- The Giants were thought to have bid on Hiroyuki Nakajima, but John Shea soon said that report was inaccurate, and now there’s confirmation: according to Andrew Baggarly, Brian Sabean said he did not bid on Nakajima. Oh well.
- Cody Ross is looking for a three-year deal, which is pretty ridiculous. Sabean isn’t ruling out Ross, however, reports Baggs.
- Several teams have asked about Jed Lowrie, who would make sense for the Giants for obvious reasons. He’s hit .252/.324/.408 over his career thus far, but he’s constantly battling injuries.
- The Giants are willing to trade Jeff Keppinger, Andres Torres, and Ramon Ramirez, each of whom is arbitration-eligible. I’ve looked at Keppinger and Torres in the past as non-tender candidates.
- As noted earlier, the Giants supposedly scheduled a meeting with Ryan Ludwick.
- Jerry Hairston Jr. is out of the picture — he signed with the Dodgers.
- According to Jim Bowden, the Giants have spoken with Carlos Beltran and other bats. He also tweets that, via Bruce Bochy, San Francisco is looking for starting pitching depth behind Barry Zito.
- The Giants have reached out to Tim Lincecum regarding a new contract, but there’s nothing substantial in the works yet.
- There will be no Giants deals tonight.
- Andrew Baggarly has lots more notes posted over at Extra Baggs.
Burrell and Ross were both Type B free agents, and would have brought back compensatory draft picks had they declined arbitration then signed elsewhere. So…no comp picks. Burrell’s expected to retire, but Ross could still re-sign. Even with the Melky Cabrera acquisition, I could see the Giants bringing back Ross on a cheap-ish one-year deal. He does have interest in returning, but I’m sure he could find more playing time by signing with another team.
No belief #sfgiants will make play for reyes or rollins. They are eyeing ss as well as 1b and OF. but pitching still the focus
We’ve heard this again and again: the Giants, due to budgetary constraints, are not in on Reyes or Rollins. They’ve really embraced the pitching-first philosophy (although it’s almost like a pitching-first and pitching-second and pitching-third philosophy).
Anyway, they seem focused on finding a backup option for Brandon Crawford, and Clint Barmes seems like the obvious target (at the right price, that’s not such a bad thing). The market for middle infielders is shaping up to be pretty ugly though; bad ones, the likes of Willie Bloomquist, are making more money than they should. Hopefully the Giants don’t fall down this trap.
It’s a little odd that they’re looking at first basemen — as they have both Brandon Belt and Aubrey Huff — but they could definitely stand to add an outfielder. I’m guessing they’ll re-sign Cody Ross, who would like to return in 2012. He’ll be cheap, and seems like a good fit (if he can still play a serviceable centerfield).
- After a fantastic season of defense at third base, Pablo Sandoval is nominated for a Gold Glove award, along with Placido Polanco and Daniel Descalso. Sandoval led NL third basemen in DRS (+22), and was second in UZR (+12.3). One other Giant, Carlos Beltran, is up for a Gold Glove — though his nomination is sort of a head-scratcher. His defense wasn’t particularly impressive this season, and he didn’t really rate well by defensive metrics (-7.3 UZR, +2 DRS). On Tuesday, November 1st at 10pm ET will be the first (ever) Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Show. In addition, the Fielding Bible awards were announced today, but the Giants did not have a winner.
- Today, MLB Trade Rumors posted official Elias rankings for this offseason (see the link for a brief refresher on how Type A/B Free Agency works). Carlos Beltran projects as a Type A Free Agent, while Pat Burrell and Cody Ross project as Type B Free Agents. Beltran’s case is a little odd though, as he can’t be offered arbitration (and thus, can’t bring back compensatory draft picks for the Giants if he chooses to sign elsewhere). It’s in his contract: club agreed to not offer arbitration after 2011 season.
- Andres Torres, Pablo Sandoval, Ramon Ramirez, and Bruce Bochy are currently in Taiwan, getting set to play in the Taiwan All-Star Series. The games will be televised throughout the week on MLB Network.
- Buster Posey is continuing to do well in his recovery. Posey recently posted a 17-second video of himself catching a bullpen session. (h/t Third Street Kings)
“I have talked to them briefly, but no negotiations have taken place. They have interest and so do i. Hoepfully we can get something done.”
