Checked out Baggs recent column today, to the surprise of nobody the Giants expect modest movement, most likely for the pen and maybe for a Right Handed bat to bolster their bench. With Ryan Theriot doing a half decent job anchoring 2B (and inevitably the Two Hole in the lineup as well), I figured on leaving the Scutaro 2B type scenarios for later, and concentrate on the RH hitting 4th OF types. Here's the article for those interested:
So... as constructed, the Giants have 4 1/4 Switch Hitters (Sandoval, Sanchez, Cabrera, Pagan, Burriss), 4 RH hitters (Posey, Arias, Theriot, Christian) and 4 LH hitters (Belt, Crawford, Blanco, Schierholtz). And 16MM worth of DL, with Huff representing the LH and Freddy Sanchez representing the RH. Freddy Sanchez hits lefties extremely well, it is almost an impossibility at this point, but I wouldn't put it past the BrainTrust to think of him as... wait for it... a trade deadline addition.
But this post is about 4th OFs, RH hitting division. And they have to be relatively cheap. When constructing the team in the offseason, Sabean deliberately cut off negotiation with Cody Ross, somewhat understandably as Ross was looking at a raise off of 6.5MM. He also chose to cut Mike Fontenot at the end of spring training in favor of Burriss. This could be the hot spring training Manny had, but it could also be the difference in contracts (roughly 600K over the full year). So a quick glance at the contracts is in order, the magic # is 130MM, at least that was the one being thrown around last winter.
Cots has the Gints at 131.355MM, but we know they've got Rowand's bonus factored in, he actually counts as 12MM so there's 1.6MM back. They have 30 salaries total counted, including Runzler, Otero, Surkamp and Pill. However they don't have Burriss added in, and haven't updated Penny either. I'm going to rough cut here:
Starting Pitching Cost: 62.02MM
Bullpen Cost: 24.24MM (Includes Wilson/Mota)
Catchers Cost: 1MM
IF Cost: 22.78MM (Includes Huff/Franchez/Fonty)
OF Cost: 13.11MM
Total Cost: 123.15MM (and then Rowand's 12MM) puts a total salary by my calc above 135MM, I did round up on a couple though. Another way to look at the salaries is the Gints have 21 players making over the minimum. 17 are on the current roster, Huff Sanchez Mota and Wilson are injured, and then Fontenot for very small and Rowand for very large non-playing division obligations.
3 candidates who have substantial salary that would cost both salary and prospects the Gints can't afford and don't have: Carlos Quentin, Shane Victorino and BJ Upton. All 3 are free agents at the end of the year, don't look like 12.5MM/tender offer candidates, so are good bets to be traded for draft picks unless they can be secured to team friendly contracts.
Candidate #1 Chris Denorfia
Making a modest 1.165MM, Donorfia can play LF and RF, and has a nice split against LHP. The Padres might be reluctant to deal him due to him being cheap and the interdivision thing. Nice role player, never made the jump to starting OF, he could be a nice fit. He is having a nice season and should attract some interest from multiple teams, including the Mets (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/bullpen-righthanded-bat-a-bigger-relief-ny-mets-article-1.1108056)
Candidate #2 Petaluma's own Jonny Gomes
The A's, a team truly defined by cheap ownership, are paying Gomes a cool $1MM. They have a surplus of OFs with Crisp, the Cuban, Seth Smith, the newly minted Brandon Moss as well as their steal of a trade Josh Reddick. Beane will definitely sell Gomes for the right price, but convincing him to trade with Sabean and the Gints... Gomes would be perfect in my opinion, he has legitimate pop and can really mash lefties. His defense is a bit questionable but his bat would bring some thump. Coincidentally, Gomes worked out all off season with...
Candidate #3 Cowboy Cody Ross
OK, so this one might be a stretch. Boston gets healthy fast, they have to trade somebody though, and Ross is their best chip, they aren't getting prospects for him with a 1/12.5MM offer for sure. If Crawford and Ellsbury both come back, Ross is still a good platoon hitter and he's killing it in Boston, but again, he is their best trade chip. Don't know if the Giants can meet this price though. It would be pretty cool if they could though, Cody just couldn't get hot last year, and he's already had a couple nice streaks this year while having a hard luck injury. But this might be a pipedream, so I'll go ahead and reveal the type of player the Giants WILL get...
Candidate #4 Reed Johnson
OK, how the hell did Reed Johnson get to be 35 years old? Talk about sneaky. He doesn't hit for power the way Ross or Gomes do, but he'll give you a good AB and he's very used to coming off the bench. And he's cheap. And the Cubs will give him away for a middling prospect, the Sabean specialty.
Comment Starter: Who's your suggestion? Remember, I tried to limit it in salary, looking for vets who hit RH, and focusing on the OF. The trade candidates I'm thinking of are: Schierholtz, Kickham and Rosin. There maybe some take on salary candidates, but there is a defensive need as well, one reason why an Alfonso Soriano type is pretty unrealistic.