Tagged: Giants

Giants and A’s Frontrunners for Rafael Furcal

The Giants and A’s are now the frontrunners to land former Dodgers’ shortstop Rafael Furcal. The battle across the bay! I’m surprised the Dodgers are out of it so early; I thought for sure they would be the team to sign him. I guess they would rather go cheaper with a guy like Orlando Cabrera and then spend more to adress third base and the rotation. Starting pitching could also be adressed cheaper by signing Randy Johnson, though. Maybe they’ll add two arms. I don’t know what they will do, but appearantly Furcal is on their backburner.

The A’s, after changin gears into win-now mode with the Matt Holliday trade, will try to continue improving their team, this time through free agency. They don’t have any speed in the lineup, but Furcal could change that very quickly. They already have a decent shortstop in Bobby Crosby, but he is in the final year on his deal and could easily be traded. Remember, they weren’t far behind the Angels last year in July. With Furcal and Holliday injected into that lineup, and with Mark Teixera possibly ditching LA to sign in Boston with the Red Sox, the A’s might compete for the AL West Crown.

The Giants also think they could be possible contenders. They recenly signed Jeremy Affeldt, and I talked in depth about all their free agent targets here. Furcal would give them a great leadoff man, and help change the style that they play baseball with. If they can trade Jonathan Sanchez for another infielder and then sign a decent #4 or 5 starter to replace him, they could contend in the very bad NL West.

So I really like the idea of Furcal signing with either of these teams. I’m upset that I got this pick wrong for my top 50 free agents, though. Darn!

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Giants Sign Jeremy Affeldt for 2 years, 8 Million

Today, the Giants completely stole Jeremy Affeldt out of the free agent pool. They signed him for only 2 years, 8 million. He was one of the best lefty relievers out there and could have landed a closer’s role with a team like the Indians or Tigers, but he chose the Giants. He didn’t get paid that much either. They will try to improve their bullpen mainly through free agency, and the infield through a free agent and a trade. A starter could also be added if Sanchez is dealt. This seems like a step in the right direction for them, since their bullpen was so bad last year. With the right moves, they might contend. Now teams in need of relievers, especially lefty ones, will have to look elsewhere.

Giants Could Be Loud

The Giants are considering some of the top names on the free agent market. Guys like CC Sabathia, Rafael Furcal, Orlando Cabrera, Casey Blake, Joe Crede, and Orlando Hudson are possible players the Giants could have interest in. The goal is to upgrade the infield where there is no sure thing. A couple of young, decent players are on the team, but they really need a veteran. Emmanuel Burres could be a solid middle infielder. Pablo Sandoval could take a corner position. John Bowker is decent and so is Kevin Frandsen. Overall, I think they just have to add somebody.

Sabathia makes some sense as they could then deal Matt Cain to the Brewers for Prince Fielder. Or just trade Jonathan Sanchez and head into ’09 with 3 stud pitchers. I talked in depth about CC to the Giants here.

Furcal would make a particually good aquisition. He could lead off for them and would really change their image as a slow, old team. I would shy away from Furcal, however, because of the price. It will take a lot of money to lure Furcal away from all the other teams seriously interested in him such as the Dodgers, A’s, Royals, Cardinals, and Blue Jays.

Cabrera would be easier to sign than Furcal, but he doesn’t do much anymore. Yes he can play good defense and hit for a decent average, but he has no power and little speed. It might be a better idea to save the money for a different position and continue playing Frandsen and Burres everyday.

Blake and Crede could be solid additions as well. I would rather pursue middle infield help, though. Pablo Sandoval is a pretty solid prospect. I know he could move to first if there is a third baseman aquisition, but he would then block top prospect Akinori Iwamura.

Hudson is the one that makes the most sense to me. There won’t be many serious bidders for him; only the Cardinals and Indians seem truly interested. Both teams have other big holes, so it wouldn’t be that hard to make them shy away to fill a different hole. Hudson would make a very nice aquisition for San Fran.

The Giants don’t have to get the infield bat via free agency, however. They could always just trade Jonathan Sanchez for an infield bat. They might even make a signing and a trade. Sign Furcal and trade Sanchez for Kelly Johnson. Just like that you have a middle infield. Whatever they do, it will be tough to compete in 2009 unless the Dodgers screw up in free agency.

Team’s Payroll

I will put the amount of money teams will have to spend this offseason along with their payroll from the previous year, arbitration eligible players, and the salary they have committed. This will make things easier when trying to guess who could afford the top-notch free agents. I was informed greatly from MLB Trade Rumors. This will be a side-bar link.

