After a long silence, our Fearless Leader, Brian Sabean has spoken with Joan Ryan about his offseason game-plan. I’ve decided to translate the difficult language GM’s use sometimes into layman’s terms, so that we can all understand the method behind the madness.
Some choice quotes:
“What we’re doing right now – to get a bat, to figure out the catching situation, everything – is due diligence”
Translation: No one has come to us, so we’ll keep on waiting for that to happen. Maybe Dan Uggla will demand to be traded to the Giants during the Winter Meetings. Maybe Juan Uribe will come back to my office on his hands and knees begging for a job. And maybe, just maybe, my inactivity will result in some magical offensive panacea.
“In the past, we’ve been more aggressive. But we’re willing to go at the pace of the marketplace and show more patience. Trades don’t have to be made at the winter meetings. So people shouldn’t read anything into it if nothing happens in Indianapolis. It’s just not a very sexy market at this time.”
Translation: After the last offseason that landed us two years of Edgar Renteria before December, I’m going to overcompensate by doing nothing. Even a conference full of General Managers looking for deals won’t make me do anything. Oh and I’ve devised a rating system for the free-agent/trade market based on sexiness. On a scale of one to Scarlett Johansson, I’d say the market is about a two.
“In a perfect world, you’d love to have (Madison) Bumgarner and (Buster) Posey burst on the scene. But you don’t want to rush them. So you keep at it, at the grindstone, and be ready when the best opportunities pop.”
Translation: I think a veteran catcher like Brad Ausmus with a career line of .252/.325/.344 is a better option than Buster Posey. I may sign Ausmus to be a “Plan B” in case Posey can’t hit big league pitching, but I know that Bruce Bochy’s obsession with veteran catchers will force him to play Ausmus every day while batting him cleanup.
(On secondary free agents) “That doesn’t make as much sense as giving our own kids a chance. We have to continue to identify what we really have internally and not count on the outside world.”
Translation: Eugenio Velez will be our starting left fielder. He had 75 good at-bats upon being recalled, and then had 200 or so bad one’s, meaning he’s a valuable player. John Bowker had his 75 at-bats to prove himself and he couldn’t do it. Hell, Bochy gave Posey 17 at-bats and he couldn’t cut it. Since I’m unable to swing a decent trade that doesn’t blow up in my face anymore, I’m going to have to go the Velez/Torres in left field route instead.
There you have it. Sabean speaks, we listen, I criticize. I understand waiting for the market to evolve, but waiting for the sake of waiting instead of having a clear plan of action is not the way to evaluate the market. In the meantime, teams are moving on free agents and moving quickly. If we’re not already in discussion with Nick Johnson, then we damn well should be. If the Winter Meetings aren’t enough to spur a spirited Dan Uggla discussion with the Marlins, then we may have a problem on our hands.
The free agent market now and the free agent market in two months will be exactly the same, except many of the guys who are free agents will have signed with someone else. I’m not demanding a hurried approach, rather I’m suggesting the “sitting on your hands until something dramatic happens” theory lacks substance. The Winter Meetings begin in four days, and Sabean is already expecting to come back empty-handed. Not exactly the mentality the man responsible for building a team should have at this juncture.
I’ll try to keep the CDC Twitter updated on all Giants-related news from the Meetings, so stay tuned.