Picking a Nit
Well, here's the problem: Niekro's balance of ABs was skewed by him playing more against LHP than RHP. When you adjust his ABs to the true ratio of LHP to RHP, then you get a different picture. Using Feliz's ABs as a guide to the balance of ABs vs LHP and vs RHP, I recalculated all of Niekro's rate stats against the amount of PAs he would have faced in a normal season (like what Feliz faced), instead of being skewed towards LHP because he was semi-platooned with Snow during the season. Instead of the nice .755 OPS that he generated in 2005, he would have had a composite .691 OPS, if you applied his hit rates for each in a regular PA split season. That's like going from a Tucker (.763 career OPS) to a Neifi (.681 career OPS).
So while I agree with the writer that the Giants should not re-sign Snow, neither should they just hand the reins to Niekro either. They should get the lefty 1B that any Giants fan, even at the time of that article (back on Sept 22, slightly before the season ended and Sabean gave his post-season comment that he'll target a lefty power 1B), knew the Giants needed. Left-handed hitting (or rather, hitting against RHP) has been the Giants problem for the past three seasons, even with Bonds in the lineup, because players like Grissom, Santiago, Cruz Jr., hit LHP well but not RHP, and players like Neifi and Deivi, didn't hit either very well at all.
That's why we needed even a seemingly run of the mill player like Tucker. Fans are still upset over losing a draft pick over Tucker. However, he hit RHP at a .263/.339/.431/.770 rate in the three years prior to signing with the Giants and that was close to his rate over his career at that point in time. His career vs. RHP currently is .264/.346/.434/.781. That is not great hitting but that's pretty good for $1.5M and his expected platoon situation with Hammonds at that time. The two of them together would have had an OPS of around .800 as Hammonds hit LHP at a .800+ OPS pace, if I remember correctly.
That's not bad for $2.5M, especially when the Giants had no better alternatives for that price on the market. And it boosted the team's hitting vs. RHP, as they replaced Cruz Jr. meager .233/.353/.379/.732 hitting vs. RHP with Tucker's. It also helped run production because Tucker hit over his career average when men were on base while Cruz hit even worse. Thus, improved hitting and run production for less money (when counting the money saved on the draft pick lost). Plus now they picked up a promising prospect for Tucker in the trade, so they have gotten a good prospect and Tucker for the same money.