It's easy to be snarky about the Giants' offense. Really easy. It's easy to dismiss the offense's potential to be even average. Really, really easy. In fact, let's all take a moment to dismiss the offense's potential to be average.
Man, that's easy. This offense stinks. But follow me for a bit:
- I'm okay with Bengie Molina at catcher. He provides a little pop at a position where a lot of teams punt offense. The on-base percentage drags him down to average or just below average, but he isn't the biggest problem for the Giants.
- I'm okay with Kevin Frandsen at second. His hot September shouldn't count more than the bad months, but I'm willing to believe there's a correlation between the increased productivity and the regular at-bats. He's a career .328/.393/.459 hitter in the minors; if he did that in the Braves' system, we'd all want to trade for him.
- I'm okay with Rajai Davis and Fred Lewis handling center. They have a nice righty/lefty complement going, and they have the potential to be an above-average tandem. If Dave Roberts gets the bulk of the at-bats over Lewis, which seems more likely, we can at least hope for the second-half Dave Roberts (.291/.362/.388).
- I'm okay with Randy Winn in left. I'm even okay with him in right if Sabean fills left field with a power hitter. As long as he hits close to what he did last year, he's an average corner outfielder.
So the point of the offseason is to fill the holes at first, third, short, and the remaining corner outfield spot with productive hitters. Easier written than done, to be sure, but Sabean has to at least try. He can trade two from a list of Noah Lowry, Pat Misch, Jonathan Sanchez, and Kevin Correia. Maybe Brad Hennessey has enough trade value to bring back a guy like Akinori Iwamura. Maybe Seattle really would want to give away Richie Sexson. Maybe, maybe, maybe. It's the offseason. I can live with the maybes for now.
But if Sabean starts the offseason by filling two of the four holes with the same wretched no-hit players who helped ruin the offense last year, it would be a total failure of imagination. He'll have failed in a spectacular way. That link absolutely terrifies me. It can't be true.
I'm not buying it yet. There might be a scenario where Feliz's glove is worth re-signing, and the same goes for Vizquel. It's hard to imagine, but you can't just say, "Those guys? Gone. They were terrible, and we're moving in a different direction," in November. I'm going to hope that Sabean is just being political and not limiting his possibilities.
It would take a long and convoluted string of transactions to make Feliz and Vizquel both useful to the 2008 Giants. It would be an unlikely string of transactions. Starting with Feliz and Vizquel first would be like buying a new car first and a lottery ticket second. Please don't crush my hopes within two weeks of the World Series, Brian. Please. Have a heart.