What the Giants Should Do

Overview

While it’s a bit unusual, the Giants kicked off their legitimate run at the NL West last night by trading away their starting catcher. By moving Bengie Molina to the Rangers, they can now re-arrange their line-up in such a way that will let them become buyers for what they really need.

Buy or Sell

This is an easy buy, and the sooner the better. The NL West is wide open and the Giants have a shot at this thing, but they’ll need to be willing to make a move for an outfielder who can hit if they want to run down the three teams in front of them. The Molina trade lets them put Buster Posey behind the plate and move Aubrey Huff back to first base, creating a spot in the outfield for the one guy on the market who fits their needs perfectly – David DeJesus.

Besides being able to play any of the three outfield positions, DeJesus can do one thing the Giants badly need – hit the baseball with regularity. A career .290/.361/.429 hitter, he’s in the midst of the best year of his career, putting up a .331/.398/.478 mark for the Royals. He would be a monstrous upgrade over Aaron Rowand, and he fits everything that Brian Sabean has said he’s looking for.

He’s not a rental player, as he’s under contract for 2011 at a bargain rate of $6 million. He’s a good defender who can run down balls in the spacious park, and putting him next to Andres Torres will somewhat offset having Pat Burrell out there as well. He can hit anywhere in the line-up as well, as he’s one of the rare high quality players who also offers a lot of flexibility in how he is used.

There just aren’t any players like DeJesus on the market, who fit the needs of the Giants so perfectly. Rumor has the Royals asking for the moon, but I have to think there’s a deal to be made here. Putting him on this roster makes too much sense for it to not happen.

On The Farm

While Posey and Madison Bumgarner got all the headlines, there are some interesting young players in the system besides those two. They could offer up players like 20-year-old shortstop Ehire Adrianza, outfielder Thomas Neal, or lefty reliever Dan Runzler, who would have value to the Royals but wouldn’t cripple their future. The Giants system has enough depth to pull of a trade for pretty much anyone they want, and Sabean has shown he’s not shy about trading young for old.

Budget

At just $6 million for 2011, the Giants should be able to fit DeJesus in the budget, even though they’re going to be stretched for payroll room. They already have $77 million in committed salaries for next year, and that doesn’t include money to re-sign Aubrey Huff. They’re not going to have a ton of money to spend to upgrade their roster over the winter, so a guy like DeJesus, who is worth far more than his salary, is exactly what the doctor ordered.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

28 Responses to “What the Giants Should Do”

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  1. PhD Brian says:

    If the giants get Dejesus, he stays healthy, and maintains the performance he is putting up this season, then I think they take the NL west easily.

    You got to hate being a Royals fan. The second they get a guy that looks like a legitimate star for the foreseeable future he gets traded for prospects. I know its necessary to rebuild, but if I am a Royals fan I am praying they trade every hitter but this guy and maybe Butler. DeJesus is arguably the most underrated player in the AL and he is paid very modestly for how good of an allround talent he has become. Grienke was quoted at one pojnt last season saying that when they played at home all Grienke tried to do was to get everyone to hit it to Dejesus. He that that good defensively.

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    • Boots says:

      Dejesus will never be a “legitimate star”, but it is sad to see him (likely) leaving the Royals, since he has grown through the organization. He does everything pretty good, but nothing “great,” so he’s exactly the kind of player you want on a good team, but not the kind of player that’s too useful on a bad one.

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    • Travis L says:

      DeJesus represents maybe a 2-3 win upgrade for the Giants. How does that give them the division?

      I think it assumes that the Padres return to what everyone thought they’d be. The Giants need to get hotter AND add DeJesus. And LA needs to stay out of things and lose their games to SF.

      Not saying it won’t happen. But we’re quickly approaching the point in the season when a 4.5 game lead is a major obstacle.

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  2. zenbitz says:

    They have a bit of a log jam now. I don’t see them getting another OF without dumping Rowand (’cause Bochy will play him). I guess they could just cut Schierholtz, but he seems vaugly useful.

    Plus moving Huff back to 1B leaves them with an Uribe/Renteria conflict. At this point I am not actually sure which is the better option offense + defense…

    OF: Huff – Torres – X
    IN Uribe – Renteria – Sanchez – Sandoval

    vs.
    OF: Y – Torres – X
    IN: Sandoval (Uribe/Renteria) Sanchez Huff

    At SS Uribe/Renteria seems to be a wash with Renteria being the better defender and projects to be the worse hitter.

    Huff is a bad defender anywhere (although fine this year – SSS) and Uribe is probably a better 3B than Panda…

    Actualliy I’m obviously over thinking this…. any reasonable corner OF is a better hitter than Juan Uribe, so he should just super-sub.

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    • Offspring says:

      Uribe is better at SS than he is at 3B. Sandoval is fine at 3B, and yes, Bochy will play Rowand but as we’ve seen, he’ll be benched when he’s not doing what needs to be done.

      If it was an OF like DeJesus – Torres – Schierholtz with an IF with Panda – Uribe/Renteira – Sanchez – Huff then you’d be putting the absolute best offensive/defensive team out there. Burrell is a bench player, and Schierholtz has one of the best arms in the game. Keep him in the #8 spot where he thrived, and keep Renteria/Uribe swapping to give days off and this would be the best of all worlds.

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  3. geo says:

    All this DeJesus talk is pure speculation. He’s not “on the market” per se, as in Dayton Moore is most decidedly *not* shopping him. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get inquiries, but the asking price is probably higher than anybody wants to pay. Plus, Moore would much rather steer shoppers toward Podsednik or Guillen, both of whom could be had cheaper.

