I get the decision. I really do. If the Giants are going to be an awful team, it doesn't really matter if they have an achy 43-year-old getting on base at a high clip. They're going to be awful, and they need to revel in it. 1985: "Hang in There". 2008: "We're Sorry. We're Really, Really Sorry." If the plan is to throw a bunch of young players to the wall and see who sticks, it doesn't make sense to give 300 or 400 plate appearances to Bonds. He can still play, but if the Giants are going to implement a true rebuilding plan, there isn't a place for him on this team.
Except the Giants aren't going to implement a true rebuilding plan. They're going to use the money saved on Bonds to throw at players who won't be worth it. They're going to try to patch this team up. They're going to conflate "getting younger" with "signing 30-year-olds to long-term deals." If they trade pitching for actual prospects, I have no confidence they'll pick the right prospects.
If the Giants don't trade Dave Roberts and Randy Winn, they'll both get 400 at-bats each, and that's a conservative estimate. Ray Durham and Rich Aurilia will still be on the roster, and they'll get a ton of at-bats.
The young players who do get a shot will have to buck some odds to be average. Nate Schierholtz looks like he'll need to be a .300 hitter to have any kind of value right now. Rajai Davis and Fred Lewis are fun to watch, but they don't have outstanding minor league track records. Even the hardiest of Frandsenites will only put Kevin Frandsen's ceiling somewhere around that of a vintage Mark Grudzielanek, and that's a ceiling that isn't likely to come in 2008.
The team will be awful. They could be awful with a team filled with projects and prospects. That would be my first choice, but there's just no way that's going to happen. So they'll be awful with a team filled with busted veterans, average veterans, expensive (but new!) veterans, and a couple of prospects fighting for at-bats.
If that's the plan, I want Bonds back. I want to have one player in the lineup who has a chance against pitchers like Roy Oswalt and Jake Peavy. I want to have one player who looks like he knows what he's doing. If the Giants aren't going to completely give in to a three-year offensive rebuilding plan, I want to have one player in the lineup who makes the game worth watching.
Nope. The Giants will spend their money like morons. They'll trade like morons. This is my guess at the roster:
1B - Richie Sexson (Brad Hennessey and Henry Sosa to Seattle)
2B - Durham/Frandsen
SS - Jack Wilson (Jonathan Sanchez and Clayton Tanner to Pittsburgh)
3B - Mike Lowell (3/$34M)
LF - Roberts/Davis
CF - Torii Hunter (5/$90M)
RF - Winn
SP: Lincecum, Cain, Lowry, Zito, Correia
RP: Scott Linebrink (4/$32M), Shawn Chacon (2/$12M), Brian Wilson, Tyler Walker, Steve Kline, Scott Eyre (2/$8M)
Sabean was on KNBR yesterday, and he was talking about "moving runners over", holding leads at the ends of games, and "winning games with defense." Yeah, you got it, Sabes. That's the problem with the Giants. It's the little things. The little things killed the Giants. Damn those little things. Damn those little things to hell.
This team can't score runs.
There is no one on the free-agent market who will help them score enough runs to compete.
The organization needs to find the players who can help future Giant teams score runs.
Anything else, especially now that Bonds isn't going to be around, is a waste of time.