Updating the Giants' potential 2014 draft pick

Mike Stobe

Game shows used to give the losing contestants a year's supply of Turtle Wax. What would they do with a year's supply of Turtle Wax? What wouldn't they do? Even if they didn't have a turtle. The eventual 2014 draft pick the Giants get will be that kind of consolation prize. And they'll be thrilled to have it. The eventual pick should be nicknamed "Turtle Wax."

So let's take a look at the current draft standings right now, where every loser is a winner, just like one of those new-age schools!

Team Wins Losses Winning % Games "back"
Houston 50 96 .342
Miami 54 90 .375 5
Chicago Sox 58 87 .400 8.5
Chicago Cubs 62 83 .428 12.5
Milwaukee 62 82 .431 13
Minnesota 63 81 .438 14
Seattle 65 81 .445 15
NY Mets 64 80 .444 15
San Francisco 66 80 .452 16
Colorado 67 80 .456 16.5
San Diego 66 78 .458 17
Philadelphia 67 78 .462 17.5
Toronto 67 78 .462 17.5
LA Angels 69 76 .476 19.5

Good grief, Astros. Good grief.

The Giants are in a precarious spot. They're currently a half-game ahead of the Rockies for the #9 pick, and the Padres are right behind with the #11 pick. This is important because the team with the #10 pick gets to keep it, regardless of which free agent they sign. The #11 pick doesn't. So the Giants are in a place where an Ehire Adrianza walk-off home run could cost them the #11 pick in the 2014 draft.

But before you get too upset, remember what it takes for a free agent to cost his former team a draft pick. He has to receive a qualifying offer, which would mean a minimum salary of about $14 million or so. Last year, just nine players received the offer, and they received just under $50 million in guaranteed money, on average. The Giants weren't really interested in any of them, other than Nick Swisher, and it was almost certainly a good thing the Giants didn't sign him.

Let's look at the top free agents of this offseason, eliminating players like Robinson Cano and Brian McCann, who almost certainly wouldn't fit what the Giants are looking for:

Jacoby Ellsbury
Matt Garza
Shin-Soo Choo
Hiroki Kuroda
Ervin Santana
Carlos Beltran
A.J. Burnett
Josh Johnson
Nelson Cruz
Roy Halladay
Curtis Granderson
Tim Hudson

Would their current teams risk a $13 million, one-year deal on them? With the possible exception of Josh Johnson and Tim Hudson, probably. So that's what you're looking at. If the Giants get a little hot toward the end of the season, they'll have to give up a mid-round draft pick if they want to sign any of those players. Which stinks.

But if those players turn down the qualifying offer, that means they're expecting a much bigger payday. And do you know who the last external free agent was that the Giants signed for more than $20 million?

Ayup. The Giants have spent, but they've spent on their own players. The biggest external deals have been Zito, Rowand, Renteria, and Tejada over the last few years. You can see how they might be a little shy about jumping into that fray again.

Basically, don't root for the Giants to lose. Root for the Mariners and Phillies to win. Especially the Mariners. Yay, Mariners! Good luck ... guy who plays on the Mariners!

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