Buster Olney has an interesting post up today. Among other things he writes: 1. Nick Johnson is being considered by the Mets, but (here's the part that should interest us Giant fans) >"Scouts say Johnson's defense is much worse than what it was five years ago, and there is always the risk of injury; a nightmare scenario for the Mets would be for him to break down a few days after joining the team." 2. Aubrey Huff's numbers are way down this year (and he plays in a hitter's paradise). Even worse his Home/Away splits are Rockies-esque (.271/.828 -avg./OPS vs. .248/.667); and his splits vs. lefties/righties are (.202/.587 vs. .293/.850) - that's not what we need. 3. Teams need to be very careful with trading for players that will be FAs at the end of this season. If you don't offer them arbitration and they leave you'll end up gettinf only a few months out of them with no players in return - I'd hate to see us trade 1-4 good players for one of these guys and end up with nothing at the end of the year: >"A year ago Tuesday, the Yankees assumed they would offer arbitration to Bobby Abreu, who was on his way toward a season of 20 homers, 100 RBIs, a .296 batting average and a .371 on-base percentage. They assumed that Abreu would sign elsewhere, and then the Yankees would get two picks in compensation. But early in the offseason, Yankees executives -- alarmed by the signs of financial cutbacks throughout the league -- suddenly changed course and declined to offer Abreu arbitration, out of fear that the right fielder would wind up accepting it and getting an award for something in the range of $17-18 million. In the end, Abreu wound up signing a one-year deal for about $5 million. So you can imagine the scenario that the Oakland Athletics face with Matt Holliday. At the time they made the trade, the Athletics were in a great position. They could utilize the 2007 NL MVP runner-up for the entire season and contend. Or, if they were drifting out of contention, they could hang on to him until he walked away through free agency and get a couple of draft picks in compensation. But as with the Yankees and Abreu, the circumstances might be changing. Holliday, 29, is having a good but not great season, batting .274; he's on pace to finish the year with 21 homers and 98 RBIs. It was once presumed that Holliday would be the preeminent free agent after this season -- and there are still 3½ months for him to break out with some major damage -- but now it's unclear exactly what his market will be. And to get the draft-pick compensation, the Athletics would have to offer Holliday arbitration. He is making $13.5 million this year and, based on his production, could be in line for an arbitration award of something in the range of $16-18 million. Unless he has a breakout in the next few months, it might be that such an award could be his best option to max out financially in 2010. Oakland budgeted in Holliday's salary comfortably in 2009, but historically, the Athletics have never wanted one player to absorb a large share of their payroll. At $18 million, Holliday would chew up a huge portion of the Athletics' payroll in 2010. Offering him arbitration might represent a risk for the Athletics."