Saturday, December 5, 2009

What might the Giants do?

The winter meetings are set to begin in Indianapolis.  Giants' GM Brian Sabean noted that they would not be looking to put Buster Posey in the starting position at catcher to start the season.  The Giants brass feels that Posey is just not ready for a starting position, and they want to see him get some more playing time in the minors.  They apparently also do not want to rush Madison Bumgarner, however they are still considering him for a sport in the rotation.  With Bengie Molina almost certainly not coming back (the Giants want to give him a one-year contract; Bengie wants a multiyear contract), it looks like the Gmen are going to be in the market for a catcher.  According to the SF Chronicle, however, the Giants are not keen on older catchers like Brad Ausmus and Pudge Rodriguez. 

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.

One option out there is Blue Jays catcher Rod Barajas, who is not the kind of offensive power the Giants need.  While he hit 19 homeruns last season, his wOBA is an abysmal .282.  Still, if the Giants are looking for a cheap solution to keep the position warm until Posey is ready to come up, then Barajas might not be a bad solution.  If the Giants want to sign him for a one year deal, and maybe pull of Posey halfway through the season that could end up being a fairly good deal.

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.


  1. I know Posey isn't going to be on the team at the beginning of the year, but I highly doubt it's going to take that long for him to the the call to come back up. I don't think they Giants need to sign another catcher, Eli Whiteside can hold down the fort till Buster is called up. Whiteside will have more exp. next year and I believe he would do just as good if we just signed another FA "Veteran" Catcher. Posey will be up by late May you watch...

    As for the infield, I don't like DeRosa, 36 years old coming off a wrist injury. We've had too many of those types of guys come here and not come through. As for Johnson or LaRoche, I wouldn't mind either of those two. I've always liked LaRoche, so seeing him in a Giants Uni would be nice.


  2. Hey Pent,

    I have to agree with you on DeRosa. I actually would prefer signing something like LaRoche/Johnson and Nady in the outfield. Nady is also coming off an injury, but he has had a solid career. Apparently the Giants are interested in him. Given the fact that he grew up in Salinas and went to Cal, he might want to play for the Giants.

    I honestly think the best policy for Posey is to just throw him out there. Make him the starting catcher on opening day. I highly doubt Sabean will do that, though. Maybe signing Olvia will be a good short term solution. While I think Posey should just start, knowing that he probably won't, I am worried about giving the job to Whiteside . . .

  3. Yea Nady is coming off an injury, but remember he is younger than DeRosa! He should be able to bounce back quickly and He is in his "power" years for MLB. Guys around the ages of 30-32 usually tend to have their best years with the bat. I like Nady and I think that would be a great signing for the Giants. He shouldn't be too expensive his value is down due to the injury.