As you all know by now, I am a San Jose Sharks fan. And as you probably should know, I am one of the writers at the SBN Sharks blog, Fear the Fin. One of my favorite (and most time-consuming) pieces that I write is a roster history, that is, a detailed look at the draft picks, trades, and signings that eventually led to the roster that we see today. I debuted this concept two seasons ago for the 2009-10 roster, and then improved upon it for the 2010-11 roster (in case you were curious about how the Sharks roster was made).
With the regular season approaching for the Giants, a thought came to me - why can't I do the same thing for the San Francisco Giants? Sure, the rosters are bigger, but that shouldn't be too hard, right? Turns out it was even easier than expected, so instead of simply doing this year's roster as of last night, I've also done the 2010 roster, since 2010 kind of rocked. They're color-coded and everything!
Click on the images to view the full-sized charts.
First, I must begin with a caveat that I can only compare the Giants rosters to the Sharks rosters and not other baseball teams, as I do not care enough to do these charts for all 30 teams in MLB. The roster for this year's team was current as of yesterday, so there are probably cuts by the time I post this.
My initial observation is that despite the size of the rosters, my god baseball rosters are much less complicated than hockey rosters. While there are trades and the oh-so-confusing free agent compensations that add more branches to the charts, rarely are there trades that have ended up affecting the roster long-term. For example, in my most recent Sharks chart, Jamie McGinn (now T.J. Galiardi and Daniel Winnik) can be traced back to Pat Falloon, the first ever Sharks draft pick. On both Giants rosters, 27-year-old Matt Cain serves as the earliest acquired Giant.
This could also speak to how the Giants effectively went through a rebuild after Barry Bonds left the team, which is further evidenced by the fact that the Giants had quite a few high first round picks that are on the current and 2010's roster.
In total, 44 players contribute to the current roster, while 54 players contributed to 2010's roster. Not exactly fair to compare a roster at the beginning of the season to a roster that has gone through a trade deadline, but there you go. Breakdown of those players:
|Rule 5 draft||1||0|
Mat Latos had a bit of a point about the whole "mercenaries" thing, with 12 players added to the Giants roster in 2010 (not including Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner). Only four players remain from that year, which is kind of sad, except for a couple of players that I'm quite alright with being gone.
But really, the Giants seem to sign a lot of free agents, and they either don't partake in a lot of trades or (more likely) they don't retain what they've traded for after a few years. I mean, when Charlie Culberson and Darren Ford are the two far-reaching trade effects players, that's not necessarily a good thing. I had a suspicion after the Carlos Beltran trade that the Giants tend to not care about the long-term, and these charts seem to support that. It could just be an illustration of how baseball rosters tend to have a lot of free agent turnover, but somehow I think the Giants philosophy plays a role as well.
Another observation from someone who primarily watches hockey: these charts definitely illustrate how baseball prospects need development in the minors, as opposed to hockey prospects where some of them jump directly into the NHL. Evan Crawford serves as the most recently drafted player to make an effect on the 2010 roster, and that was solely because he was traded. Before him is Buster Posey, who is a god and should not be included among mortals.
Overall, while this research wasn't as eye-opening as I hoped (I admit, I was looking forward to a possible connection between Willie Mays and Matt Cain or something like that), it's still pretty interesting and speaks volumes about the Giants' asset management.