Friday, September 30, 2011

Saltzman Says...Answering Giants Questions

First and foremost
1. Matt Cain signed long term is priority #1 because he will be a free agent after this year.

Short term, Long term, The Freak is staying.
2. Tim Lincecum prefers short term deals, but the Giants would like to sign him long term if possible.

If we can only keep one lefty...
3. Jeremy Affeldt will be re-signed even if his option isn't picked up, in case Javier Lopez is too expensive to re-sign.

Too expensive to keep?:
4. Javier Lopez and Carlos Beltran will probably be offered more years/money than the Giants would like to spend.

Buster is still our catcher, but...
5. Buster Posey will be our starting catcher, but after him is another story.  Chris Stewart is the most likely to return with an outside chance Eli Whiteside could remain the backup.  Hector Sanchez should begin 2012 in the minors, so the question will be if the Giants go get a catcher in the open market to backup Posey.

Logjam at 2nd will get clearer.
6. Freddy Sanchez healthy is an oxymoron to Giants fans, but when he is, there is no issues at 2nd.  Will Jeff Keppinger be kept as insurance, or will he find an every day job somewhere else.  Manny Burriss has a better glove and Mike Fontenot's lefty bat are intriguing, but who stays is anyone's guess.  Even Conor Gillaspie will get a look next year.

Put down the cookies Panda! Put down the beer and cigarettes Huff Daddy!
7. Aubrey Huff and Pablo Sandoval's conditioning is the biggest offensive question marks of the players returning.

Brandons not Ready for Prime Time.
8. Both Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford are having problems with their swing, and both could use some more minor league seasoning if possible.

Nate still Great, but the rest of the outfield...
9. Nate Schierholtz is the 2012 starting right fielder barring an upgrade or a fall off at the plate.  Neither Andres Torres, Justin Christian or Cody Ross seem like options to start 2012 in CF, so the question becomes who will.  Gary Brown is not ready and might not be until 2013.  Even if he is ready sooner, the team will not go into Spring Training with Torres and Ross only as options.  Torres and Ross might not even be brought back, but if they are, it will be to compete for the 4th or 5th outfield spot.  Pat Burrell has said he will only return to SF if he does come back in 2012, and Darren Ford doesn't have the bat to go with his legs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saltzman Says...2012 Giants new additions??

CF Coco Crisp (Sign as a Free Agent)
2B Freddy Sanchez
3B Pablo Sandoval
C Buster Posey
LF Nelson Cruz (Trade Erik Surkamp/Dan Runzler/Steve Edlefson)
1B Gaby Sanchez (Trade Jonathan Sanchez/Santiago Casilla)
RF Nate Schierholtz
SS Brandon Crawford

Cruz could provide much needed right handed pop at AT&T

Wouldn't you want this guy having your back?

Anyone who closelines Nyjer Morgan is a stud in my book

C Chris Stewart
1B Aubrey Huff
2B Jeff Keppinger
3B Omar Infante (Sign as a Free Agent)
OF Cody Ross (Sign as a Free Agent)
OF Juan Pierre (Sign as a Free Agent)

SP Tim Lincecum
SP Matt Cain
SP Madison Bumgarner
SP Ryan Vogelsong
SP Barry Zito

RP Guillermo Mota
RP Jeremy Affeldt
RP Ramon Ramirez
RP Javier Lopez
RP Sergio Romo
CL Brian Wilson

Instead of bringing Carlos Beltran back, we use his money to re-sign our pitching, and sign Crisp and Infante. We get a true leadoff hitter as a buffer for Gary Brown in a year or two and we get a true utility player to replace the void of Juan Uribe. Juan Pierre gives us a major league hitter with the speed of Darren Ford.

We let Pat Burrell, Mark DeRosa, Eli Whiteside, Mike Fontenot, Andres Torres, Bill Hall, and Manny Burriss go. Cody Ross as well as Aubrey Huff could all be gone before the year ends, if not sooner, if we find better options.

We move 5 good pitchers (Jonathan Sanchez, Santiago Casilla, Erik Surkamp, Steve Edlefson and Dan Runzler) and we get two potent right handed bats in Nelson Cruz and Gaby Sanchez.

Now we can let Brandon Belt get his year in AAA, we can get Pablo and Buster some protection, and we can let Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford's defense stay in the lineup. We can also let Darren Ford go back to AAA, where is bat belongs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Saltzman Says...My 2012 Off-Season Checklist

