Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Slower than molasses in wintertime...

I thought I'd fire off a quick post here, just to make sure everyone's paying attention. You awake? Okay. Good.

If only we could all purchase a Sabean scanner-- you know, like a police scanner. Some little radio that would pick up all chatter and activity coming out of his office. Honestly, if we had kind of thing, no one would work again.

If we could hear what our oft-maligned GM was doing, we'd probably be just as bored as we are now. I imagine Sabean's day to break down into the following allotments: 3 hours worth of tire kicking, 3 hours worth of "checking up" on a situation (ie. praying to God that the player's price has come down within the last week), and the rest of the day consists of power lunches, cursing Scott Boras, pouring Stoli into Jamba Juice cups, and semi-silent prayer.

The lack of production doesn't necessarily mean that he's not doing anything, because we all know that to be false. What's happening, like last season, is that the big bats have entered smaller markets for their services than they had hoped two years ago. Despite the fact that Bay and Holliday are the far-and-away best players on the wire, there are only 4 teams interested in each of them due to monetary constraints. And since the Gyros are one of those four teams, you can basically draw it down to 3 teams each.

With that said, these two guys are going to set the market, and it's not going to be until January at the earliest. These guys, due to their agents' hubris, believe that a bidding war will somehow ensue and they will both end up with a contract somewhere between Carlos Lee money and Mark Teixeira money.

It is because of this delay, that the rest of the action is delayed. Even guys who shouldn't be affected by an outfield market will stand pat. For example, the Mariners want to keep Adrian Beltre at 3B. However, they also want Jason Bay. If they sign Beltre (who won't sign yet because his agent is Scott Boras), then they're out of Bay stakes. Then Bay has 3 teams to choose from (if you include the Giants)... meanwhile, Beltre is out there somewhere dismissing overtures from teams for good money, even though his market just shrank with the Bay signing (by whomever).

Then of course there is the arbitration issue. The Giants are the most affected team by arbitration in the league. The Blue Bastards have their arby issues too, but who the hell cares about their problems.

For Sabean, it's a guessing game. Depending on how much Lincecum/Wilson/Sanchez get, that's how much they really have to spend. As I wrote here a couple months ago, we shouldn't expect any miracles this offseason, and that once the arby hearings go through and those guys get their raises, we'll have a real figure of $10-16MM to spend this offseason.

So, if you take the conservative look at salary availability ($10-12MM), and look at the recent 2yr./$12MM offer to Mark DeRosa, you can see that there will probably be between $4-6MM left over if DeRosa signs.

The DeRosa offer is reasonable and can definitely be filed under the category of positive action. For that I'm glad.

The only problem is, we're competing directly against the Yankees who just stole Nick Johnson away from us like some rich jock steals a prom date.

If DeRosa falls through, I don't know where the Giants turn next. But Lord knows that overpaying Adrian Beltre is not the answer. And, as we know, even if they want to overpay him, it's not happening until mid-January... so find a comfortable seat and make sure to dress warmly, because the hot stove is not nearly hot enough yet.

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