The Giants are drafting 14th overall in the 2014 Rule 4 Draft, which is a slot that's right at the intersection of big deal/not that big of a deal. The National League Rookie of the Year, Jose Fernandez, was a #14 pick. So was Travis Snider, though. Jason Heyward was ... but so was Ryan Wagner. It's not like a top-five pick, where the odds are good that a team will find a major-league contributor.
But it's still valuable. And considering that Brian Sabean was controlling the yoke when the Giants punted a draft pick on purpose for Michael Tucker -- intentionally signing him before the arbitration deadline, even though the Royals weren't going to offer it -- it was always an open question just how much of a premium the Giants put on mid- to low-first-round picks.
"Could things change up the line? Perhaps," Sabean told me. "We’re not going to be interested in giving up our first-round draft pick, so anybody with a qualifying offer with first-round draft-pick compensation attached to that, we’re probably not going to be in on.
Possibly a negotiating tactic. Probably a negotiating tactic. But I believe him. There are enough short-term options on the market to avoid going four or five years for Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana. Also, it is absolutely crazy to give four years to either of those sketchy sons of bitches, but now we're talking semantics.
Hiroki Kuroda, though ... a fella can dream.
No, it sounds like Sabean is on the Josh Johnson, Dan Haren, Tim Hudson, A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo, Roy Halladay, Johan Santana, Scott Baker, Bartolo Colon, Scott Feldman, Jason Hammel, Phil Hughes, Scott Kazmir, Colby Lewis, Shaun Marcum, Joe Saunders, and/or Jason Vargas plan. There are a lot of dudes on that plan. And if the Giants are still looking to spend money, there's always Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza, and, dammitsomuch, Ricky Nolasco.
There are also outfielders that, in another place, time, and dimension, might have interested the Giants, like Jacoby Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz, and Shin-Soo Choo. Jon Heyman wrote the Giants would be willing to move Angel Pagan to left, which is a bold move, considering there are only 20 to 30 better defensive center fielders in baseball. But all of those free-agent outfielders would cost a draft pick.
... as you feel the warm breath of Mike Morse on the back of your neck ...
Gahhh, what in the hell was that? Probably nothing, probably nothing.
It was rumored. But now Schulman has quotes for us. The Giants aren't interested in giving up a draft pick. Unless things change. Which they might. (But shouldn't.)