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Forced Analogy Theatre

I've had my hungry days. There have been days where time constraints forced me to skip a lunch. And I'll see someone munching on a sandwich. A hot post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, say, with the mound of turkey peeking out the side of two perfectly browned pieces of sourdough. And I'll want to go up to the person holding up to the sandwich, look him or her in the eye, and say, "I will pay you one hundred American dollars for that sandwich." I'd want to do that, but I wouldn't. Seriously, I'm hungry, but not an idiot.

But Alfonso Soriano as a hot sandwich isn't a perfect analogy, because the sandwich would have to have some mutant strain of .e coli that takes six or seven years to incubate. And while the Cubs are parked on some kind of special bear toilet, they'll be reading a "NOTICE TO SHUT OFF UTILITIES", which demands a payment of $100 for the electricity to stay on. Oh, the unfortunate irony!

In the short-term, it's a good sandwich. Great sandwich. Worth every penny.

I still don't believe in the 3 years/$30M rumors for Juan Pierre or Gary Matthews. That's just goofy talk. But the free agent market is now officially goofy, so I'm not sure just what to believe. The Chronicle writes that the Giants were not given the chance to match the Soriano if it would have been a good thing if they were given the chance. That's almost assuredly lip service, but still scary. I'm pretty sure this isn't exactly how the offseason was supposed to go. The Giants have some options:

  1. Give up. Trade Vizquel. Trade Matt Morris, who will probably be a bargain by January. This option's not going to happen.
  2. Sign a mess of bad contracts. Invest $10M on Matthews, $17M on Carlos Lee, $7M on Pedro Feliz, $9M on Ted Lilly, and $5M on some random reliever. Then, in 2009, when some real free agents to build around come onto the market, deftly play the Matt Williams Theory Card -- we can't afford two superstars! -- and sign some more bad contracts. When asked who the first superstar is, the Giants will excuse themselves to go to the restroom, close the door, and climb out of the bathroom window. Don't bother running after them; they're already gone.
  3. Sign some short-term deals to some risky players. Is Ray Durham going to stay healthy? Dunno, but two years to find out isn't going to make a difference on this team. Bring Bonds back. Overpay anyone halfway decent who will accept a short-term deal. If those players don't exist, don't sign players just for the sake of signing players. Juan Pierre isn't really good, you know.
This is a strange offseason, and it might be the worst offseason in the history of free agency to fill multiple lineup holes. With the Soriano deal setting the upper-end of the market, the Giants need to do the third option. They can't start trying to build for the future in this market; not because they shouldn't overspend, but because there isn't a single player left who is worth building around. And that's what the Giants need -- someone to build around. It's way past quick-fix time, Sabes. Realize the best long-term solution would be to get some interest on these millions for 2009, Magowan.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to wait around for the end of the offseason, either. Maybe the bottom will fall out of the market. But right now the Giants need to back away from this mess, and let the other teams fight over scraps.