The dream of the multi-position, high-OBP switch-hitter is dead. Ben Zobrist has been a coveted player of mine since 2008, and I'll be coveting forevermore. The Cubs signed the second baseman/outfielder for a reported four years and $56 million. That's mighty reasonable these days, and the only reason the Giants aren't kicking themselves is because he preferred to play a) second base and b) closer to his home in Tennessee.
It seems like the Giants are focused on the outfield for now, at least according to the national rumormongers. First, we have Jon Morosi:
Sources: #SFGiants talking with several free-agent outfielders, prefer Heyward, Gordon, or Fowler to Cespedes or Upton due to defense.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 8, 2015
I, too, like a strong defense. More importantly, this is the first time I've read "Giants" and "Heyward" in the same tweet or story. If Zobrist was a dream, Heyward is a euphoric after-death experience. There's no reason to think the Giants will go 10 years for anyone (other than alternate-timeline Buster Posey), but look up there. There's an #SFGiants hashtag and a note about Heyward. That's all I'll need to keep me warm tonight.
Tomorrow, I'll need a new rumor to put on the fire, dammit.
The only sketchy part about that tweet is the insinuation that Fowler is a plus defensive outfielder. He's always passed the eyeball test, but the defensive stats disagree. I can agree to call it a wash, generously, but at that point I'm not sure why it would boost him that much over Upton or Gold Glove left fielder Cespedes.
Now from Joel Sherman, who contradicts what Morosi twote:
Four teams have shown the most interest so far in Yoenis Cespedes, and three are no surprise.
The Angels, Giants and Tigers have been expected to bid aggressively for corner outfielders. But the fourth club is a shock – the World Series champion Royals.
Cespedes is a good player. But he's going to be overpaid for far too long. Which is what you can say about every free agent, I guess, so you might as well develop players in the meantime.
Or sign Ben Zobrist to a reasonable deal. Enjoy second base and Chicago, forever unattainable prince. For now, though, the Giants have to go to Plan ... is it C now? I think we're on Plan C. The offseason usually doesn't mess around.
Sources: Royals, Cubs, Giants in on Gerardo Parra. He has 3-year offer(s) on the table. Hopeful for 4-year deal. Story coming @mlbdailydish— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 9, 2015
Ha ha ha, oh, even-year Giants. Don't ever change.