Friday, November 4, 2011
The San Francisco Giants fans are excited about the possibility of signing a big bat now that free agency has begun. Giants brass, on the other hand, have other plans. When it's your responsibility to make a team better, your blueprint may not be in line with that of the fans. When CC Sabathia signed an extension with The Yankees, I would imagine that got phones ringing across baseball. However, the people on the other end of that phone were not players, but agents for Time Lincecum and Matt Caine. Here is where things get complicated for San Francisco. For the last four or five years, the team has been successful strictly based on their ability to send great pitchers to the mound each game and that's how they want to continue playing the game. The agents for the aforementioned pitchers will likely hit up SF for huge contracts or they will find teams willing to pay them what they are worth. That means that SF will not be able to sign Prince Fielder, even though they need to. They won't be able to sign Albert Pujols, even though they want to. They won't even be able to sign a guy like Jimmy Rollins, who isn't a top tier free agent, but is a free agent that could definitely find comfort in a terrible lineup in SF. So, I want to make this crystal clear for those of you who have extremely high expectations for the Giants during the hot stove season. You can get on your soap box and scream and yell and beg all you want, but you will not see Fielder, Pujols or any other substantive free agent bat in the lineup in 2012. What you will likely get is more of the same. More bats who are on the cheap either because they are hurt (see Grady Sizemore) or because they can't play at a high level anymore, as has been the case for many years in SF. The smart money will be spent to sign the young pitchers to long term deals and the fans will have to face facts. This team pulled off a miracle in 2010 and in order to taste champagne again, this team will have to do it all over again, which they will not do.