  1. Sign Tim Lincecum to a 5 year (2012-2016) $90 contract extension ('12 $15 mil, '13 $16 mil, '14 $18 mil, '15 $20 mil, '16 $21 mil)
  2. Sign Matt Cain to a 5 year extension (2013-2017) $85 contract extension ('12 $15 mil, '13 $15 mil, '14 $16 mil,'15 $17 million, '16 $18 million, '17 $19 million)
  3. Tell Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Brian Wilson that they will get extensions before the 2013 off-season. Tell Sergio Romo he will get his extension in 2014.
  4. Make Brandon Belt an everyday player, sharing 1B and LF with Aubrey Huff and whoever plays LF.
  5. Work out contracts to avoid salary arbitration with Santiago Casilla, Jeff Keppinger, Ramon Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Nate Schierholtz, Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong.
  6. Do not offer arbitration to Andres Torres and Jonathan Sanchez
  7. Let Jeremy Affeldt ($500K buyout), Carlos Beltran, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mark DeRosa, Mike Fontenot, Cody Ross become free agents.
  8. Re-Sign Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, and Guillermo Mota.
  9. Sign a leadoff hitter who can play center field [i.e. Coco Crisp] to a 1-2 year contract.  Buffer for Gary Brown in two years, but also upgrade from Andres Torres/Cody Ross.
  10. Do not sign any current players who are free agents to a contract lasting more than two years. {example: Beltran at 2 years, $20 million is smart, but 4 years $60 is way too much.}

1. Tim Lincecum
2. Matt Cain
3. Madison Bumgarner
4. Ryan Vogelsong
5. Barry Zito (Eric Surkamp)

6. Jeremy Affeldt
7. Santiago Casilla
8. Javier Lopez
9. Guillermo Mota
10. Ramon Ramirez
11. Sergio Romo
12. Brian Wilson

13. CF Coco Crisp [example]
14. 2B Freddy Sanchez
15. 3B Pablo Sandoval
16. C Buster Posey
17. LF Brandon Belt
18. 1B Aubrey Huff
19. RF Nate Schierholtz
20. SS Brandon Crawford

21. Chris Stewart
22. Brett Pill
23. Jeff Keppinger
24. Cody Ross
25. Darren Ford

Friday, September 2, 2011

Saltzman Says...Rowand and Tejada just the beginning

Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada were the 1st two casualties of a record setting offense being released by the San Francisco Giants.  Of course, by record setting, I mean one of the worst offenses in league history, who have set records for consecutive solo home runs and will be establishing records for lack of run support by the team the season is over.  Rowand and Tejada's departure sends a clear and seismic pulse throughout the locker room that each and every veteran felt.

Aubrey Huff, the team's offensive leader in 2010, has been below average the entire year of 2011.  If he continues to struggle into 2012, Brandon Belt will be given the keys at first base, and another 8 figure salary will be chopped.  Cody Ross and Andres Torres, the NLCS MVP and Willie Mac Award winner in 2010, will both be looking for job in another outfield if they do not improve before next season.  Ross is a free agent after the year and Torres is eligible to be offered salary arbitration.  The Giants might not even offer Torres arbitration. Carlos Beltran, who has had a terrible time calling AT&T Park home, will want big money (4 years, $60 million, according to Scott Boras) to stay, so he can play as bad a Rowand and still be happy in San Francisco.

Mark DeRosa, Orlando Cabrera, Pat Burrell and Mike Fontenot will all be free agents as well, and while all four would be low cost returns in 2012, none of the four are guaranteed even a contract offer.  They all might have to be invited to Spring Training.

Guillermo Mota, who was offered an invite to Spring Training each of the last two years, might be more likely to get a contract after his consistency out of the bullpen and his versatility on top of that. Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez, Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt are not sure returns either, but the talented bullpen should stay in tact in 2012.
Will Zito be the next massive contract to go?

All of that talk pales in comparison to the biggest elephant in the room, Barry Zito and his bloated, oversized, unnecessary, franchise altering contract.  Zito may be staying for no other reason than the team's reluctance to pay him and watch him pitch for someone else.  Jonathan Sanchez, who started 2011 as the team's #2 starter over Matt Cain, might not make the rotation if the team can bring back Ryan Vogelsong.  Sanchez will certainly be an option to trade.  Eric Surkamp, Craig Westcott and others can certainly challenge for a 5th spot in the rotation if the team decides to trade Sanchez or dump Zito.

The only certainty is that Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Sergio Romo, and Brian Wilson will pitch for the Giants in 2012.  Buster Posey, Belt, Freddy Sanchez, Pablo Sandoval, and Nate Schierholtz will hit in 2012.  And, a lot of veterans will be spared to keep the pitching staff performances count for something.

Bullet Point look at next year by position:

Starting Pitching signed through next year
  • Madison Bumgarner
  • Matt Cain 
  • Barry Zito
Relief Pitching signed through next year
  • Brian Wilson
Lineup signed through next year
  • C Buster Posey
  • 1B Aubrey Huff
  • 2B Freddy Sanchez
Pending Arbitration Eligible Pitchers
  • Santiago Casilla
  • Tim Lincecum
  • Ramon Ramirez
  • Jonathan Sanchez
Pending Free Agent Pitchers
  • Jeremy Affeldt
  • Javier Lopez
  • Guillermo Mota
  • Sergio Romo
  • Ryan Vogelsong
Pending Arbitration Eligible Hitters
  • Jeff Keppinger 
  • Pablo Sandoval
  • Nate Schierholtz
  • Andres Torres
 Pending Free Agent Hitters
  • Carlos Beltran
  • Pat Burrell
  • Orlando Cabrera
  • Mark DeRosa
  • Mike Fontenot
  • Cody Ross