It seems a little craven to keep up the dismantling talk when the team is on a three-game winning streak. Or should that be Three-Game Winning Streak? Better yet, THREE-GAME WINNING STREAK!!!!!, 'cause, hey, if you can't celebrate the good times, what can you celebrate? Other than legitimately good times, I mean.
Even with the all-caps-worthy streak in progress, the Giants are still ten games out of first. The doom train still rolls on. If the Giants were to completely blow the team up - however unlikely it would be that every tradeable veteran goes - here's how I would rank the vacancy problems:
Would be missed greatly:
Ryan Klesko - He's the first decent first baseman since J.T. Snow snorted the ashes of George Sisler in the second half of 2004, and he'd be replaced by something abominable, like a Chad Santos/Lance Niekro platoon. Yeechh. At least the void might light a fire under management's backside. Because I'm sure that once they realize there's a gaping hole at first base, they'll rush to fill it with a hard-hitting cleanup type. Yeah. That's the ticket. You call the last seventeen years "evidence"; I call it a "fluke." If Klesko had another year on his contract, I wouldn't want him traded at all.
Matt Morris - Maybe "missed greatly" isn't the right term. If he continues to pitch as well as he has been, it would be the right term. If he slumps in the second half like last season, though, he would just barely qualify for "kinda sorta missed". He's still the best chance at a young impact player the Giants have. If teams don't want to ante up for the tailored Mark Buherle suit, Morris is a good Nordstrom's Rack option. How much he'll be missed would depend on the success of the player replacing him, but there's little chance the fill-in - say, Jonathan Sanchez - would be as effective as Morris in the first half, and a small chance they'd even be as effective as a 2006 Morris.
Would be missed more than you think:
Randy Winn - Not because he's any great shakes, but because there just isn't an in-house replacement that's a good bet to hit up to the .284/.343/.421 career averages of Winn. That's pretty sad, but it's the truth. I'd still rather give Schierholtz the full-time gig in right to see what he can do. And if Winn would waive his no-trade clause, he could bring back something of interest. Crazier things have happened.
Would kinda sorta be missed:
Omar Vizquel & Ray Durham - They're a good double play combo, and they're both capable of much more at the plate. There is also a pretty good chance that they're both just old 'n' busted. I like both players, so the "kinda sorta" is mostly based on sentiment alone. At the plate, the team wouldn't notice if they were swapped out with Luis Figueroa and Kevin Frandsen. That's even sadder than the Randy Winn realization. I'd miss watching Vizquel play defense, but he's probably not going to go anywhere.
Really? He was still on the team?:
Rich Aurilia - Love the guy, but he's been the most disappointing Giants hitter of 2007. That should be a tougher award to give out, but there you go, Richie. Try and keep the speech under a minute. His two-year contract looked fine in the offseason, but now it might be an impediment to trading him at all. He'll stick around, especially if he's still gimpy. Hopefully, he'll creep back up toward tolerable, because he's been little more than a less-effective Lance Niekro.
Steve Kline - Pat Misch deserves the chance to replace Kline, and he has a good shot of outperforming Kline.