Ross’ season (.240/.325/.405), which I recently reviewed, wasn’t particularly impressive — but he was certainly of value (especially with the 49 walks he drew in 461 plate appearances). As I speculated before, the money Ross makes this offseason will be largely dictated by whether or not teams still believe he can play a passable centerfield. Considering that the Giants currently have a gap there, and that Brandon Belt and Nate Schierholtz unofficially enter 2012 as starting LF and RF (respectively), it’d make a lot of sense for the Giants to pursue him.
Schulman believes that the Giants will only bring back Ross for some figure smaller than the $5.3MM that he earned this season. If that is the case, it’s quite possible Ross ends up somewhere else. The free agent market for centerfielders this offseason is quite thin, which works to his advantage.
If the Giants don’t intend to hand Ross an everyday job, a platoon with Andres Torres would make a ton of sense. Ross destroys southpaws (career .282/.349/.563), but is pretty much Torres’ equivalent when it comes to hitting RHPs (nearly identical career OPS splits). In that case, Torres is of higher value (because of his superior baserunning and defense).
Anyway, I predicted a few days ago that Ross would not return with the Giants next season, and I still believe that to be the case.
2011 was a season defined by injuries, and that’s how Cody Ross got his year started. Back in Spring Training, Ross left a game with a strained calf, and didn’t end up playing until April 20th. From there, things didn’t get much better, as he got off to a rather slow start. Through his first 16 games, he’d posted a .213/.245/.234 line.
And that’s about the time he started to get hot. Over the next 36 games, he channeled his inner-SSORYDOC, proceeding to hit .300/.400/.550 in 140 plate appearances.
And back and forth, back and forth, that seemed like Ross’ 2011. A few prolonged hot streaks, and a few prolonged slumps. (And, of course, a bunch of flying bats). On June 17, he was sitting at an .821 OPS; by the end of August, that line had fallen to .692.
His season was cut short by a hamstring issue, but in the end, he finished with some fairly predictable numbers. A career .265/.323/.466 hitter prior to the season, Ross finished at .240/.325/.405 (thanks to a major uptick in walks — one that is likely not sustainable) in a year when offense was down league-wide:
With Ross leaving for free agency, the Giants will have to decide whether they want to bring him back. There’s a gap in centerfield, and the Giants don’t seem too keen on the idea of filling it with the likes of Justin Christian, Andres Torres, or Gary Brown (who has yet to play a game above High-A). Ross is at the point where he quite possibly is no longer capable of playing passable defense in center, and the money he gets this offseason will surely be dictated by whether or not teams believe that’s the case. If I had to guess though, I’d say he won’t return to San Francisco in 2012.
Ultimately, it was neither a good nor bad season for Ross, just an average one (when he was healthy, that is). He did all that the Giants would have reasonably expected, for better or for worse.
After last night’s outing, Clayton Kershaw has now made 11 starts against the Giants in his career (12 total games). He’s also surrendered 11 earned runs to San Francisco over his career (79 innings), posting a stellar 1.25 ERA. The Giants have a collective OPS of .485 against Kershaw in those 79 innings. A few links to ease the pain…
Free Agent Stock Watch: Cody Ross: MLB Rumors – MLBTradeRumors.com
Cody Ross would have been better off hitting free agency last year, after the Giants won the World Series and Ross hit five postseason home runs on his way to winning the NLCS MVP.
A risk that paid off – McCovey Chronicles
On the Giants taking a huge risk in 2008 that’s paying off now.
Teams With 3+ SP Under Age 30 With 30+ GS & ERA+ > 99 In Same Season » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive
Since 1901, how many teams had 3+ starters, age 29 or younger, with 30+ Games Started and an ERA+ of 100+ in the same season?
Prospect of the Day: Brett Pill, INF, San Francisco Giants – Minor League Ball
Prospect of the Day: Brett Pill, INF, San Francisco Giants
Baseball Prospectus | Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask
Quantifying the heretofore hidden contributions of catchers.
A Discussion About Evaluating Pitchers | FanGraphs Baseball
A conversation about pitchers, pitching metrics, and end-of-season awards.
Kennedy’s fastball-first approach – Baseball Analytics Blog – MLB Baseball Analytics
The 26-year-old righty has increased his fastball usage from 55 percent of his pitches in 2010 to 66 percent in 2011.
Were the Best Closers Just Failed Starters? – Beyond the Box Score
Were the best closers just failed starters? This week, Rob Neyer pointed out that Mariano Rivera never actually did fail as a starter. How about the other elite closers in history?