I got a chance to listen to the weekly Ralph and Tom interview with Brian Sabean on KNBR this morning. Some notes and reactions after listening.
~ The topic to start the interview was, of course, Barry Zito. Sabes basically backed up Zito saying that he’s trying hard and wants to get better. Ralph tried to draw a response out of Sabean on who’s idea it really was to sign Zito but the sneaky-sneaky Sabes would not divulge any information.
He did say a couple of things that I thought were interesting — or amusing — depending on your viewpoint. First, that the Giants reports on Zito before the signing were “extremely positive” which makes me wonder what kind of reports they were getting or what kind of tools — ERA, Wins, Gamerness? — they used to analyze Zito. Second, that at least one AL club was going to offer Zito more money — Seattle?.
Before my next point, I’ll add that interviews like these are filled with half-truths and carefully crafted wording. I take most of what’s said with a big ‘ole grain of salt and you should, too. It’s an interesting insight into Sabes’ cranium at a very basic level.
~ Sabes briefly touched on the T. Beckham signing and if it would influence Posey’s demands much. Sabes says no, because every player will sell themselves differently in the negotiation process. And that Posey had some positives going for him that could add to his dollar-value such as being the Collegiate Player of the Year and a top catcher, each would boost his value. He dismissed the $12M signing rumor that was floated around pre-draft and that “guys either want to sign and play, or they don’t”.
~ Some rumors have been going around recently that the Giants have a deal in place with Rafael Rodriguez from the D.R. for $2.5M. He’s been compared to Vladimir Guerro but you should take that with a big grain of salt as well. Sabes debunked the rumor saying that they haven’t inked Rodriguez but he thinks that they are “in the running”. Of course, he noted that International signings can’t happen until after July 1st. If the Giants have a pre-deadline deal in place with Rodriguez, Sabean couldn’t say. The “in the running comment” was a positive indication that the Giants are involved with Rodriguez.
~ Pablo Sandoval is “very playable at first base” and is still learning the catcher position. I was surprised to hear Sabean say he’ll be moving to AA shortly after hearing that the Giants could skip Pablo straight past AA Connecticut. Sabes also said that he thinks we’ll see Sandoval up at the MLB level before the end of the year. Maybe when rosters expand? Will Molina be shopped?
~ And finally that Burriss will see more playing time. Omar will have to understand that with the direction of the team and with Burriss holding his own so far, he’ll have to play less because of his struggles at the plate. He’s “swinging soft” according to Sabes. Brian did praise Omar as a great defender and a future HoF’er but that he’d have to understand that he might start playing less because of his bat troubles. That was nice to hear.
That was it for the Sabean interview, pretty standard stuff.
Other News and Notes
~ The Giants have signed 7th round draft pick LHP Aaron King. King signed for $110,000 and will report to the Arizona League in a week. King was a guy that I liked and I’m happy to see the Giants get him signed. He’s a lefty that can work in the low-90′s and was considered one of the best lefties in the Jr. College ranks.
~ 5th rounder Edwin Quirarte made his first pro appearance on Wednesday in a S-K Volcanoes game. He failed to record an out, walked 3 hitters and gave up 2 earned runs. Sounds like a Giants pitcher already!
~ Teams could have some interest in Randy Winn at the trading deadline. Henry Schulman has heard that some scouts believe that Winn will be a hot name around the trading deadline. The Braves are reportedly interested in Winn. Winn is hitting (.297/.360/.444) and is making $8M this year and $8.25M next. He does have a limited no-trade clause to 8 teams but he might waive it for a contender. A Winn trade would be great for the Giants because it could bring in a prospect and open a space for Nate Schierholtz all in one move.
~ Giants blog, OBnB, has a good interview with Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog on the Giants’ 2008 First Year Players Draft. Lots of solid questions and responses in the interview. Head on over and check it out now if you haven’t already.