Sabean Straight Talk?
I'm not sure if I am the only Giants fan who felt this way, but I was absolutely astounded at the number of definitive statements Brian Sabean made in his end-of-season post-portem. I mean, c'mon: this is Mr. "Kick the Tires", "At the end of the day" Sabean we're talking about here. Anyways, I was astonished by the number of actual roster/line-up details he threw out there. Granted, we'll see how many were true, but still.
"We'll pursue trades for arbitration eligible players..."
As we all know by now (cough) one of those statements was that the Giants would likely pursue arbitration eligible position players in trades due to a myriad of issues with this year's free agent class. Relative to a player pool like, say, all of baseball, or all of baseball under 30 years old, or all of the minor leagues, arbitration elible players represent a fairly concise list. Especially considering needs that the Giants have, and/or the types of teams who are somehow "scared" by arbitration for their talented players. Basically, if we take Sabean at his word (insert punchline), all of us wannabe GMs have something to work with.
Now my apologies to the MANY of you who contribute a hell of alot more to this site than me, but I haven't really seen a post that tries look at this arbitration eligible player pool somewhat exhaustively. Also for those of you who have been down this logic path hundreds of times before. I'm sorry wasting your company's time. If there has been one, or a branch discussion in another post, sorry. I tried to look. I don't always get the inside stat jokes either but I sometimes try to laugh along like I do. "He used OPS+? What a weenie! Hahahaha. Hehe. Ha... What the hell?" Kinda pathetic. Here is my logic: The key for Sabean (we hope) is getting not only arbitration eligible players, but arbitation eligible players WITH TALENT. Hmmmm. What sorts of teams, when faced with paying a talented young player, would wave the white flag? Teams that for whatever reason upchuck at the thought of a payroll over 50mil. Looking at teampayrolls and thinking through team tendencies, here are the teams that might get green in the face when faced with a talented player ready to get paid (2008 payroll in paranthesees):
Florida (22m), Tampa (44m), Oakland (48m), Pittsburgh (49m), Washington (55m), Kansas City (58m), and Minnesota (62m).
Here are the arbitration eligible players on those teams:
Florida: Dan Uggla (2b), Jorge Cantu (3b), Dallas McPherson (3b), Matt Treanor (C), Mike Jacobs (1b), Josh Willingham (LF), Jeremy Hermida (RF), Cody Ross (CF), Alfredo Amezaga (Inf). Pitchers: Kevin Gregg, Scott Olsen, Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Joe Nelson, Logan Kensing.
Tampa: Dioner Navarro (C), Jason Bartlett (SS), Jonny Gomes (OF), Gabe Gross (OF), Edwin Jackson (SP), Grant Balfour (RP).
Oakland: Justin Duchscherer (SP), Huston Street (RP), Kirk Saarloos (RP), Rob Bowen (C), Jack Cust (DH, OF).
Pittsburgh: Nate McClouth (OF), Ryan Doumit (C, OF), Adam LaRoche (1b). Pitchers: Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Tyler Yates, Denny Bautista, John Grabow.
Washington: Ryan Zimmerman (3b), Ryan Langerhans (OF), Ryan Wagner (RP), Tim Redding (SP), Jesus Colome (RP), Chad Cordero (RP)
Kansas City: John Buck (C), Joey Gathright (OF), Esteban German (2b, OF), Jason Smith (3b, SS), John Bale (SP), Jimmy Gobble (RP), Luke Hudson (RP), Joel Peralta (RP), Kyle Davies (SP), Brandon Duckworth (SP), Zack Greinke (SP), Mark Teahen (OF, 3b), Brian Bannister (SP).
Minnesota: Jason Kubel (DH, OF), Matt Guerrier (RP)
Once again, if we take Sabean at his word it is likely that he's looking at 1 or more of those players. It's a lot of players, but it would be pretty easy to cross off at least half due to position or age. My question to you is which players is Sabean looking at and what will it take to get them?
I've seen some brutal posts and responses to the idea of Zimmerman on this site. We'd have to pay to get him, but I do not see him as some young untouchable Albert Pujols. How much? I don't know, but that franchise is a mess. I don't think it's Lincecum laughable to get him. Feel free to disagree, but give me some substance on the "laughable-ness" scale. Florida Marlins hitters are another group (particularly Uggla from a position fit standpoint) that are intriguing. Yeah, I know the homers may not transfer, but. For a couple random ones, how about Jonny Gomes? Jason Kubel? Basically just predict who Sabean is looking at. Remember: He said it.