Tuesday, September 22, 2009

F. Sanchez, Garko, and Villalona: The ugly truth

Well, things are looking bleak.

Despite Monday's win in Phoenix, the Rockpile is still up comfortably with a 4 game lead. There are 12 games left, and Colorado plays the rest of its regular season at home. Are we still in it? Yes, mathematically. Realistically... well I don't like saying it out loud.

You know when Brian Murphy is giving up during the Murph & Mac show, it's not good.

ANYWAYS... moving on to more pressing matters:

Freddy Sanchez's injury is not good. He twisted his knee and left early in the game yesterday. He's getting an MRI on it today. Worst case scenario... we're talking ACL. Best case, he's out for the rest of the season. It's increasingly looking like he won't be back with the Giants-- something inconceivable at the time of the trade.

Sanchez has only played in 23 of the 48 games since he joined the Giants-- disappointing on its own. His 2010 option would have vested with 600 plate appearances, something that obviously didn't happen due to the missed time. At this juncture, the Giants have 2 options:

1) Pick up his $8.1MM option for 2010, making him a free agent in 2011

2) Buy him out for $600k, making him a free agent, then collecting a compensatory draft pick from whatever team signs him. He's projected by MLBTradeRumors to be a Type B free agent

So much depends on the extent of Sanchez's knee health. If the guy tore his ACL, he won't be able to play until May 2010 at the absolute earliest. This of course would make his $8.1MM option a horrible idea. Not to mention the fact that other teams will not want to sign him because durability concerns and a loss of draft pick to the Giants.

This happened to Milwaukee this past winter. Ben Sheets was a type A free agent, who was diagnosed with a serious injury by the Rangers during the signing period. Not only did the Crew lose Sheets from its rotation, but since no other team signed him in 2009, they got nothing in return for one of the best pitchers in baseball.

In the Giants situation, the worst that could happen is that Sanchez's knee is blown out. Then they would buy him out for $600k, no one signs him next year, which would result in no compensatory pick, and the Pirates will have gotten Tim Alderson for free.

Excuse me while I wretch.

Of course, if F-Sanch's knee is okay, and he just sprained or tore his MCL, the Giants have more options. Not great ones, but options.

Obviously the worst case scenario is ugly, but sadly, it is a legitimate possibility.

Onto the Ryan Garko scenario. Having fun?

I remember the day we got Garks from Cleveland. My boy Damon Bruce was so excited, that he couldn't contain himself on the air. Hell, admit it, you were excited too. The guy's got pop, he was going to help a lot!

Well, the hype surrounding Garko was akin to the expectations we put on Inglourious Basterds. It was inflated and fan-driven. Just like when saw the movie trailer for I.B. thinking Brad Pitt would be killing Nazis non-stop for two hours, we looked at Garko's power numbers and his obvious complement to Ishikawa, and thought, "Playoffs here we come!"

Tarantino's movie ended up being an overhyped snoozefest, and the Garko acquisition has been a failure.

Going back to the Damon Bruce on the air the day of the acquisition, I remember one caller distinctly. Naturally he was clamoring about Matt Holliday and Jermaine Dye, like the rest of the unrealistic lunatic fringe. This guy said the Garko trade would be just as bad as the Shea Hillenbrand deal of 2006.

That deal seemed awful at the time, because Jeremy Accardo looked like a possible future closer. Now, we can see that that deal was inconsequential. Accards hasn't turned into much after filling in for BJ Ryan that one year, so it didn't end up mattering.

The Garko deal could look bad in 3 or 4 years when Scott Barnes is ready to join Cleveland's rotation.

Here are Garks' details:

1) He is arbitration eligible. He made $446,100 this year, and is due for a significant raise, putting him in the $3-5MM range

2) Garko could (but won't) decline arbitration, making him a free agent. Currently, Garko is not a Type A or Type B free agent, which hurts his value to the Giants (Here are the current Elias Rankings by category)

3) Could be non-tendered, making him a free agent, giving the Gyros no compensation

Sooooooo... we'd be better off offering him arbitration, him signing a deal, and then keeping him or trying to trade him. Not great.

Villalona update:

Andy Baggarly of the Merc has updated the Villalona situation.

The Giants prospect pleaded innocent down in the D.R. and was sent to jail while awaiting his trial. I guess they don't have bail down there... but then again, he is accused of shooting someone. Who knows how it works anyway.

Apparently he wore a bulletproof vest in the courtroom. Yikes.

I also wanted to state that in my previous post, I wasn't trying to convict the guy already. I was just saying that I believe that Villalona killed the guy. To be guilty, you need to commit a crime, and I never said that he did. What I was alluding to is that he probably shot this character in self-defense.

And look, this sounds callous, but this guy is a mega prospect, and I care too much about the Giants for Villalona to be locked up for 20 years in some hellhole prison in one of the poorest countries on earth. If it takes bribery to get this guy out of jail and into instructional winter ball, so be it.

These type of powerful youngsters do not grow on trees, and we'll never win a championship if we can't hit. I just hope he didn't gun this guy down in cold blood!

Let's channel our frustrations into hatred toward the Dodgers and Rockies. It'll make you feel better. I think. Just stay away from sharp objects.

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