Brian Sabean Rumors

Things Looking Up For Sabean Extension?

Brian Sabean has been general manager of the Giants since 1996, but he entered 2009 as a lame duck GM because he wasn't under contract beyond this year. The club does hold an option for his services next season, although anyone would prefer to have job security.

According to Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News, managing general partner Bill Neukom indicated to KNBR radio than an extension for Sabean is a good possibility.

“We will continue to collect information, and frankly, how we finish this season, finishing strong, is significant,” Neukom told the station. “It’s not controlling, but it’s a pretty important data point, don’t you think? We want these last 16 games to be part of the data in assessing where we can go.”

Neukom said he’d evaluate Sabean on the basis of “where we think he can take is. It’s going to be a somewhat complicated formula. It will have qualitative and quantitative aspects to it.”

Henry Schulman of The SF Chronicle adds that Neukom is pleased with the team's recent drafts and success of their minor league affiliates, but promised to consider free agent signings and trades as well. Sabean is perhaps most well known for the infamous A.J. Pierzynski for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser deal, however he did turn a 90-loss team in 2008 to a playoff contender this year.

No Deadline For Lincecum Talks

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News spoke to several people about a possible long-term contract for Giants ace Tim Lincecum.

The team's president, Larry Baer, expressed a willingness to discuss an extension during the season.  Lincecum would also be fine with that, as he'll let his agent Rick Thurman handle the talks.  General manager Brian Sabean said he remains open to an extension for Lincecum, but admitted, "Going year to year may not be a bad option at this point."  Sabean referred to Lincecum extension talks as a "back-burner issue."

Sabean notes that Lincecum stands to get paid once he enters arbitration, anyway.  Baggarly says Lincecum profiles as a Super Two player after this season, meaning he'll go to arbitration four times in his career instead of the normal three.  Back in February, the Giants threw a few hundred thousand dollars in goodwill money toward Lincecum, signing him at $650K even though the pitcher and his agent had no say in it.  Baggarly talked to an industry source who believes a Lincecum extension would exceed Cole Hamels' three years and $20.5MM.  Hamels is also a Super Two, so his contract doesn't take him through all his arbitration years.

In another article, Baggarly talks about the possibility of an extension for Sabean.  New managing general partner Bill Neukom and Sabean have exchanged ideas about objectives for Sabean that could lead to a new contract.  Manager Bruce Bochy's contract is also up after the season.

Odds and Ends: Andruw, Marquis, Coonelly

Links for Monday…

Odds & Ends: Sabean, Yankees, Reds, Jones

Links for Sunday afternoon…

  • Peter Abraham asks if Andruw Jones would be worth a look for the Yankees on a minor league deal… and promptly answers his own question: no. He’d rather see Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner fight it out.
  • River Avenue Blues takes a look at why the Yankees and Red Sox saw a drop in the rankings of their farm systems from 2008 to 2009.
  • Athletics Nation asks whether or not Brian Sabean is "out-GMing" Billy Beane this offseason with his splashes in the free agent market.
  • Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News doesn’t feel like the Reds have done enough to climb out of fifth place. He feels the Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, and Astros are all still better teams.

Giants Will Listen To Proposals Involving Sanchez

Now that the San Francisco Giants have lefty veteran Randy Johnson locked up, they are willing to listen to offers involving Jonathan Sanchez. Chris Haft of asked Giants general manager Brian Sabean about the possibility after signing Johnson.

From Haft:

“We’re going to have to be open-minded,” Sabean said, although he repeated that he wouldn’t obtain a player who’s eligible for free agency after 2009.

The Giants have been listed as one of the teams who might be a good trade partner with the New York Yankees for a corner outfielder, in particular Xavier Nady, but he doesn’t meet Sabean’s requirement regarding free agency. Nady’s contract ends after the ’09 season.

Sabean Rant

Giants GM Brian Sabean treated beat writers to what could only be described as a rant today.  He’s angry with the way the whole C.C. Sabathia thing went down in the media.

Sabean On Manny, Sabathia, Sanchez

Andrew Baggarly offers some quick points following a discussion with Giants GM Brian Sabean.

  • Manny Ramirez is not on the Giants’ radar. Sabean says the team does not need another outfielder. Most would likely agree, with Fred Lewis, Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn all on the roster already.
  • Offers for CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira seem unlikely, but Sabean refuses to rule them out. However, Sabean also says: “We’re not out there swimming with the sharks. There are too many teams with more seemingly to offer financially than where we’re at right now.”
  • Jonathan Sanchez isn’t going to be traded for, as Baggarly calls it, "any old player." This comment appears to be referring to recent rumors surrounding a Sanchez-for-Jorge Cantu swap.

Flexible Payroll For Giants?

New Giants managing partner Bill Neukom explained yesterday that his team is using an $80MM payroll as a placeholder, and GM Brian Sabean has been instructed to present him with several plans to field a competitive team in 2009.  He would not rule out large contracts for players such as C.C. Sabathia or Mark Teixeira.

Neukom added that he will decide whether to keep Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy around after next season.  Andrew Baggarly has the full transcript of Neukom’s comments here.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Mariners GM, Burnett

Check out Ken Rosenthal’s Full Count video from last weekend.  Some highlights:

  • The Mariners are looking for fresh blood in their GM search.  A few names in the mix: Kim Ng, Jerry DiPoto, and Tony LaCava.  If the Mariners opt for experience they could try to lure Brian Cashman or even Brian Sabean.
  • Rosenthal notes that an offer of essentially four years, $54MM from the Jays won’t cut it for A.J. Burnett.  Instead of $13.5MM a year, he’ll receive $15-20MM per according to Rosenthal.  Ken sees the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets in the mix if C.C. Sabathia winds up on the West Coast. 
  • Jeff Blair muses on Burnett in the Globe and Mail today.  He sees Burnett getting between $15-18MM per year, and more than the four years the Jays are willing to give.  Interesting note from Buster Olney last weekend – he says the Braves have been scouting Burnett closely.

Giants Leaning Toward Sabean For ’09

According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants’ new managing general partner Bill Neukom is expected to retain GM Brian Sabean for 2009.  The decision hasn’t been finalized though.  Andrew Baggarly expects Neukom to take his time to assess Sabean.

Craig Calcaterra weighs in on Schulman’s article over at AOL Fanhouse. Click here to download a spreadsheet of Sabean’s trade history.