The Giants Free Agent Hitters
Just a check-in on the offensive players Brian Sabean and management have spent on recently and how they're doing this year.
There are a lot of Brian Sabean apologists in the Bay Area, most of them are sports writers who want access to the team. What I hear a lot of them saying - and Sabean said this too in his interview with Ralph Barbieri on KNBR a week or so ago - is that such criticism is at least slightly misdirected because:
- Sabean isn't the only one making decisions. It seems like former owner Peter Magowan was the one cuckoo for Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand, not Sabean. Sabes is just a good soldier and won't say so. Obviously, there's no way to check this, but it seems more than a bit convenient, and doesn't excuse a lot of other, horrid trades that are solely the fault of Sabean.
- Signing Zito to that preposterously large contract hasn't prevented the team from signing a marquee hitter ... because they don't want to sign here. Um, WHAT? Isn't it at least partially a GM's job to sell the team to potential free agents? Why wouldn't they want to sign here? Because San Francisco is a pit? (No.) Because it's a "pitchers park?" (Maybe. But there are plenty of examples of folks who DO hit here; if Sabean can't argue out of this, he's hopeless.) Because the park is too beautiful? Seriously, a player here and there (like Lance Berkman, for example) may not want to sign in San Francisco for personal reasons (in his case, being a backwards hick who is scared of folks not exactly like him) but it's not an excuse for Sabean that great players don't want to play here, it's an indictment. Also, if you threw $25,000,000 a year at Matt Holliday
Ya hear me, Andrew Baggarly?
OK, so let's check in on the big offensive signings over the last few years:
|Aaron Rowand||CF||$13,600,000||.228 BA,.259 OBP, 5HR, 20 RBI,18 R, 0 SB||Egregiously bad. Look at the OBP, and remember that Bochy has tried for years to convince us this guy is a leadoff hitter.|
|Edgar Renteria||SS||$10,000,000||(Currently on the DL) .326 BA,.395 OBP, 1HR, 11 RBI, 9 R, 3 SB||Adequate, until you realize this has all been downhill since the first few weeks of the year. He's played in 23 games this year and despite the Giants mess right now, NOBODY is clamoring for his return. That says something.|
|Bengie Molina||C||$4,500,00||.250 BA, .313 OBP, 2HR, 11 RBI, 15 R, 0 SB||A simple waste of money, given the needs of the team. Molina has averaged an RBI every fourth GAME, and he hits cleanup. Enough said. (Right?)|
|Freddy Sanchez||2B||$6,000,000||I've written a lot about Sanchez, and I'm not a believer. But he's been good since he returned. In limited play, he has the following: .326 BA,.391 OBP, 0HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 0 SB||Folks love him here, but is the above (in 13 games) really worth the second best pitching prospect in the Giants organization? Time will tell.|
|Juan Uribe||2B/SS/3B||$3,250,000||.274 BA,.342 OBP, 7HR, 29 RBI, 23 R, 1 SB||Uribe leads the team in RBI, more of an indictment of folks like Pablo than a reflection of Uribe. He's overperformed, and thank goodness for that. Signed only because nobody else wanted him, this has been a bright spot.|
|Aubrey Huff||1B/OF||$3,000,000||.297 BA,.382 OBP, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 26 R, 1 SB||At last, a solid signing. Huff has been better than advertised and his positional flexibility helped find a slot for Buster Posey. Again, nobody else wanted Huff, but props for filling a gap with someone who had something left.|
.194 BA,.279 OBP, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 0 SB
|Coming off wrist surgery, DeRosa has played in all of 19 games, and is possibly going to undergo MORE surgery, which could jeopardize his season. HUGE miss, even if it's just an unlucky one.|
* Note: All stats are through Tuesday's game, even though this will post on Wednesday.
Let the record show that I'm being exceptionally generous by giving Uribe, Sanchez and Huff neutral or positive grades. Let's put it another way - how many teams out there would trade their starters at 1B, 2B and SS for Huff, Sanchez or Uribe? I'm sure Sanchez would get some attention, but after that? Meh.
I could go on about how useless these signings have been, but I think their numbers speak for themselves. Look, Sabean isn't the only one in the organization making mistakes, and I'll give him/them credit for the Posey pick and Pablo Sandoval, even with Sandoval slumping as he has. But for a guy like Sabean to have his job after this many whiffs?
Something just ain't right, folks.