Affeldt on the Trading Block?

It's probably nothing. A rumor for the sake of a rumor. But when it comes to mongering, Ken Rosenthal is pretty danged good. He's not culling the MLB.com message boards, looking for mock trades to steal. And he presents us with this:

Sources: #SFGiants trying to move Affeldt or R. Ramirez. Ton of money tied up in their bullpen right now.

Considering that the Giants exercised a multi-million dollar option on Affeldt a month ago, and considering that businesses generally don't make multi-million dollar decisions without a lot of planning and commitment, I'm a file this rumor in the ludicrous pile.

But then it's Rosenthal. He heard something from someone somewhere. So I'm forced to picture a room with all sorts of buttons in AT&T Park, and each of these buttons exercises an option. Could have been the janitor who pushed it, could have been an intern, could have been Baer's butt during an office party. Doesn't matter now, but someone pushed the damned button. And now the team with a budget and an acute need for offense has a fourth reliever making $5 million.

I'd also like to think that Sabean found out that the button was pushed when Affeldt called him to say thanks. It's all very sitcommy in my head. It sort of has to be.

There are two schools of thought:

Better late than never
Well, if the choice is between overpaying middle relievers for eternity, or having a come-to-Herges moment and mending your wicked ways, it's pretty clear that the latter's preferable.

C'mon. Really? How disorganized does that make you look?
C'mon. Really? How disorganized does that make you look?

And while it's a rumor, and it probably isn't true, it gives us another opportunity to sit back and say, golly, the Giants thought it was a good idea to give $5 million to a middle reliever when they didn't have a shortstop. I'm not a slave to the WAR the kids use these days, but it still says something that Affeldt's WAR last season was 0.2. That's 0.2 more than Waldis Joaquin. Here's $5 million.

More than anything, the Affeldt option being exercised is the oddest, least tolerable move of the offseason. The Giants were interested in Willie Bloomquist, they're probably going to release Andres Torres and Mike Fontenot, and they're repeatedly disavowing any interest in premium free agents. But the worst part is still the immediate allocation of funds to a pair of left-handed relievers. Theory: the team views its pitching as Pitching, a monolithic creation that's impossible to separate into individual parts. So when it came to keeping everyone, well, of course they'd do that. It's their Pitching. Spare no cost.

The Jonathan Sanchez trade screws with that theory, though. None of the theories make sense. I like Affeldt, and all things being equal, I'd love him in the bullpen. But not at $5 million in an offseason of firm budgets. It's hard to imagine anyone who would in the Giants' situation. Except for the Giants. Who don't now. They got rid of those option Thetans, and they can think clearly again.

I'd wager that Affeldt isn't impossible to trade at $5 million, but it's a bit of a long shot without eating money, which sort of defeats the purpose. I can see a team freaking out towards the end of free agency and making a deal, which would free up money … towards the end of free agency. Pretty sure Affeldt isn't going anywhere.

Ramon Ramirez would be pretty easy to trade. But he's also cheaper than Affeldt, and he's probably better, too. This rumor makes no sense. Actually, the rumor makes sense, but what doesn't is the idea of the Giants exercising an option and then regretting it three or four weeks later. Either the Giants dramatically overvalue middle relief, or they stopped doing so within the month. I'd prefer that they stopped, but teams usually don't say "Whoops!" like that after a couple of weeks.

Also, real news would be appreciated at some point. It's only November 30th. This is a lawwng offseason.

Also also, the real answer is trading Brian Wilson and Affeldt. So let's just sit back and wait for that.

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