 

 Teams

 Last year’s payroll

 Salary Committed

 Arbitration Eligible

 Estimated money to spend

Braves

102 million 

48 million 

Casey Kothman, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, Mike Gonzalez 

 45 million

Mets

 138 million

104 million 

 Ryan Church, John Maine, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez

28 million 

Phillies

103 million

100 million 

Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard  

15 million 

Marlins

 21 million

 20 million

Scott Olsen, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Jacobs, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Matt Treanor, Alfredo Amezaga, Joe Nelson, Kevin Gregg, Logan Kensing, Eulogio de la Cruz, Doug, Waechter 

0 million

Nationals

55 million 

40 million 

Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Redding, Jesus Colome, Ryan Wagner, Willy Harris

10 million 

Cubs 

118 million

122 million 

Reed Johnson, Ronny Cedeno, Michael Wuertz, Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin 

20 million 

Brewers 

80 million 

60 million 

Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, Dave Bush, Seth McClung, Todd Coffey, Chris Capuano 

20 million 

Cardinals 

100 million 

78 million 

Aaron Miles, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Wellemyer, Brad Thompson 

20 million 

Reds 

74 million 

54.5 million 

Bill Bray, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Lincoln 

15 million

Astros 

 86 million

88 million 

Humberto Quintero, Ty Wigginton, David Newhan, Brian Backe, Wandy Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Geoff Geary, Tim Byrdak 

15 million 

Pirates 

 49 million

31 million 

Ryan Doumit, Adam LaRoche, Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Zack Duke, John Grabow, Tyler Yates, Denny Bautista 

8 million 

Dodgers 

59 million 

118  million 

Russell Martin, Andre Eithier, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban

50 million 

Diamond Backs 

 66 million

55 million 

Chris Snyder, Augie Ojeda, Conor Jackson, Chris Burke, Edgar Gonzalez, Chad Qualls

10 million 

Rockies 

68 million 

77.5 million 

Garret Atkins, Willy Tavaras, Jorge de la Rosa, Jason Grilli 

3 million 

Padres 

73 million 

44 million 

Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, Clay Hensley 

4 million 

Giants 

76 million 

64 million 

Fred Lewis 

10 million 

Angels 

124 million 

87 million 

Macier Izturis, Rob Quinlan, Chone Figgins, Ervin Santana 

30 million 

A’s 

48 million 

29 million 

Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer Rob Bowen 

10 million + 

Rangers 

67 million 

63 million 

Gerald Laird, Marlon Byrd, Brandon McCarthy, Frank Francisco, CJ Wilson, Kameron Loe 

10 million 

Mariners 

117 million 

88 million 

Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jeremy Reed 

20 million – 

White Sox 

121 million 

108 million 

Bobby Jenks, DJ Carasco, DeWayne Wise

10 million 

Twins 

57 million 

54 million 

Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier 

15 million 

Indians 

79 million 

64 million 

Kelly Shoppach 

15 million 

Tigers 

137 million 

115 million 

Marcus Thames, Ramon Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Justin Verlander, Gary Glover, Joel Zumaya, Bobby Seay 

5 million 

14 million

14 millionRoyals 

58 million 

52 million 

John Buck, Esteban German, Mark Teahen, Joey Gathright, Zack Greinke, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta 

7 million 

Red Sox 

133 million 

92 million 

Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Cash, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Papelban 

33 million 

Rays 

43 million 

49 million 

Edwin Jackson, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes, Grant Balfour

5 million 

Yankees 

209 million 

140 million 

Xavier Nady, Wilson Betemit, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney 

50 million 

Blue Jays 

98 million 

80 million 

Jose Bautista, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brandon League

15 million 

Orioles 

67 million 

63 million 

Freddie Bynum, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Fernando Cabrera 

15 million 

 

Cubs Considering Trading Derrek Lee?

There have been rumors going around that the Cubs will consider trading Derrek Lee this offseason. Their reasoning is that it would open up more money to spend on a left handed bat. For example: The Cubs trade Lee to the Giants for Randy Winn and salary. Then they sign Adam Dunn to a big deal and tell him to play first base. They’d add power with Dunn and Winn, but would lose a lot of defense by subtracting Lee and moving Kosuke Fukudome to the bench. I think it would be an expensive way to get maybe an extra 1-2 wins. When you win your division by 8 games and the team 8 games behind you is losing their top two pitchers, 1-2 games doesn’t mean much. Plus the’re ruining the club house chemistry that was so good all year long by trading one of the leaders, Lee. If I was Jim Hendry, I would just try to resign Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood. Use the money on those guys, while backloading contracts. Trade Jason Marquis and all of the salary possible. Move Jeff Samardzija to the rotation, sign a middle reliever to replace him in the ‘pen, and then explore a trade for Randy Winn or Brian Giles. I would definatly not trade Derrek Lee.

Player Market: Casey Blake

Casey Blake leads the third base free agent market. There will be tons of suitors for him. Not only because he is the best third baseman available, but also because of his versatility. Let’s take a look.

