Yoenis Cespedes was never coming to the Giants. We can all confidently agree on that now, right? I mean, come on, it was totally obvious the whole time. Ha, I can’t believe you harbored secret thoughts about the possibility. It shouldn’t be unexpected news that he signed with the Mets. He was really quite excellent for them, and he seemed happy there.
(hold smile. nod with confidence. raise eyebrows to convey interest, but not too much. do not betray your actual emotions.)
Yes, it was rather silly to think the Giants could sign a power-hitting left fielder, someone with a chance to have their first 30-homer season since Barry Bonds retired. For one, the cost was going to be prohibitive. That’s, what, $110 million for an outfielder in his 30s? When the Giants already owe scores of millions to two other outfielders in their 30s? It just wasn’t practical.
(maintain eye contact. furrow brow, exhibiting concern for that awfully large contract and what it would mean for future rosters.)
It’s just that the Giants could sure use an infusion of power for this lineup. And they had an outfield spot open. There happened to be just one superstar player on the market who could hit and field for a National League team. It seemed like a perfect fit on paper.
(wipe sweat off upper lip with sleeve. focus. don’t let them pick up on your true emotions.)
But the Giants already had two in-house solutions in Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker, two outfielders who could probably combine for 20 homers over a full season for a tenth of the cost. It might not be the best plan, but it’s certainly not the worst fallback option. It’s certainly not a scenario that should have made the Giants wrestle with the Mets and come over the top with a five-year deal or a record-setting $130 million deal for Cespedes.
That wouldn’t be logical. Teams have to build their rosters with logic, not blind appeals to emotional fans.
(stop. take inventory. exhale. you wrote notes on your palm. read the notes you wrote on your palm.)
Just because Cespedes hit home runs and the Giants are a little, ha ha, homer-starved, that doesn’t mean that you should feel bad that they missed out on him.
(wait. why did you write “DINGERS DINGERS DINGERS” on your palm? and now the sweat is smearing the words, gross.)
Okay, fine, I wanted Cespedes. I wanted him in the same way that I wanted the Giants to sign Justin Upton, the same way that I wanted them to sign Albert Pujols, the same way that I want those horrific fried chicken sandwiches with donuts for buns, even if I know, know, know how it will end up. There were all sorts of ways for a Cespedes/Giants pairing to flame out spectacularly, and scant few scenarios in which he was a long-term benefit. But that first donuty-chicken bite and/or 30-homer season, man. It’s just so very exciting.
(dingers dingers dingers dingers dingers why have you forsaken us sweet dingers dingers dingers dingers)
There are still other options out there. Dexter Fowler would be a fine fit, a natural replacement for Angel Pagan. He does everything Pagan did, just a little bit better. There are still trade possibilities, with J.D. Martinez a much more reasonable option, at least financially.
And if we’re focusing on the big money moves, it’s likely that the Giants were going to make their big splash with a fancy closer, anyway. I don’t know if Kenley Jansen is worth even half of the contract he’s going to get — just because I’m not sure if any reliever has been worth that much since Mike Marshall — but I’m resigned to the idea of the Giants finding out.
It’s just that the Giants needed power and they had an outfield spot open, and there was an outfielder with power who was the best free agent hitter on the market. It can’t be repeated enough. The Giants had a square hole, and there was exactly one square peg in a pile of round ones, and it was staring at the right in the face. “Maybe we’ll just whittle our own peg,” they said, as we screamed in the background. Except that square peg cost $110 million on a four-year lease, and there’s logic in staying far, far away from it.
If there’s a saving grace, though, it’s that Cespedes didn’t sign with the Dodgers, who would then finagle some sort of Andrew Toles-for-Chris Sale deal five seconds later. It’s a drag that his power isn’t an option anymore, but he could have been in the division.
Imagine Cespedes in Coors Field, bottom of the ninth, facing Brad Ziegler, with the Giants clinging to a one-run lead. Just imagine it.
As is, the Giants didn’t get Cespedes because they never were going to get him. That doesn’t mean we can’t be a little wistful about the power-hitting outfielder they signed in our mind-theater several times over the last month. It was such a logical move, really, even when it was completely illogical.
(climb out of window. maintain eye contact. walk down fire escape, slowly eating the three-ring binder you grabbed off the desk. maintain eye contact. dingers. oh, sweet dingers. don’t let them see your tears, they’re not good enough. we’ll miss you and your spring training cars, yoenis cespedes)
The Giants’ outfield search just got a little less complicated. Let’s see what they do now.