It's nice to ignore rumors for a couple months. After parsing Jon Lester's browser history for a while, then moving on to James Shields's dental records, we finally got dozens and dozens and dozens of baseball games. And more dozens and dozens and dozens. Boy, these things just keep coming, don't they? But while rumors can sustain us during the harsh winters, they're no substitute for real games.
In a couple months, we'll have both. There will be games. There will be rumors. It's kind of the best/worst time to be a baseball fan. This comes up now because we have what might be the first rumors of the new season. One of them is boring. One of them is not.
The first rumor (touched on by groug yesterday), has to do with Brian Sabean attending a Mets game in his new super-scout capacity, via ESPN's Adam Rubin. While Rubin mentioned the possibility of Daniel Murphy being a Casey McGehee replacement, which is certainly relevant to our interests, the likelier fit would be Dillon Gee.
Dillion Gee is a big ol' bowl of wheat bran. It'll fill you up when you need sustenance. It's not something you pick off the shelf if you have a choice. We've talked about Gee here and here. The URL for that last one includes "giants-trade-rumors-dillon-gee-wait-why", and I can't think of a better way to put it. Pretend like you're Don Draper, and you're trying to sell the vision of Dillon Gee to a client.
American ingenuity is revered, but when you pull back the curtain, you realize that regular people can be suspicious of too much ingenuity. If you get too fancy, if you put too many buttons on the toaster, people start to look to the simpler days of the past.
Here, then, is just a toaster. Push the lever, bread goes down. When the lever pops up, the bread is toasted. If you want to pour jelly down the opening and ruin everything, that's your business. That's what Dillon Gee is. He's just a toaster. If you want toast. For eating.
The Giants already have guys who are toast. And how! They do not need Dillon Gee. While the Mets are looking to make room for some of their prospects, like Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, they aren't going to want to trade from the top of their rotation in a contending season. So hands off Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese. Enjoy Dillon Gee, who makes no sense for a team with too many mediocre pitchers and not enough great ones.
That leads us to the super-super-sexy rumor. How super-super sexy?
That super-super sexy. This is a couple days old, but I missed it because a) I'm not on Rumorwatch 2015 yet, and b) it comes in the form of a Ken Rosenthal video, which is not the standard method of rumor distribution. Via MLB Trade Rumors, we have a rumor from the past that might inform the rumors of the future. A transcript:
The Giants, after failing to land Jon Lester in free agency, talked to the Phillies about Cole Hamels. The teams obviously did not have a match, but the Giants are fairly deep in young pitching, and the Phillies also targeted infielder Matt Duffy as a secondary piece. Now it's always possible that the Giants could revive the talks, given the questions about their rotation. But the Phillies are looking for at least one elite prospect, and the Giants might not have such a player.
Duffy-4-Hamels. Get the hashtag trending.
I don't even know what a Giants/Phillies trade would look like, considering the Phillies are now willing to eat money in a trade. They might get that elite prospect, yet.
However, teams have been loath to deal those prospects so far, which means that Andrew Susac -- who could be a top-50 prospect, depending which list you're going on -- might be on a short list of the best reasonable targets. Add in some interest in Duffy, some of them young pitching folk that Rosenthal was talking about, and I don't know. Maybe.
Even if these rumors are both bunk, there is an underlying truism that emerges when you pair them together: More ideas in the Hamelsphere, fewer ideas in the Gee bin. The Giants don't need to keep adding mediocrity. They need to "swing for the fences" and "hit a home run" if they're going to spend/trade at all. It might be the least likely way to get a deal done, but it would be the most likely way to get a deal done that means anything.
The Giants were linked to the Mets (vaguely, without any specific names involved) and to the Phillies (vaguely, without any suggestion as to how serious the talks were). They shouldn't mess with the former. I'm curious about the latter.