Dodgers (frontrunners)  You can’t trade one of the best third base prospects in the game and then just take a pass on his replacement. I know it will be hard locking up Blake, but you’d have to think the Dodgers would have to go all in to get him. Casey is more of a small-town guy, but with the Dodgers possibly offering 3 years, 24 million, he might take the money over the geography. I think he stays in Dodger Blue.

Braves (frontrunners)  His versatility would make him a very valueable asset to the Braves. He could play either outfield corner, so they’d have flexibility if Jeff Francoeur continued struggling. The’d also be able to move Blake to third base in the event of a Chipper Jones injury. They also have the money to get a deal done. Don’t be surprised if he goes here.

Twins (frontrunners)  They need a third baseman, and Blake makes a lot of sense here. They will go hard to try and trade for Adrian Beltre, but if they miss out Blake is a great fall-back option. He would also be nice to help out in the outfield if Michael Cuddyer reinjures himself.

Mets (possible)  He could sign on in New York with the Mets and see a lot of time in the outfield. The only problem is that they’ll have to outbid the Dodgers and give Blake possibly up to 30 million over three years. That’s way to much. It would be far smarter to add a few million and sign Raul Ibanez. They get a far superior bat for only a little more money. Or Jaun Rivera could make sense for a lot less on a one year deal.

Giants (possible)  There will always be the Giants – Dodgers rivalry. It is both on an off the field. The Giants could decide to spend a lot on Casey Blake to improve the infield and keep him from the Dodgers. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them aggressively pursue him.

Reds (not likely)  They will probably have interest because of his good bat for left field, but he will be grossly overpayed for an outfielder. Especially with all the better ones available via free agency. The only thing that might cause a discount from Casey Blake is Great American Ballpark.

Rays (not likely)  The Rays had interest in him at last year’s trade deadline. They probably will pursue him to an extent this year, too. But instead I find it more likely they go with cheaper options.

Phillies (not likely)  They’ll want him as a left fielder to replace Pat Burrell, but they don’t have a lot of money to spend. It might be smarter to use Citizens Bank Park as a lure for Jaun Rivera to sign on the cheap.

Indians (dark horse)  The Indians are a dark horse candidate to resign Casey Blake. He still makes a lot of sense for their team. Although there might be a little bad-blood, a deal could still get done.

Player Market: Dan Uggla

It seems like the Marlins will make slugging second/third baseman Dan Uggla available this offseason. There will probably be tons of suitors. Lets check them out.

Cardinals (frontrunners)  Bryan Anderson for Dan Uggla. This trade just makes too much sense for both teams. The Marlins get a catcher significantly better than Matt Treanor and open up a position for the fast, good defensive Chris Coghlan. The Cardinals get the bat they want to protect Albert Pujols, and Bryan Anderson has no role on their team because of Yadier Molina. I’d be surprised if either team got a better offer for their player.

Indians (frontrunners)  They also have a catcher they could trade. They would be reluctant to do it, but Kelly Shoppach could get a deal done for both sides. I explained how it made sense for the Marlins above, and it makes sense for the Tribe, too. They’d have to be 100% sure Victor Martinez is healthy or else they shouldn’t do the deal. Dan Uggla can play either second base or third base, so it gives them even more flexibility as to who they will sign. This trade also makes sense.

Marlins (frontrunners)  Unless they can get a good, young catcher in return, it might make more sense to trade Jorge Cantu or Mike Jacobs instead. Both players could bring back a hard throwing pitching prospect: the kind of player the Fish are looking for. Plus, it improves the defense by moving Jorge Cantu to first base or another team. If they want to build around pitching, defense, and speed it makes sense to move someone other than Uggla.  

Twins (possible)  If the Marlins are willing to take young pitching for Uggla, then the Twins are a good fit. They could offer one of their young guns and play Uggla at third base. I don’t know if the Marlins would do this trade, though. 

Giants (possible)  It is pretty much the same thing here as with the Twins. If the Fish will take pitchers, the Giants could trade Jonathan Sanchez for him. If the Marlins don’t accept starters, then Uggla won’t be in a Giant uniform next year.

A’s (possible)  It’s possible the Marlins would rather have hard throwing prospects instead of proven young pitchers. If that is the case, don’t be surprised to see Uggla heading down to the bay area. The A’s could play him at second base until Adrian Cardenas is ready, then they could move him to third base. This makes sense for the A’s, but maybe not the Marlins.

Dodgers (possible)  They could offer James McDonald. He’s not the best prospect, but could get the deal done with an added player and poor offers for Uggla. Or, the Marlins could decide to keep him and trade someone else. 

White Sox (not likely)  They would be interested, but I don’t see them giving away their farm for another slow player. I don’t know if they could even pull off a trade. They’d be much more interested in Brian Roberts.