The search for a competent shortstop, or as it’s being known right now, not-Brandon-Crawford, continued yesterday with rumors flying every which way. When the news broke that Willie Bloomquist had re-signed with the Diamondbacks, we all thought nothing of it. Then some disturbing rumors began to surface. Per Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Giants were ready to offer Bloomquist $4.6 million over two years before he decided to stay in Arizona. Beyond belief, the Diamondbacks had saved Brian Sabean from himself.
Here are some fun facts about Willie Bloomquist: he’s a .264/.317/.337 hitter. At shortstop, he has a career UZR/150 of -0.9 (which isn’t good). By next Spring he’ll be 34 years-old. And he’s worth $4.6 million to a Giants’ front office in the middle of an offseason during where they’ve made it abundantly clear that there’s not enough money to bring back Carlos Beltran. But worry not, because there’s $12 million to spend on two left-handed relievers and an aging utility-man who was never all that good in the first place.
At this point, the front office almost seems to pathologically target the wrong players. It’s either that or they’re using a baked potato and half of a broken Ouija Board to evaluate talent. There’s just no way that in this day and age a team could possibly want to spend that kind of money on Willie Bloomquist and be considered in their right mind (the DBacks have him as an insurance policy against Stephen Drew).
What’s most frustrating about this whole ordeal is the constant insistence by the powers-that-be that there’s no money to spend. To say that and then throw millions at Willie friggin’ Bloomquist is an insult to the fanbase that pays for the $8 dollar Bud Light after spending $25 to sit thirty rows up behind the foul pole with an obstructed view. If there’s no money to spend, great, at least you’re being honest. But don’t cry poor only to turn around and offer a contract to what essentially amounts to a downgrade at a key position.
This should have been an easy offseason. The Giants are a year removed from a World Series run that sold tons of overpriced merchandise. They just sold out every game in a season where they raised ticket prices. People in the Bay Area are generally excited about San Francisco baseball. The cup should brimmeth over with money for Carlos Beltran. A middle of the lineup with Beltran, Posey, Sandoval, and Belt would be pretty nice. But instead ownership is making suspicious claims of poverty on one hand, and with the other hand offering exorbitant sums of money to players we don’t need. It’s all very peculiar, if not a little unsettling.
With the free agent market for shortstops now narrowed down to the likes of Yuniesky Betancourt, Clint Barmes, and Rafael Furcal, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to the madness. Apparently Brian Sabean would prefer a marginal at best upgrade at shortstop to a hitter that could slot into the middle of the order. Because cash is tight. Unless you’re a left-handed reliever or have ever played shortstop at any point in your baseball career dating back to tee-ball. In that case, there’s money.