12.05.2005

Jane, Stop this Crazy Thing!

One thing that I hate about this off-season is looking at Giants fans salivate over Loaiza and Byrd and thinking that $7M is an OK salary for them. I don't care what the market says, this is stupid. This is going the way of the Tulip craze of Holland where people were buying a tulip bulb (yes, that common thing you buy at an OSH) for the equivalent price of an expensive house for that era. Finally somebody came to their senses and that was that, the prices came down in a hurry and crashed.

That's why I like trying for Morris despite all the warning signs on him. He has actually been a very good pitcher earlier in his career, unlike these late bloomers and he's probably just going to go for $1-2M more per year than these one-year wonders. I would rather risk him because if he gets back to where he was before, we will have one premium pitcher for a good salary.

On the other hand, I don't think anyone is under the illusion that Loaiza or Byrd will ever become such a premium pitcher. And somebody is going to overpay for A.J. Burnett because of this scarcity and I want to avoid that. Morris is going to be in-between because of his recent struggles, but Burnett's too injury prone to not be another Darren Dreifort, the only question being will it be early in the contract or late when his injuries become a big problem.

All things being equal, I would just pass on all the pitchers avalable via free agency right now. Risks abound that we'll get the equivalent of Alfonzo pitching for us. However, I believe that Bonds can deliver a good offensive performance this season and that the offense will bust out with him back and Alou batting behind him, Winn hitting high in the order, and Durham hopefully healthy and productive again, especially in his walk year. In fact, right now, it is all their walk years.

With Bonds productive probably and possibly his last year being productive, the Giants need to go all out to try to make it all the way this season. So I'm willing to risk getting one of the free agents - and I'm focused on Morris - because a lot of payroll will be cleared out in droves the next two years, allowing Sabean to reshape the roster drastically, whereas a trade will short-circuit our development plans for the Giants 2008-09 unless the player will headline the Giants 2008-09. But we need another good starter to go with Schmidt to move deep into the playoffs and make the World Series and I'm not totally sold yet that Lowry and Cain will necessarily deliver great seasons, though I'm hopeful that we'll get at least one from one of the two. And I'm still hoping Sabean will pleasantly surprise us, though I've been disappointed the past few off-seasons.

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