It’s sort of funny, you know.
I thought the Giants ought to go after a first baseman that had been highly productive in the past after winning the World Series in 2010, rather than re-signing Aubrey Huff, who was likely to decline and cost more. You know, someone like Carlos Pena. Or Lance Berkman. Someone that would fit in nicely for a year if Brandon Belt wasn’t quite ready. Someone that wouldn’t block Belt for two years. I should say inexplicably block, at least when you consider the production.
Well, they paid Huff his backpay and the Cardinals signed Big Puma. The rest is (recent) history, as they say.
I also sure thought the Giants might try to at least retain Beltran’s services after shedding their top pitching prospect this July for him, especially if the cost to re-sign him was reasonable. I mean, he did post a 150 RC+ and 1.2 fWAR in just 179 plate appearances for the Giants. Guess not.
I guess what I thought they might do were nothing more than reasonable guesses. But this isn’t really surprising news. It seemed inevitable for weeks, but it is sort of crushing when you look at stuff like this…
Ya, so that’s Zack Wheeler and a curve ball and a batter that doesn’t know what just happened. After this off-season, I feel like that batter. Stunned.
Now we Giants fans don’t have Zack Wheeler to look forward to next year or beyond. We don’t have Carlos Beltran’s sweet switch-hitting swing to look forward to, either.
We get to watch Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez pitch an inning or less a few times a week each for $9.5 million, and we get to enjoy Huff hobbling between left field and first base for another $11 million. Cool. According to Fangraphs, the three combined to produce a whopping 0.3 fWAR in 2011 (Huff at -0.6, Lopez at 0.7 and Affeldt at 0.2). Beltran only produced four times that in less than 200 times to the plate. But that’s okay.
So were we fleeced by the Cardinals or the Giants? I don’t know, but the Giants sure are doing a bang-up job since that wonderful fall evening in 2010.