The news about the Tim Worrell signing came after my post yesterday, so there were already a whole bunch of opinions ready when I started this current post. Perfect. I'm a little frazzled today, so if I can just whip something up that concurs with the McGroupthink, maybe compare Worrell to, oh, something from a Coen Brothers movie, I can just mail this baby in....
But, what's this? A whole mess of different opinions? Foiled again. I'll have to think about this for once. The Worrell move has good things going for it, and it has some bad aspects. So, in essence, it's a typical Sabean move. The good:
- Another bullpen arm gives the Giants some trade chips. With players like Kyle Farnsworth and Bobby Howry being paid as if they lactate wins - and, yes, I doubt that image would have came to mind without the ad to the left - the contract to LaTroy Hawkins does not seem like a burden. Moving Hawkins for salary relief could be done for a higher-priced player. Though I still think Hawkins is a good pitcher, the Giants wouldn't lose much switching him out for Worrell.
- Maybe the Giants want to go for another trade route. If there is something the Giants have a glut of, it's young relievers. With Tyler Walker, Jeremy Accardo, Scott Munter, and Brian Wilson, the team can now offer one of the first three in a trade offer. Accardo, and Munter are now that rare hybrid of "proven" success/prospect, which would be a great starting point for a younger first baseman like Lyle Overbay.
Walker has closed, and really does have a fantastic arm. He's also a healthy distance from arbitration, and that package could fetch more than we're imagining. I would love to keep Bullpen Jr. intact, but I also realize the largest gap between value and perceived value is with middle relievers. If trading one of the youngsters gets us something more acceptable than Lance Niekro or Pedro Feliz starting at first, I'm reluctantly for it.
- If the Giants stand pat, they'll have another good bullpen arm with Wilson to stash away in AAA. That's not the end of the world.
- Two years? Eh, it doesn't kill me, but I just don't see why he's worth more than a one year flyer. If he had finished his last contract performing like the Tim Worrell who left the Giants, maybe it would make sense. But he was donated to the Diamondbacks due to a combination of mystery problems and sucking. I'm sure the Giants are not in the dark as to the nature of his absence, and are confident his body has been properly cleansed of the offending thetans. Still, two years?
- The draft pick thing. Oh, that wacky draft pick thing. Second-round picks just aren't worth the minimal investment, it seems. If you start examining the success of second-round picks using things like Career Win Shares, you'll find it is indeed rare for a second-rounder to ever be worth the initial signing bonus. But there have been plenty of second-rounders who, while never ascending to major league usefulness, became prospects interesting enough to net something useful in trade. A prospect's value to an organization can not just be measured in career value, and the Giants should know this. Without Nate Bump, there might not have been a Livan Hernandez deal. Now add the idea that the second-rounder could be a marginal player for the league minimum, an above-average player for the league minimum, or, gasp, a star for the league minimum, and the idea of junking the pick is a poor one.
Once the Giants reach an agreement with Worrell, they can't just say, "Hey, hold on for a couple of weeks so we don't lose a draft pick." Worrell could slip on an ice patch, and the Giants would either have to yank away the deal, or explain to the populace why they're paying $4M to a guy missing three vertebrae. If the timing of the deal was the concern, it would be understandable to pounce quickly....if Worrell were something unique. He's not. There are guys like Worrell out there now, and there will be just weeks before teams break for camp. To paraphrase Walter Sobchak: You want a Worrell? I can get you a Worrell. Hell, I can get you a Worrell by 3 o'clock this afternoon. His talent, especially at this stage of his career, isn't unique enough to make special considerations for.
If it is a money thing, there isn't much to say. Here's some Bisquick, some sugar, and a couple of muffin tins. Have a freaking bake sale to raise the money for a second-round pick. Nothing with raisins, please.