Friday, April 1, 2011

Saltzman Says..."The Giants Way" is fan friendly

The Giants Way is great for the short term and costly for the long term.  However, as long as the Giants remain financially responsible, they can avoid the pitfalls of this "Way."

Reason #1:  Not waiting to start a young player's clock.  Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey and now Brandon Belt.  Three studs, who proved in the minor leagues that the only challenge they might face in baseball is at the Major League level.  Lincecum received "Super 2" status by being called up May 9, 2007, instead of being called up after June 1.  Same with Buster Posey, who was called up May 29th, 2010.  Their respective time served clocks started a year early and therefore are going to be much more costly in the future.  Other teams, especially small market teams, have made it clear to their fan base that it doesn't make financial sense to bring up a young player early.  The Giants are proving that wins are more critical than salaries.

Reason #2:  Free Agent signing massacres have stopped.  Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand are still here, but there was Edgar Renteria, Edgardo Alfonso, Ray Durham, and Armando Benitez before them.  Big, long expensive deals can kill a franchise.  The Giants realize that Zito and Rowand have made it more expensive and more difficult to keep their own talent.  However, the Giants have decided that re-signing their own will happen no matter what the payroll restrictions have been in the past.  Fortunately, that won't happen at any cost.  They had budgeted $6 million a year for a shortstop, and when Juan Uribe took more money to sign with the Dodgers, the Giants stood firm on their 3 year offer, instead of adding a year, or adding extra millions.  Bringing in Miguel Tejada proved two things.  His one year deal gives them flexibility at SS that Uribe's contract would not have.  The Giants know they need to look long term for a SS this coming off-season.

Reason #3: No big extension yet for Cody Ross, Jonathan Sanchez, or Pablo Sandoval.  The Giants will spend on guys who have proven themselves in a Giants uniform, but they will not give extensions to everyone.  It was clear when they gave extensions to Matt Cain, Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Wilson before the 2010 season.  It was clear when they gave Aubrey Huff a two year deal with an option year this off-season.  It was also clear when they gave Freddy Sanchez an extension yesterday for an additional year.  The Giants have shown they are willing to commit to their own. However, Ross, Sanchez and Sandoval have shown that because of a small sample size in Ross' case, and inconsistency on Sanchez and Sadoval's part, there is no need to rush deals with those three.  However, if they prove they can be long term answers in 2011, they will be given an opportunity to stay with this nucleus.

Reason #4: Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, and Brandon Belt aren't going anywhere.  If Lincecum, Cain, Wilson, etc... has shown anything is that the Giants will not let a great Giant test the free agent waters.  Just as the big waste that is the $30+ million being made by Rowand and Zito finally come to an end, the Giants will be able to use that money to give extensions to their next big three.

Lincecum and Posey aren't going anywhere

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