Saturday, October 1, 2011

My "Best" 2012 Giants Lineup Projection.

News broke yesterday that Anaheim Angels general manager Tony Reagins has “resigned” (read: been forced out).  This changes everything.  It also changes nothing.

This article has nice pictures.
This USA Today article explains things pretty thoroughly.
This LA Times article lays out- in pretty clear terms- some of his misjudgements.

It shows just how large the expectation of winning is for some organizations (read: notThe Giants Way”- apparently we’ll fail, continue to play old veterans, and still have our organization laude the efforts of our GM Sabean and manager Bochy).  It shows the stress of a team carrying a $140M+ payroll for 2011 and not making the playoffs for two consecutive years.  It shows that the bad strategic moves like trading for Vernon Wells and Scott Kazmir cannot be let go without consequences.

The Angels have three major needs right now (IMHO):
  • They need a solid fourth or fifth starter in their rotation, most notably a lefty.
  • They need a closer.
  • They need to rid themselves of the embarrassment that is Vernon Wells.

So how does it change everything for us Giants fans?  Well, it lowers my trade offer (no more Sanchey).
So how does it change nothing?  We still make a deal with the Angels.

Here is my worksheet:

Basically, we “offer” to take Vernon Wells off their hands.  They "add" Erick Aybar.  We ship Brian Wilson to Anaheim.  Oh yeah, they kick $9M per year to us for the three years of Wells’ contract- I figure his market value is around $12M/yr if we’re generous.

So, we still have Sanchey.  It would be great if we could trade him for Melky Cabrera or Adam Jones.  My preference is Melky, even though Jones would be cheaper and under team control for longer.   I think if we add catcher Max Ramirez or Johnny Monell, maybe KC will deal.  Maybe we even need to add Ehire Adrianza or Charlie Culberson.  It would be worth it if we could get Melky.

If we package J.  Sanchez with Schierholtz, maybe we can get Jones?  Maybe?

Then, we work the Seattle trade of Zito for Chone Figgins.  We pay them $22M over three years.
I figure: $8M, $8M, $6M respectively.
  • Zito = 19 + 20 + 7 buyout.
  • Figgins = 8 + 9.
  • Zito (46) – Figgins (17) = 29M.
I expect Seattle to pay about $3.5M per year for the two years of Zito’s service.  That is $7M total.  We ship them the $22M over three years.  It gets complicated, but don’t forget how much they would eat if Figgins stayed in Seattle.

1st year: 19 (Zito) – 8 (cash) = 11 paid by SEA.  Subtract 8 (Figgins) = $3M.
2nd year: 20 (Zito) – 8 (cash) = 12 paid by SEA.  Subtract 9 (Figgins) = $3M.
3rd year: 7 (Zito’s buyout) – 6 = 1 paid by SEA.
Total paid for Zito over 3 years is 3 + 3 + 1 = $7M.

We do well in SF too.
We had a $46M contract for Zito.
We pay only $22M of that to SEA.
Then add the $17M we carry ourselves for Figgins' contract.
That totals $39M.

We not only save a net of $7M, we gain a utility player.  Think Seattle won’t go for it?  Maybe we add a type-B prospect.  Anyone that won’t see the lights of AT&T, but could have value elsewhere.  I think of Tyler Graham or Emmanuel Burriss.  That should absolutely clinch it.  Cool?  Cool.


What if we can’t get these players?

I’d say we absolutely can get Erick Aybar and Vernon Wells.
Add another young prospect if we have to, but I doubt it.  Or accept less cash payment from Anaheim, but I doubt it.  They want Wells gone.  They’ll hardly miss Aybar.  They need a closer.  I swear.  Look at this from the other perspective.  What if some team said "we want Zito.  And we'll give you (name a top-5 lead-off hitter) in return...  But we want "Brett Pill".  It's VERY similar.  We got Zito sitting on a shelf somewhere.  We got a log jam at first base.  Pill is uniquely valuable here, but maybe a lot more valuable for some other team.  We need that lead-off hitter.  It's like that.  I promise you.

