I know that this is old news, but I wanted tLo write about it anyway. The Giants signed Randy Johnson the day after Christmas for 1 year, 8 million. There are incentives that could bring the final total of the deal to 13 million. This is a fantastic signing by the Giants.
The Big Unit came at a very cheap price. Only 8 million per year is a huge steal in my opinion, and I think that a number of teams should’ve matched this offer. I thought that the Dodgers were the best fit for Johnson because they had a lot of money to spend and could get him on a 1 year deal. LA has 34 million left to spend with only 2 holes – the rotation and the outfield. Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn or whomever could come in for at the most 22 million per year. That would leave at least 12 million to spend. That is the offer I would’ve made if I was Ned Colletti, the GM of the Dodgers. He got beat by Brian Sebean on this one, and it could cost them big time.
Randy enters an already good rotation to solidify it. The Giants can now boast a rotation of Tim Lincecum – Matt Cain – Randy Johnson – Jonathan Sanchez – Barry Zito. In my opinion, that is the best starting rotation in the NL West. This team could be in some major competition for the division. I think they have already pasted up the Diamond Backs in terms of talent. San Francisco has much more depth in the rotation, and one could make a case that they have a better offense as well. Right now, they are still a step behind the Dodgers. If because of nothing else, the Dodgers still have the much better offense and bullpen. There is only one thing that could make the Giants favorites to win the NL West…
Manny Ramirez. They are said to be aggressively pursuing him, but I don’t know how true that is. There has been zero competition with the Dodgers for his services. Because of this, he should come pretty cheap. Of course, Manny will still probably get at least 2 years, 40 million. I don’t know if the Giants could fit that into their payroll. They have about 88 million committed for ’09. Their highest payroll since 2000 has been 90 million. I don’t know if they will be able to go any higher, but if they have permission to go all the way up to 100 million, a signing could occur.
First, they would have to trade Randy Winn, both to clear salary and to open up a spot for Manny to play. One suitor that I think makes a lot of sense is the White Sox. They need a center fielder, and Winn would be the best available via trade or free agency. The ChiSox would probably be willing to take on the entire 8.25 million he has coming. So, if a trade like this does go through to dump Winn’s contract, the Giants would have 80 million committed. Give Manny 20 million in his first year and call it an offseason. They can then head into the season with a lineup of Fred Lewis – Edgar Renteria – Aaron Rowand – Manny Ramirez – Bengie Molina – Pablo Sandoval – Greg Bowker – Kevin Frandsen / Emmanuel Burris. Very good. If they make this move, they are the favorites to win the NL West in my opinion.
All of it is possible if they get approval to raise payroll all the way up to 100 million. If not, they’ll be in a dog fight for second place with the D’Backs.
The Giants have signed Edgar Renteria to a 2 year, 18 million dollar deal. There was a false report about a week and a half ago that said Rents signed in San Francisco for 2 years, 18 million. I hated the signing, and wrote three major reasons why it was stupid. You can scratch out one because Renteria will no longer cost a draft pick after the Tigers declined to offer him arbitration. I still hate the signing, though.
Three middle relief signings have happend recently; hopefully this will get the other markets going.
- The Astros resigned Doug Brocail for 1 year, 2.5 million. This is a nice little move for Houston. I know that they don’t have the money to help out the rotation or the offense, but at least they were able to keep their bullpen mildly intact. I still don’t think they will compete, but you never know.
The Cardinals signed Trevor Miller for 1 year, 2 million. Miller failed his physical, otherwise it would have been a 2 year deal. The 2 million on this contract isn’t even completely gaurenteed; he has to earn the money based on appearances. This makes the contract look very nice for St. Louis, though. He comes for not much money at all, but if he is healthy he is a solid lefty reliever. The Cards will continue looking for lefties even after this signing.
The Giants signed Bob Howry for 1 year, 2.75 million. Another cheap, good signing. Howry was awful last year with the Cubs, but he was a work horse the previous two seasons. If he can return to form in San Francisco, the place his career began, this will be looking like a heck of a signing by the Giants.
Those are the three deals that happend between yesterday and today. Hopefully more will continue, because everything is just talk so far. There haven’t been many major moves.
Update: It was a false report. Renteria has not signed with any team and is not even close. It looks like I got all worked up about it for nothing.
The Giants have signed shortstop Edgar Renteria to a 2 year, 18 million dollar contract. Terrible move! These are the reasons why.
- They overpayed. Renteria was very bad last year. He played awful defense and hit only .270. The 9 million per year they gave him was flat out stupid. Orlando Cabrera, a better player, will be looking for the same annual amount for maybe 1 extra year. Second baseman Orlando Hudson wants 10 million per for 2 more years. That’s too much money, but would look great compared to this contract. I have no idea why the Giants would give this kind of money to a 33 year old, mediocre at best shortstop.
