Saturday, December 5, 2009
What might the Giants do?
The Giants are in a bit of a bind with the catcher position. They are not keen on the older, aforementioned catchers, however there seems to be few other options. Yorvit Torrealba, who has been linked to the Giants, is seeking a multi-year deal, like Bengie Molina. That will probably rule him out, and the only other catacher on the Giants roster is Eli Whiteside, who is considered largely just as a backup.
The problem the Giants have with signing a catcher right now is anyone who comes here knows Posey will be taking his spot as catcher whenever the Giants brass feels the young pup is ready. Given that, I think the Giants only real options for this position are aged-veterans who really don't have the bargaining power to go elsewhere for multi-year contracts. No, they will not offer the Giants the offensive upgrade they need, but you aren't really going to be getting that from many catchers in MLB. Not everyone can be Joe Mauer (except Buster Posey). It will be interesting to see what the Giants decide to do with the position, but I think we are going to see them sign the likes of Barajas or Pudge Rodriguez just to keep the seat warm until Posey is called up, which I hope will be sometime around the all-star break.
Another interesting development is the Giants brass announcing the Pablo Sandoval will likely stay at 3B for the 2010 season. This essentially rules out signings or trades for the likes of Dan Uggla and Adrian Beltre (both names have been linked at one point or another to the Giants). What this means is the Giants will pursue a first-baseman, and luckily there are some good options out there. Nick Johnson, Adam LaRoche, and Mark DeRosa have been thrown out there as possibilities. Honestly, if the Giants could acquire DeRosa, put him in the outfield, and either Johnson or LaRoche at 1B, then we would have a very competent baseball team. In fact, if we got something like that I would expect a very good contending team for the NL West.
DeRosa is primarily an infielder, however he has played all over the field. He could end up being a good solution for the corner outfield, as he can put up some decent offensive numbers. Bill James has him with an wOBA of .328 in 2010 and hitting 17 HR. Not bad.
Nick Johnson is an OBP beast, which is what the Giants need. In 2009 he owned a .426 OBP, .373 wOBA, and .831 OPS. Really nice. He would be a fantastic offensive upgrade for the Giants.
If Nick Johnson does not pan out, Adam LaRoche would be a satisfactory backup. He doesn't have as good OBP as Johnson, but at .355 he was still hitting ahead of the curve. What LaRoche offers that Johnson does not is pop. In 2009 LaRoche hit 25 homeruns, while Johnson hit a paltry 8.
Hopefully, if the Giants pull together some of these deals, we will be able to put a team on the field that could make a great playoff run. 2010 is looking good.