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  4. zenbitz says:

    I think it’s improper to call the upgrade from Rowand to DeJesus “monstrous”. Sure, if you could switch their respective first halves, then that would be borderline monstrous (2 WAR). But I think realistically the difference for the _remainder_ of 2010 drops down to ~1 WAR. Also DeJesus’ “good” position is LF, and with Burrell “roaming” out there he would be forced to giant AT&T RF where he might be exposed.

    Not that I would take a “free” DeJesus in a instant… but I wouldn’t give up any significant future value for a 1 WAR upgrade.

    The problem with the Giant’s offense is that they need to upgrade by 1-2 WAR at about 4 positions… (they just got ~1 by dumping Big Money)… (or like 6 at one… you let me know if any 6+ WAR players become available).

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  5. Choo says:

    Regardless of who the Giants acquire to play the OF, Rowand will likely remain in the starting lineup until somebody lures his face into a wall.

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    • Travis L says:

      Or until he gets caught violating the MLB banned substances prohibitions (yes, I know, cheap shot at Rowand. But he physically threatened my friend’s wife at a bar one time, so I really hate the guy).

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  6. Graham says:

    Rowand has definitely seen his playing time decrease as his “slump” has reached “he should be relegated to the bench for the rest of his career” status. I do agree that Bochy has historically given him every chance (to hit into a rally-killing double play), but the acquisition of a player like DeJesus would take a big bite out of Rowand’s playing time. I think what is most likely to happen in the wake of a trade for DeJesus is that Burrell, Torres, and DeJesus would see the bulk of the outfield time, with Rowand and Schierholtz getting spot starts and replacing Burrell for defense late in games. And I’m all for that.

    As for what they’d have to give up to get him: I’d really prefer to hold onto Neal if at all possible. I have faith that Runzler will become a very good late-inning lefty, but I would include him if the Royals wanted. Either Adrianza or Brandon Crawford would be ok. And then there’s always Kevin Pucetas. Maybe another lower-level pitcher like Surkamp?

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  7. Eli says:

    Trade for BJ Upton

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  8. crash says:

    if I was KC I’d want Schierholtz and a young pitcher
    only thing I’d worry about for SF is how long it would take (IF) for DeJesus to adapt to the NL

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  9. Rich Rifkin says:

    The Giants should trade Rowand to Texas, too. The Rangers are apparently in need of crappy, slow, overpaid old players who once had a reputation.

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    • stolenbases says:

      It worked with Vlad in Texas, so maybe the fountain of youth will find Molina. Of course Vlad is a HOF while Molina’s only chance to enter is if he pays to get in.

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  10. philkid3 says:

    Okay, so the PTBNL is Main.

    I take back anything positive I said.

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  11. darkstorm says:

    Royals fan here. I’d hate to see DDJ go, but he’d be perfect in San Fran. I can only imagine the damage that line drive swing of his would do in that monstrous gap. He’d definately lead the league in triples. The dude is always in position and hasn’t made an error since september 2008.

    And for the guy who said he doesn’t hit lefties well, he’s obviously never seen him play. If I were building a team, I’d definately want a couple of guys like David. But from what I hear, it’s going to take a load of prospects to make the deal. Plus I hear SD is interested in him.

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  12. Walter Guest says:

    If Moore were smart he’s insist on Bowker being included in any trade. If Sabean were smart he’s bring up Bowker to play RF and forget about any trade.

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    • Dan says:

      Sabean isn’t smart, but he has already tried that route. Bowker is a AAAA player who has some big holes in his swing. Schierholtz needs to be playing in right everyday. He’s a better fielder than Bowker, has a bigger arm and has already fixed the biggest holes in his swing

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      • Walter Guest says:

        There’s no such thing as a AAAA layer. Ask Bill James. They gave Bowker 40 at bats to prove himself after he killed in triple A last year. They sent him down and he’s doing it again.

        The “Giant Way” is to treat their own prospects like crap and other team’s discards like royalty. Their theory is, ‘He can’t be any good. he came out of our system.”

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  13. darkstorm says:

    I think it would take a combo like Runzler and Neal to land DDJ.

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  14. GiantHusker says:

    You’re way off base on this one, Dave. zenbitz hit the nail on the head. The Giants have more holes than a Swiss cheese. Adding 1 or 2 wins won’t even bring the Giants close to the playoffs.
    They need to save all their young players and hope for the future when Sabean and Bochy are gone.
    If anything, they should look to be selling some of their older players who have pretty good stats now that won’t hold up, e.g. Huff, F. Sanchez, Renteria.

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    • DrBGiantsfan says:

      I agree with this. After last night’s games, the Giants are 6.5 games behind the Padres, in 4′th place with a record that is just 1 game above .500. They’ve lost 7 in a row with no end in sight as they are currently on a very tough road trip. Even if they made a huge, difference making trade today, like Prince Fielder without giving up any of their starters, it would take too long to get everybody settled in before they were 10 games out. They aren’t going to make up a 10 game deficit no matter who they trade for.

      The Giants need to be sellers with Uribe and Huff looking like they would bring the best prospects in return. They should be shopping Mota, Casilla, Bautista and Ray out of the bullpen too, as bullpen arms are in short supply.

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      • DrBGiantsfan says:

        The Phillies are looking for an IF who can play both 2B and 3B. Uribe fills that bill to a T. The Angels could make a nice trade partner for Aubrey Huff. Both organizations have high upside prospects in the lower minors, which is what the Giants should be stockpiling.

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