Bay Area baseball is in dire straits right now. The A's traded fan favorites Nick Swisher and Dan Haren in the off-season, and it is very likely that Rich Harden and Joe Blanton will be gone by the trade deadline (how is Eric Chavez still on the team?)
However, the team across the Bay is even worse. They are the worst team in baseball. I'm pretty sure that me, three friends, and the starting five from the Women's Olympic Basketball team could generate more offense than the Giants. Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are the bright spots in this otherwise dismal team.
For years I've thought that A's general manager Billy Beane was really smart, but I couldn't stand him getting rid of players too early that the fans know and love. But really, look how all of them have panned out:
Jason Giambi - Caught with steriods, the Yankees would rather not have him.
Migel Tejada - Caught with B-12 (aka steriods) and abilities have really declined. The Astros traded for him before the Mitchell report came out, and might regret it once he's brought up on perjury charges.
Mark Mulder - Never pitched as well for the Cardinals as he did for the A's. Currently injured for the last two years.
Barry Zito - Lost 5 mph off his fastball and doesn't look to have the control he once had on the A's.
Eric Chavez - The only guy they've retained and he's always injured and his skills are clearly declining.
Tim Hudson - Still a great pitcher for the Braves.
The A's have stayed competitive by shrewdly trading or not re-signing players to get younger players with more upside. The Giants NEED to take a look at the A's and mimic them for at least a couple years. Here's what I would do:
TRADE MATT CAIN AND TIM LINCECUM FOR "CAN'T MISS" OFFENSIVE PROSPECTS.
I totally agree this is crazy-talk for most Giants fans, but here's the logic. You only have Cain and Lincecum for a certain amount of years (and once it gets to arbitration, they'll only get more expensive.) Unless you can convince one of them to sign a 12 year deal, they're not doing any good pitching to 3-1 losses every game. Also, they'll never re-sign with your team if you can't give them offense. Cain was by far the most tough-luck losing pitcher of 2007. He's on track to go the same way this year. They clearly can't sign enough players to jump-start their offense, so how else will they get players who can hit?
The Giants also just hosted the All-Star game, brought all the big name players to their park, and showed them one thing: AT&T PARK SUCKS FOR HITTERS. Good luck getting offense now.
Signing Aaron Rowand isn't that bad because he can show young guys how to play hard, but please Brian Saben, NO MORE OLDER PLAYERS. If you're going to go young, then go young!!! Don't trade for Joe Crede. Don't sign Vlad Guerrero next year. Don't try to trade for Godzilla Matsui. Please, trade either Cain, Lincecum, or both and stock up the farm system. Feel free to get rid of Brian Wilson too if you need to. I mean, you did once trade Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser to the Twins for a bag of Doritos.
On a tangent, how did you trade Francisco Liriano? The marketing of Francisco on the San Francisco Giants alone makes him a keeper. Anyway, that was one of the worst trades ever.
Are you still not on board? How about the Orioles? They traded Erik Bedard for a bunch of great prospects. They are 6-1. The Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for prospects. They are 4-3. The Giants have kept their pitchers (who wants Alex Rios now?) and they are 2-6 (barely, how the Padres didn't pull that out tonight, I have no idea.)
In no way am I suggesting that we're looking at a Marlins/Orioles World Series, but I think they are more competitive than the Giants right now. To add to and sum up my idea for the Gigantes:
- Cut payroll temporarily to 50 million and mimic the A's "Moneyball" style.
- Trade Cain and Lincecum in separate deals and raid other organizations "can't miss" prospects (offense and pitching because you will need a couple pitchers to make up for losing Cain and Lincecum.)
- Play your young players. No one wants to watch Ray Durham. Get the young guys in there.
- Field a competitive team and then bring payroll back up and sign a couple players. Who knows, maybe you go get Cain or Lincecum to come back once you're more competitive.
Well, let's see some action Sabean. You better do something quick or else you'll be out of a job.