I think I can safely say that I am not the only one here that has severe warning alarms going off in my head when hearing about the Giants' interest in Gary Matthews, Jr. I really hope Sabes does not sign this guy, because we already have his exact type of player on our team already: Randy Winn. Both are switch-hitting CFs at age 32. If you compare Randy Winn in 2005 with Matthews this year the results are eerily similar:
Matthews (06) .313/.371/.495 19HR 79RBI 10SB
Winn (05) .306/.360/.499 20HR 63RBI 19SB
Matthews has more range and ability as a defensive player, but he will command around $8 million a year while Winn only made $5 million this year and that seems even too much for him given his dropoff in 2006. Furthermore, Winn's previous 3 years were much more consistent and productive than Matthews, so his breakout performance with the Giants in the second half of last year seems like less of an anomaly. Winn had nearly identical stats from 2002-2004, hitting around .290 with 14 HR 75 RBI and 25 SB playing every day. Matthews before this year had never appeared in more than 130 games and never established himself as an every day starter. He has shown an improving power trend over the last couple years, but before this year a typical year would be .260 10 50 with 10 steals. He has a nice pedigree and great physical talent, but he seems too much like an Adrian Beltre type of free agent bust.
What it seems to come down to in my eyes is that if we sign Matthews, then Bonds is not coming back. Spending $24 million on an outfield of Bonds, Winn and Matthews that will produce only average defense and .270AVG 20HR 75RBI stats from every position at best is a total waste of money, especially if it precludes us from signing a real star to put in the middle of the lineup. Say NO to Gary Matthews this offseason and the Giants might have a chance to be competitive.