There are two main issues with the Giants right now:
1) They need to be starting Brandon Belt. This is something that I’ve discussed at length (both on Twitter, and here on the blog), so I don’t feel the need to say much more. It was reported that Belt will play in the Dominican Winter League:
Brandon Belt wasn’t excited when Giants officials broached the subject of playing winter ball. But the rookie had a change of heart after meeting with manager Bruce Bochy on Wednesday.
Over at Notgraphs, Carson Cistulli offers up some useful Spanish phrases for Belt.
2) Orlando Cabrera should not be playing regularly for the Giants, if at all. I wasn’t originally too hot on the idea of acquiring him, concluding: “I absolutely dread the Cabrera era.” Yet, he’s even failed to meet my low expectations. At the moment, he’s hitting .217/.232/.245, with an OPS+ of 35, and he’s pretty shabby defensively too. The Giants only stand to benefit from playing Brandon Crawford in lieu of Cabrera, but Bruce Bochy just doesn’t see it that way.
Moving on, there’s a fascinating old trade rumor that surfaced on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast. Via Frisco Fastball:
On Baseball Today. Keith Law announced (scroll to about the 8:00 minute mark) that while he was working with the Toronto Blue Jays in the early 2000′s, the Jays actually offered Roy Halladay to San Francisco in exchange for the Giants top three pitching prospects: Jesse Foppert, Kurt Ainsworth and Jerome Williams.
Speaking of non-trades, #1 on MLB Trade Rumors’ list of five non-moves that shaped the 2011 season is “Giants don’t replace Buster Posey.” In retrospect, it doesn’t really matter that they never made the move — they’d still be a relatively distant second-place at this point. And it seems as though the best trade targets (i.e. Ramon Hernandez) were not available at a reasonable price. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think back to the Yorvit Torrealba trade rumors from mid-June. Baggs reported that Texas wanted Santiago Casilla in exchange, and that they refused to cover any of the ~$3MM he’s due for in 2012. Even so, I can’t help but think — at the time, at least — it would have made sense for the Giants to make the move anyway.
For better or for worse, the Giants did however go out and acquire Carlos Beltran. I was never sure about the deal — my instinct was “don’t like the deal, but I’ll give Sabean the benefit of the doubt”, but after reading El Lefty Malo’s post-trade reaction, couldn’t help but get excited. Anyway, Grant Brisbee has a post over at Baseball Nation on three teams that want a 2011 trade-deadline do-over, and the Giants (unsurprisingly) are listed first — for both Beltran and Cabrera.
Some final notes…
- Over at Fangraphs, Eno Sarris asks whether the Giants made a mistake by starting Brett Pill and Justin Christian against Aaron Harang last night. I’ve defended Bruce Bochy in the past, but I’m not too pleased with him at the moment.
- MLB Trade Rumors names the Giants as sleepers in the Albert Pujols/Prince Fielder sweepstakes, but I just don’t see it happening. Payroll’s tight entering the offseason as is, and the Giants certainly don’t need another first baseman.
- Notgraphs has a GIF of Aubrey Huff “swelling with fatherly pride” after Brett Pill’s first career home run.
- The Augusta Greenjackets, the Giants’ Class A affiliate, are in the playoffs — and won yesterday, thanks in large part to a three-run homer off the bat of Adam Duvall (you can check out the video embedded below). There are quite a few Giants prospects in Augusta to watch for — Duvall, Mike Kickham, Seth Rosin, Brett Bochy to name a few. Anyway, guess who they’re facing off against tomorrow (via Joe Lemire of Sports Illustrated)? Johan Santana. Yep, that Santana. The four-time All-Star/two-time Cy Young award-winner.