I like to think of myself as a slave to logic. If you tell me that Player X is available, I’ll evaluate the player, the Giants’ needs, and the player’s cost before forming a preliminary opinion. Maybe that all happens in a split-second, or maybe I’m futzing around FanGraphs for an hour, trying to pretend I know how defensive statistics are calculated. But my decision will ultimately be based in logic.
And yet I’ve been mumbling "Lincecum, Halladay, Cain" under my breath for about a week. People don’t sit next to me on the bus anymore. This isn’t like me.I know the Giants’ needs go something like this:
1. Second baseman who can hit
2. First baseman who can hit
3. Anyone who can hit
4. A marketing intern who doesn’t touch every donut in the box before making a selection
5. Starting pitching
So it makes no sense to trade huge chunks of the future for another starting pitcher, much less one who’s under contract only through next year. The Blue Jays would probably want something similar to what the A’s got for Dan Haren, except Haren had a couple of years left on his deal. Halladay makes the Giants better for the 40 or 45 starts he gives them over the next year and a half. The difference between Halladay and another pitcher is a few wins, to be sure, but there aren’t any guarantees that a few wins will mean more than the difference between third place and third place with a few more wins.
And then I sit back in my chair, twiddle a pen around my fingers, and mumble "Lincecum, Halladay, Cain" over and over and over. It makes me feel like those office dorks who pump their fist when they hear that Jessica Biel broke up with her boyfriend. There’s no reason the Giants should give up six years of Madison Bumgarner, even if he isn’t a sure thing, for another starting pitcher. The hitting equivalent would be something like a year-and-a-half of Albert Pujols, and most of us would go a little goofy for that idea. But this is another starting pitcher.
Posey stays. Bumgarner stays. Well, I mean, he almost certainly stays. Surely they’d ask for either Posey or Bumgarner, but we couldn’t. Maybe Bumgarner, then, but certainly not Bumgarner and Alderson. That’s just crazy. I mean, maybe if it were only Bumgarner and Alderson, and we didn’t throw in Villalona. Well, okay, all three, but that’s it. Just toss Sanchez and Schierholtz on the pile, and call it a day.
Lincecum, Halladay, Cain. Halladay, Lincecum, Cain. Lincecum, Halladay, Cain. Halladay, Lincecum, Cain. Lincecum, Halladay, Cain. Halladay, Lincecum, Cain. Lincecum, Halladay, Cain. Halladay, Lincecum, Cain.
Phew. I think I’m better now. You can go back about your business.