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There's always Zito, I guess....

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If the Giants sign Bonds for $15M, Durham for $8M, Roberts for $5M, Aurilia for $3M, that still leaves about $12M to $17M to spend to fill out the roster, if these numbers are correct. The remaining batch of free agents are a collection of benchies, reclamation projects, and players who will receive Driefortonian contracts of doom. The Giants still want to make a big splash; we can only hope that doesn't mean $40M for Jeff Suppan or Ted Lilly. If it takes more than hoping, I'm willing to do more. Maybe wishing instead of hoping. Starting a letter-writing campaign, perhaps. Walking into a preschool in a janitor's uniform and leaving with a toddler under each arm to throw into a distant volcano in the hopes of appeasing an angry god. Stuff like that. No Suppan. No Lilly. No Weaver. Please.

Now those contracts for Bonds and the rest are far from assured, but they represent the high-end of what the Giants are going to spend for those positions. They might spend less to fill those particular spots, but it's hard to see how they could spend more. In some ways, it's the worst possible (financial) scenario when trying to fill the rest of the roster with a first baseman, a starting pitcher or two, some reserves, and a bad Orioles-type contract to a reliever (which the Giants are guaranteed to do...helllllo Joe Borowski for the next three years!)

The first baseman? A trade for Sexson or Burrell...a reasonable signing of Huff or Craig Wilson...something like that could take care of a good chunk of the remaining money.

Some reserves? There's no reason to spend more than $1M on a bench player in this market. Ellison, Linden, and Sweeney are already here, and there isn't some magical backup SS worth paying seven figures more over a random Tomas De La Rosa-type. It shouldn't impact the final budget at all, and it probably won't.

The relievers? A $5M salary to a Borowski or Dan Kolb seems inevitable, even if they aren't going to be good ideas. Once Borowski goes, the relievers are truly an awful lot. There will be a market for Benitez in the final year of his deal considering how little help there is on the free agent market, and Sabean might even want to keep him around, lest the Giants get stuck with a handful of minor league contracts that don't work out. But the Giants can't go crazy on the relievers because there just aren't that many left.

So if a big deal for an expensive first baseman doesn't work out, the Giants will either have to sit on their money or invest it in starting pitching. At that point, it becomes a game of It Ain't My Money!, at which I'm an expert.

Give me Maddux at $10M per year. It ain't my money. The risk in signing a 41-old pitcher is real, but it's a different story when the pitcher has the history that Maddux does. He's had 19 straight seasons with an ERA below the league average, pitched at least 199 innings in all of those seasons, and he isn't going to require a deal past 2008. I'd pick him to outperform Suppan and Weaver in 2009, much less next season. If Kenny Rogers and David Wells can maintain their value past 40, so can Maddux. His past performance leaves no reason to think he'll just wake up and be Danny Darwin next season.

As a centerpiece of offseason dealings he's a dud, but he'd help the team win a couple more games than they would have. Heck, maybe he'd teach Matt Cain some brilliant new foshball grip, or something. It ain't my money. If given a choice between spending too much on either a decent first baseman or Maddux, I choose the former.