim lincecum. lets also not forget how important dominant starting pitching is in the playoffs. thats what LED US TO A CHAMPIONSHIP and it easily could happen again next year or any year in the near to distant future if we keep this team intact. posey and belt and freddy sanchez we will be in the playoffs and have a great chance to win it all this year

    Comment by bryce — November 7, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  248. this is fucking stupid. lincecum is not going to leave sf. he loves it too much and the fans love him too much. the giants struggled offensively last year because they didnt have posey, freddy sanchez and a big bat to bring in runs. they already picked up cabrera and all they need is a short stop and a centerfielder with a big bat. and they arent going to resign beltran cause he didnt like playing in sf and the fans didnt like him. and trading for montero does not make sense cause the giants already have this guy named buster posey who i hear is pretty decent and belt who is a very promising prospect.

    Comment by poop69 — November 10, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  249. Terrible anecdotal argument. I find it interesting that people on Fangraphs of all places think this is a great comment.

    How about looking at the median value levels for productive 21 year olds, I’m willing to bet it’s quite high.

    Comment by The Nicker — November 13, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  250. Anybody else think Adam comes across worse than Kevin in all this?

    Comment by The Nicker — November 14, 2011 @ 3:03 am

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