It almost seems like most of the rumors that pop up are a function of the rumormonger's own educated guesses. The Giants need power and they love them some old-timey players; therefore, Mike Lowell was on the team's short list for a while. Until Sabean exhibits a different method of roster construction, you can't blame a writer for resorting to that kind of guesstimation.
So let me count the ways I love this article in the Mercury News:
- In past mailbags for sfgiants.com, Chris Haft has thrown out a bunch of third baseman possibilities in no particular order. Take this one, for example. Haft drops Eric Hinske, Morgan Ensberg, Troy Glaus, Akinori Iwamura, Ian Stewart, Ty Wigginton, and Travis Metcalf in a single response. It's interesting reading, but it's hard to discern the author speculation from the front office whispers. In the Mercury News article, though, only one name is mentioned:
Unless Feliz's agents lower their demands, the Giants will look to the trade arena for a third baseman, with the Indians' Andy Marte a strong possibility. Because Marte is out of minor league options, Cleveland might not trade him until spring training.Marte might be more Ben Grieve than Phil Nevin, but it's the philosophy behind the suggestion that makes me giddy. The Giants' goal should be simple: controllable players with potential to be cheap stars. Marte's trade value has never been lower, but he's still a player who put up a .275/.372/.506 line as a 21-year-old in AAA. That kind of potential beats whatever Feliz, Mike Lamb, or Mike Lowell could offer to the franchise as it is currently constructed.
- Here's another beautiful passage:
(Sabean) reiterated that he wouldn't shy away from acquiring players for major roles who haven't proven themselves at the major league level - a remarkable shift after years of denying opportunities to the Giants' own prospects so the team could surround Barry Bonds with veteran free agents.When I put on my mock-GM Underoos and pretend like I know what I'm doing, I'll bring up names like Marte or Lastings Milledge or Brandon Wood without ever stopping to consider if Sabean would even care about such unproven players. It seems intuitive to think that if there isn't power worth paying for on the free-agent market, you might might have to buy power on spec. But this is the first indication that Sabean might agree.
- About Cain and Lincecum:
"We have to listen; that's our job after finishing in last place," Sabean said. "But I'd be in shock if there's something as good as what their future brings.That seems to be the consensus opinion: Never say never...but pretty much never. It's nice to read Sabean lay it out in such explicit terms.
- Something I didn't expect:
(Sabean) has talked with Manager Bruce Bochy about moving Randy Winn back to centerfield (from right).Awesome. Winn is a valuable player in center. He's an adequate player in right. If the Giants hope to get some power, they can't commit to having Winn in a corner. They have to be flexible. That they're even considering a move is a great sign.
- Again, here's something that seems intuitive, but you never know....
The Giants still have a few veterans on unattractive contracts that appear to have little place in a youth movement, but Sabean has found minimal interest in Roberts, Ray Durham or Rich Aurilia.It makes sense that Sabean would prop up Roberts, Durham, and Aurilia next to the Danielle Steel novels and aerobics VHS tapes at the great Giants' garage sale of aught-seven, but this is the first time it's been explicitly brought up. I still think Roberts would be of use to some teams -- and worth a prospect or two -- if the Giants ate a chunk of salary.
- Crazy talk:
One rival GM said he believes Sabean would forgo free agents, perhaps redirecting portions of the major league payroll to the club's scouting and player development budget.Wha? Can you imagine an '08 draft in which the Giants pick up the crazy demands of first-round bonus babies (Rick Porcello, Stephen Drew, Jered Weaver, etc...), and buy out the college commitments of several hard to sign players in rounds two through 30? It makes so much more sense than throwing $18M at David Riske.
Maybe I'm just looking for optimism anywhere I can find it. Maybe I was just in the mood for a crazy-long post. But I was really, really encouraged by just about everything in this article.