Maybe I'm in the internet-nerd minority, but I really don't care if the general manager for the Giants knows about VORP, EqA, RC/27, and Win Shares. I would like the general manager to consider on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and strikeouts per nine innings pitched to be basic statistics. Maybe we're still in an age where you can't have the latter without the former, but I doubt it. Getting a stathead for the sake of some sort of new-age validation isn't important. It certainly hasn't been a panacea for the post-Beane teams that have tried it.
What I would what from any general manager of the Giants
- Obviously, the farm system has to be a priority. To be fair to Sabean, his crew has made a concentrated effort since Tuckergate. The Giants could have gone for a signability pick instead of Tim Lincecum. The organization has been more active in the Dominican Republic. But I'll stop worrying when the first impact hitter since Bill Mueller is developed. And, yes, it's pathetic that "Bill Mueller" and "impact hitter" had to be used in the same sentence. Just be grateful it wasn't Marvin Benard.
- I want the GM to actively investigate the logjams in other organizations. Any organization with a young player already in the lineup might have a quality player who is blocked. If the Giants are futzing around with Chad Santos, maybe it's worth looking into the young players behind Mark Teixiera. That might be an unfair once-in-a-generation example, but the Rangers did get rid of two All-Star-caliber players in this scenario.
The Indians have all sorts of young players locked up. Who are the minor leaguers behind those players? Do the Mets have a shortstop or third baseman worth looking into at the minor league levels? Maybe that line of pursuit would lead to nothing but dead ends, but I've seen no indication that the current regime would even consider trading for a non-veteran. The next GM for the Giants would have at least asked about Adrian Gonzalez. Maybe Sabean did. I doubt it, though.
- Japanese relievers seem to kick all kinds of ass. The GM for the Giants should get some.
- Sabean has done a great job filling his AAA bullpens with interesting arms. Just because Brandon Villafuerte, Brandon Puffer, and Matt Kinney didn't work out doesn't negate the strategy behind the pickups. The GM for the Giants should continue this strategy.
- The biggest requirement would be for a Giants GM to understand the difference between Dave Roberts and Fred Lewis. As in, there isn't much difference. Throwing money at a player with the potential to be slightly above-average isn't always a brutal move. There is a benefit to cost certainty. Throwing money at a team full of players who only have the potential to be slightly above-average is almost always going to be a brutal move. It's even more brutal if the players don't even have that potential to be above-average, like Pedro Feliz.
This is just a start, of course. Forget about the names that you would consider for the position, and give me the process you would hope for. Hoping Sabean could adapt, change, or exhibit a different approach would also be a reasonable answer. Well, semi-reasonable. Quasi-reasonable, maybe. Whatever.
Hoping for Sabes to adapt, change, or exhibit a different approach seems like our only option now. Two more years of Sabean.