Getting back to the baseball world after a very-nice Thanksgiving has made me a little sluggish. No, it’s not just all that turkey I ate. The holiday break was fantastic and refreshing but there just isn’t much baseball news happening lately and the current dialog among Giants’ fans seems to hinge around the same conversations, over and over. I know that the offseason can be a dull time but this is getting ridiculous.
Here’s the format if you’re not a Giants fan yourself or you’ve been away on a spiritual journey for the last year and you’re just getting back to following baseball:
- Rumor surfaces detailing a trade involving one of the Giants young pitchers (Cain or Lincecum, take your pick)
- Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues from the sum of Giants fans
- Brian Sabean is a moron
- More wailing and gnashing of teeth
- How could you do this to us Brian?
- Weak attempt of rationalizing either side of the trade scenario
- Curling up into a ball, crying, and falling asleep holding your Matt Cain bobblehead.
There you have it. That, in itself, is basically the dialog among Giants’ fans that’s been going on for the last month or so. Depending on how you view the team, the current lack of activity from Brian Sabean either pleases you or infuriates you. Myself, I think this team is in a lot of trouble – offensively speaking, I like the pitching – and no amount of free agent pieces would make this team a contender in 2008. We know that Brian Sabean is oh-so-very-stealthy when he’s working the offseason but could he be standing pat and looking towards the future? Possibly looking for trades that mesh well with what the Giants need without giving up too much talent? Thats my dream for now, until we sign Andruw Jones for a million more years than he should get and for a million more dollars than he should receive.
There has to be a middle ground between the feelings of fear and happiness. I haven’t found that happy medium yet but I’m sure it’s there. Would trading Lincecum or Cain for Cabrera be the end of the world? Maybe not. I like Cabrera despite his overblown (no pun intended) weight issues but I’d only really feel comfortable trading away Lincecum or Cain for him if a contract extension was worked out. As much as it would stink to have to trade away either of them, the Giants don’t have much hitting in their system that could impact a roster the same way Cabrera could. I’ve found that fans of teams often over-value their own prospects and I hope I haven’t done that, or even worse, undervalued them but the Giants have more pitching depth in their system – maybe nothing that projects as well as Cain or Lincecum does right now – and dealing a pitcher would hurt less than dealing one of the few hitters we might have. Henry Sosa, Tim Alderson, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Tanner, and Ben Synder all have upside to be good major league pitchers. Outside of John Bowker, Angel Villalona, and Nick Noonan – who like some of the pitchers listed above, are far away from the majors – the Giants just don’t have the hitters needed for a team under reconstruction.
Does it make sense to upgrade the team in the areas in needs while dealing from areas of strength? Yes. Is losing Cain or Lincecum going to be fun? No, it sure isn’t, but I think to solve the Giants problems, some tough decisions will have to be made. I can only hope they are made wisely and intelligently.