There's a protracted discussion in the Mets series preview on the merits of a two-player deal in which the Giants acquire Jose Reyes and the Mets acquire Zack Wheeler. It's migrated to the side of the page, so I'd like to offer this fanpost as a new avenue for exploration of this topic. Hopefully this incites enough interest among the rest of the McCoven that this fanpost will end up being more than an extension of the 3-4-person discussion in the Mets series preview.
A quick poll follows at the end to gather the McCoven's general thoughts.
A trade-and-sign resulting in a long-term deal with Reyes is generally considered the best option, though we can also discuss the merits of a rental and Type A compensation as well.
The gist of the disagreement is the extent to which Reyes' contract constrains the Giants' payroll in the next four years. (Our benchmark is 4 years, $60 million but if there is debate about that particular amount this is open to discussion as well)
Some consider that contract overly burdensome, others believe that it is very possible to work around it. Note that we are assuming a relatively stable payroll at around $120 million for the next few years, because we have no other information to conclude otherwise.
This page from Cot's Contracts will be useful in making rough calculations at future Giants payroll.
If you wish to read the thread from which this fanpost sprung, here it is. (warning, large webpage size)
Here are some excerpts: [you can skip the rest of this fanpost if you have read the thread, or if you are relatively informed about the consequences of this trade]
trading for reyes
what you get:
Improvement of 2+ wins over house options on a contending team
First shot at re-signing him
Ability to re-sign without giving up picks
A 1st round pick and a comp pick if he doesn’t re-sign.
I’d seriously contemplate that for Wheeler straight up, and if he agreed to re-sign for, say 4/50 as a part of the trade, it’s an absolute no brainer
Let’s assume payroll stays the same. We have no reason to believe otherwise, so we shouldn’t.
Signing this contract is tantamount to either giving up Cain or Lincecum within the next three years OR not being able to sign ANYBODY for the next four years.
It’s NOT worth it, especially considering the hit to the farm system in losing our only legitimate top-notch prospect (Belt is a big-leaguer in my eyes, now).
These are both opening sallies, and as such, exaggerated claims. What follows is what was generally agreed upon after discussion.
As we can see from the page of Cot's Contracts, the Giants have around $73 million in commitments for 2012. We can add about $20 million in arbitration commitments to Wilson, Romo, Lincecum, et al (these figures also subject to argument).
That leaves approximately $27 million to fill the entire bench, acquire a passable starter at one of the outfield corners, and fill in the entire bullpen behind Romo and Wilson. Removing $15 million in the Reyes contract, and one has about a dozen million to fill those spots, which is obviously much more constraining than $27 million. Our bench Fontenots and bench DeRosae and bench Rowands would go out the window. We'd possibly have to replace league-average players on the bench and in the pen with replacement-level players on the bench and Runzlers in middle relief.
Finally, I've edited up (credit for editing to Viliphied and Azmanz) a comment I had in the thread that I think best articulates my worry about the consequences of this potential deal.
This is the theoretical-historical warning against the trade: it’s exactly the kind of mortgaging of future success for contemporary results that gets a team in a bind such as the one the Dodgers are in right now.
Casey Blake for Carlos Santana is not an exact comparison (because Santana is better than Wheeler and Reyes better than Blake), but the strategies and ideals behind the trade make that kind of attitude a good case study. Every team, but especially a team like the Giants with a relatively weak system and only one blue-chip prospect, needs to be careful to keep that farm system healthy; barren farm systems make for barren futures.