- Renteria is a type A free agent that almost definatly wouldn’t have been offered arbitration. The Tigers, after declining his 12 million club option, wouldn’t have risked watching him accept and getting stuck with him. If the Giants were going to make this terrible signing, couldn’t they have waited until after the deadline to offer players arbitration? That would have made it a little more acceptable. Instead, they just give away their second round draft pick in next year’s draft. This also limits them with other free agents because if they sign another type A, they will be fortifing their 2nd and 3rd round picks. The Giants second pick would be the in 4th round! This is not the way you rebuild a team.
- This takes them out of the Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson bidding. Furcal has always made a ton of sense for their team, but he won’t be signed because Renteria is blocking his path. It looks like the A’s become the frontrunner now. Hudson won’t be aquired because it would screw up their draft next year. Like I previously stated, their second pick would be in the 4th round. It looks like Edgar Renteria will be the big free agent signing the team will make for their infield. They had a great oppertunity to compete, but this signing just tables it.
My letter grade for them on this free agent signing: F
Almost everyone thinks CC Sabathia will end up signing with the Yankees. But, he has made it known that he doesn’t want to sign in New York. He would much rather go home to the west coast and/or the national league. The Dodgers, Angels, and Giants seem like other interested parties, but none of them are particuarly great fits. The Dodgers and Angels would rather resign their former sluggers, Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixera.
I see no way Manny doesn’t return to LA. There are no other teams that make any sense besides the Dodgers. The Yankees are possible if they miss CC and Tex, but what are the chances the rich Yankees go all the way to plan C? Manny would like to wait for a while before he signs on. He seems like he will be the last major free agent to sign. Manny and CC could both be squeezed into the payroll, but that would leave little room for other free agent signings. They have a lot of holes, so this might not be a good idea. The Dodgers aren’t a very likely Sabathia suitor.
The Angels are more likely. They will present Teixera with a big offer and a deadline. If Tex doesn’t agree to the contract before the deadline, the Angels will abandon him and move on to Sabathia. They would pose a big threat to the Yankees if Tex does not return. So they’re more likely than the Dodgers, but I would still favor the Yankees.
The Giants have not made an offer yet for 2 reasons.
- The Barry Zito signing scared them to death. I don’t know if they want to give out another 100 million+ contract after seeing how bad the first one ended up. Sabathia is a completely different type of pitcher, so they might still consider it. Even if they do decide to pursue Sabathia and eventually sign him, they have to worry about the 2nd reason.
- They don’t need CC Sabathia. That is very obvious. The reason they’re considering him is because they could then flip Matt Cain to a different team for a big bat without creating a hole in the starting pitching. Cain for Prince Fielder has been discussed, but the Brewers might be able to aquire a pitcher in a different transaction. Or, payroll could become an issue. Fielder will probably make 7 or 8 million through arbitration while Sabathia will take at least 20 million per year. So Sabathia to the Giants is possible, but I don’t think it’s going to happen because of the above two reasons.
So CC Sabathia is still probably going to wear pinstripes next year, but these are some other possibilities.
We’ve seen many rumors about the Giants agressivly pursuing Rafael Furcal, but if they lose out on the bidding, Orlando Hudson would be their backup plan. They have shown some serious interest in the free agent second baseman, and he might be a better signing than Furcal. Hudson also plays a scarce position, and even though he doesn’t have the speed of Furcal, he is one of the best defenders in the MLB at his position. He also should be much cheaper because the Cardinals and Indians are the only teams interested besides San Francisco. I said previously that I thought Hudson made the most sense among the Giants free agent targets. Of course, they could always sign both, but payroll would be starting to get tight in that situation. It would be rising from 76 million the year before, to possibly 90 million in ’09. I find it more likely that they sign O-Dawg or Furcal to fill one infield void, and then they trade Jonathan Sanchez to fill the other one. It is definatly looking like the Giants are getting one of the two. Whatever they do, they will be trying to compete next year in the weak NL West.
Free agency started only 4 days ago, yet Rafael Furcal has already gotten a 3 year, 39 million dollar offer from an unkown team. That’s the same amount of money that he made during his last contract with the Dodgers. No one knows who made this big time offer, but my guess is the Giants. Furcal’s agent said that the Giants had made an offer, but wouldn’t reveal it. He also said that the A’s haven’t made one yet. No other teams have been named specificly, so I think he ends up in San Francisco unless the A’s or Dodgers make some offer out of nowhere to land him. Also, the article says that he is “very excited” about the chance to play for the Braves again. Yunel Escobar might not be traded in a Jake Peavy deal, but they might swap him out for a power hitting left fielder or a starting pitcher. Furcal would make a great replacement, plus they would be adding a true leadoff man. Other mystery teams that could have made the big offer are the Cardinals, Cubs, A’s, Blue Jays, or Royals. None are great fits for various reasons, but are all possible. His agent also said that he expects Furcal to sign within a couple of weeks.