Melky Cabrera is a bit stickier of a wicket.
He’s a cornerstone of their outfield.  He is filthy good.  But they carry the smallest payroll in all of Major League Baseball (just about $36M for 2011).  They just re-signed Francoeur in RF.  They need young, cheap prospects to fill some of their weaknesses still.  Then, maybe then, they will be “three pieces away” from competing for a championship.

I realize KC has a 6-starter rotation.  And three of those arms are lefty.  Yes, I know their farm system is brimming with LHP's too.  I don't care.  Sanchey can be plugged in to the #3, #4, or #5 spot in their rotation right now (uhhh, well... Spring Training.  lol).  Back to their rotation and pitching...

But they pretty much stink, and can let them walk or trade them or send them back down.  We help them ‘upgrade’ one rotation spot.  Maybe we sign-and-trade Ramon Ramirez while he’s still under team control.  That adds a pretty solid righty to their pen.  We add a catcher we’ve obviously passed over in our system, like highly touted Max Ramirez.  They have no decent backup catcher.  Not at all.  With Jonathan Sanchez, that’s an awful LOT for The Milk Man.  They can use all these pieces immediately.  Sign and trade Fontenot to them if needed, whatever.  Get it done, man.

If you still think the Royals would never trade The Milk Man, read up on MLBTR.

I think we can make the offer so good Kansas City can't pass it up.


  • Brian Wilson (maybe a type-B prospect added)
for Erick Aybar & Vernon Wells & $27M cash.
  • Barry Zito & $22M cash (maybe a type-B prospect added)
for Chone Figgins.
  • Jonathan Sanchez, Max Ramirez and/or Ramon Ramirez
for Melky Cabrera.

I've tried a multitude of trade combinations.  Anybody who knows me, knows I can't eat just one.
In my humble judgements, trading Zito for another pitcher just doesn't add value or save payroll.  We might as well pitch Zito in our rotation.  If we can't move Dirty, we use him as our 5th, I'm totally okay with that, would even welcome it; but he's pricier than someone like Justin Fitzgerald in our system, or even Joel Pinero who will be a free agent.

Trying Zito for Alex Rios or Adam Dunn might cost a lot in prospects and locks up big dollars for long-terms.  And I don't see those hitters 'fitting' as well as Wells anyways.  Personally, I don't see another fit as simple as Figgins.

(Pinero, Aybar, Wells...  Sending our closer B-Weezy down to the O.C.?...)
If you're wondering, I'm not an Angels fan.  But they got the pieces we could use.  The players I want on the Giants.  I could see it would be absa-freakin-lutely stupid sick if we're in Anaheim for Game #5 of the WS and Aybar is leading off the top of the 9th, we're down by one; against Wilson...  Or maybe it's game #7 at AT&T and Wells is up, bottom of the ninth, two on, two out...  Facing B-Weezy.  Yeah, that would be called irony.  *lol*

I've looked long and hard at free agent lists, team depth charts, team and player contracts/payrolls, and prospect rankings/reviews for teams.  I don't see Coco Crisp being the best fit, nor Michael Cuddyer, nor Beltran.  I looked at lots of players, put them into my spreadsheets.  Looked at long-term shifts (like if Belt could start in 2012, and if Nate would stay on our 25-man).  I had to consider dynamic changes like if Brown is hitting lead-off or 2-spot for 2013.  What if Panik is a perfect #2 hitter to replace F. Sanchez in 2013 or 2014?

This lineup, I think...  Offers the best flexibility, the best depth, the most pure talent you can stack together with the dollars.  Obviously, I know others will disagree.  Especially if you're a fan of someone I don't have on here (like Willingham, Swisher, Quentin, Logan Morrison, Crisp, Cuddyer, Sizemore, Rollins, Reyes, Pujols, Fielder, or...  Even Brandon Crawford).


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