Monday, February 1, 2010

Interesting minor league deal action

With the return of Big Money to the Giants, spending appears to be all done. That doesn't mean that we're not adding players though.

They may not seem significant now, but maybe down the line, these minor-league signees and random spring training invitees may help out. Here's a look at what we've gotten, beginning with the biggest name so far...

Byung-Hyun Kim

I was never fond of this character. Not because he was a funny little Korean guy who gave up a ton of big knocks and made a lot of contorted faces as a result, but because well... he was just weird. Plus he spent most of his time with the Snakes and Rockpile, who as we know, are not our favorites.

Because it was so many years ago, I really can't remember any specific time that B.K. pissed me off or ruined my night while playing against the Gyros. But, I did a little research. Now I remember why I disliked him:

Career versus San Francisco:

48 Games, 105.2 IP, 6-5 Record, 8 SV, 69 K, 2.73 ERA, .239 BAA

Basically this weird little guy with his submarining/sidewinding style did pretty damn well against us.

His injuries, time removed from the game, and his mental state notwithstanding, why not take a minor league flier on a guy like this? What's the harm?

That's the idea. In today's baseball climate, there are potential gems just lying around, collecting dust on the side of some lonesome highway. Either that, or toiling in some random foreign seasonal league, being managed by Hugo Chavez or Jose Offerman.

The point is, it's an interesting signing, and this guy was once good. Maybe there's a bullpen injury down the line and B.K. answers the call. Maybe he's a headcase and sucks. If that's the case, he remains in Fresno, or his non-guaranteed deal is terminated. Then he goes back to Seoul to working in the family Samsung factory.

Here are the other randoms we've picked up:

Tony Pena

Righty Tony Pena should probably see time in the big league 'pen this year. After beginning his career with the Snakes, he's done enough to show that he deserves another shot or two. He's got good stuff, and has never had horrible stats. I mean, last year when he fell out of favor in Phoenix and ended up with the White Sox, he had a solid, sub 4 ERA, and had a 2.75 K/BB ratio. So, you know, a guy like this will probably be helpful at some point. Fangraphs put his value at over $4MM last year.

Santiago Casilla

Santi was pretty good on my fantasy team two years ago as I recall. Since my particular league valued holds, and we had big starting rosters, guys like Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt are definitely valued. Well... Santi has gone downhill a bit due to injuries and in 2006 in spring training, he revealed that his name was not in fact Jairo Garcia (as he was claiming to be), but indeed Santiago Casilla.

In 2008, he had a solid year in the 'pen, posting a sub 4.00 ERA and striking out 43 in 50 innings.

Despite his elbow concerns, this is another minimum-risk, solid-reward minor league deal.

Horacio Ramirez

Lefty Horacio Ramirez, who I wish was actually Horatio Caine, will get a chance. He too was once an okay pitcher... for short periods of time. With a career 4.64 ERA, no one is jumping for joy here, which is why he had to take a minor league deal, a sharp pay decrease for someone who somehow earned $1.8MM last year.

There's not a ton of upside in Ramirez, who has always been a starter. Perhaps in a relief role, he could improve. But, with a career BABIP of nearly .300, I wouldn't count on it. I might actually prefer Horatio Caine. He could start out every game with a one-liner over the PA and then they could crank The Who leading up to a first pitch.

I may be onto something here. The Marlins are retarded in so many ways, but Jesus, if they did this, people would love it. If you can't see the video below, click here:

Rule Fivers:

In the sparsely covered "Rule 5 Draft" in December, the Giants lost LHP Benjamin Snyder, OF Brian Horwitz, and RHP Raul Burgos. Ho hum, whatever.

The two guys we gained were LHP Jake Stevens and RHP Steve Johnson.

Stevens is nothing special based on his stats, and since the Rule 5 draft dictates that a player must remain on the team's 25 man roster or return to his original team, he's probably not much to think about.

Steve Johnson, on the other hand, could damn well end up being a player. Last year between three different squadrons in different levels, he managed a 3.41 ERA and K'd 154 batters in 145.1 innings. Also of note is that the Dodgers have claimed him in the past, so I hope he ends up being amazing, just to slap them in the face. His high K/9 rate makes him worth the minimal gamble. There's always a market for these guys.

That's all for today folks...



  1. Stevens was claimed in the minor league portion of the rule V. He doesn't have to make the 25 man. It's like how we acquired eugenio.

  2. Thanks for the distinction. Wow, two blunders in one post! I have to step it up.