In case you haven't heard, the Giants are emitting their we-ain't-signing-Heyward beams. They haven't made an offer. They're suggesting he's too expensive, and that his contract would be too long.
Giants never got to offer stage with Jason Heyward, but made sure the player knew they liked him.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) December 10, 2015
That is just the sweetest thing.
"Listen, we know you're probably going to a team that will 'pay' for you and make a 'commitment', but I want you to look right here. Look right here. We like you. We like you an awful lot. Don't be a stranger, okay?"
Were there winky finger-guns along with the Giants' show of affection? Working to confirm.
If you don't think that Heyward comes with substantial risk, you're fooling yourself. He's a WAR darling, and in five years we might realize that someone forgot to carry the two, and baseball analysis will have moved on to another stat. The Giants would be stuck with a $200 million Stan Javier.
He says, trying to convince himself.
However, there is a new rumor. One that's just about as attractive, albeit for a much different player on a much different deal. Buried in the notes about Ian Kennedy and Gerardo Parra and Ian Kennedy, we have Bobby Evans not-sayin'-just-sayin' that the Rockies wouldn't necessarily keep Carlos Gonzalez away from a division rival.
Interestingly, Evans acknowledged that the Giants have had conversations with the Colorado Rockies in the past about Carlos Gonzalez, and did not believe that being in the NL West would be an impediment to a potential trade. Evans said he believed " we could be competitive in a prospect-driven deal."
Oh! This is a much better rumor than a lot of the other riff-raff. Let's explore it.
Gonzalez is 30 (fine) and under contract for two more seasons (sweet) for an average of $18.5 million (reasonable). He hit 40 homers last year, easily a career high, and he's won three Gold Gloves in left, even if the advanced defensive metrics are confused about his value there.
He's also injury-prone. Last year was the first time he's played more than 150 games ... ever. He was at 70 the season before last, and 110 the year before that. It's worth noting that even with his 40-homer season, his OPS+ was still just 116 -- more Brandon Crawford than Miguel Cabrera. He has nasty platoon splits, though he's not quite J.T. Snow against lefties yet.
And he would cost prospects. Maybe more than a couple.
We know that the Rockies would trade with the Giants because they helped them win the 2012 World Series with their Marco Scutaro donation. I'm sure they can take a lot of pride in that. And we also know that ex-Giants catchers are required by law to stop in Denver before retiring, so even when they sign Hector Sanchez, they'll be looking for more ex-Giants catchers. Andrew Susac would be a delightful centerpiece, then. The Rockies have a catching prospect in Triple-A (Tom Murphy) and Nick Hundley signed through next year, but Susac would still make a lot of sense.
The Rockies would almost certainly be interested in the Giants' arms, and they're not an organization that's overly concerned about how many strikeouts their prospects are racking up, so they might value Tyler Beede more than others. I'm not trade-savvy enough to know if it would be a Susac-plus-others deal, a Beede-plus-others deal, or a Susac-Beede-just-to-get-talks-going deal. There would almost certainly be a lot of competition, so the prices might get exorbitant.
But I'm going to do something, here. It's something I do in almost every one of these stupid rumor things, but I can't help myself. I'm weak.
Angel Pagan - CF
Joe Panik - 2B
Buster Posey - C
Carlos Gonzalez - LF
Hunter Pence - RF
Brandon Belt - 1B
Matt Duffy - 3B
Brandon Crawford - SS
It would be one of the best lineups in ...
Joe Panik is out again today with a sore back, but the team doesn't believe the injury to be serious
Hunter Pence caught his nose on a car antenna while jogging, and he's expected to miss a week. The team won't put him on the DL and play with a man short on the bench, just to be sure.
Carlos Gonzalez could be out for a month with a pulled soul. The Giants were clear that a pulled soul is a physical malady, and noted that it really, really, really hurts to pull your soul.
Okay, now wait just a second
Here is the Giants lineup for June 7
Angel Pagan - CF
Kelby Tomlinson - 2B
Jarrett Parker - RF
Mac Williamson - LF
Ricky Oropesa - 1B
Hak-Ju Lee - SS
Grant Green - 3B
Trevor Brown - C
Ian Kennedy - P
Stop that. I know that the lineup we concoct in December probably isn't the one we get to have all year. But what if the Giants could come close to keeping everyone healthy-ish? It might be the second-best lineup in baseball, behind the Blue Jays. There would be reason for optimism, and how.
So I'm a fan of this rumor. Also, it would drive Rockies fans mad, and I still hold them personally responsible for Dinger, so it all checks out. The Giants wouldn't have a ton of budget left after a Gonzalez deal, and the cost in prospects would hurt their ability to upgrade at the deadline, but the dream of that lineup is just too strong.