Brian Sabean Rumors
A few notes on the Giants from Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News...
- As Luke mentioned last night, Baggarly expects manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean to sign new contracts shortly.
- Baggarly asked a Giants executive with veto power whether he'd approve an Aaron Rowand for Milton Bradley trade. The exec said yes, which makes sense with Bradley owed $21MM and Rowand owed $36MM. Nonetheless Baggarly does not expect the Giants to get involved on Bradley due to potential team chemistry issues.
- Giants scouting director John Barr recently returned from Japan, where he observed hard-throwing high school southpaw Yusei Kikuchi. Baggarly expects the Giants to "make a legitimate run" at Kikuchi if he chooses MLB. The Giants are at least one of ten teams in on the pitcher.
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News has the goods on the Giants, after speaking with GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy.
- Technically, Sabean and Bochy's contracts are up at the end of the month. They don't have commitments for 2010 in hand, yet the expectation is that both will be back.
- In discussing Tim Lincecum's upcoming arbitration case, Sabean referenced Ryan Howard's record first-time award ($10MM) from February of '08. Of course, with Howard, the Phillies screwed up by submitting only $7MM. Sabean wants to file his salary request for Lincecum before discussing a long-term deal, so as to not show his hand early.
- Closer Brian Wilson is another first-time arbitration-eligible player, and you have to think he'll jump up to $5MM+.
- The Giants would like to restructure Freddy Sanchez's $8.1MM option into a two-year deal, but seem confident in his return. Baggarly says they even consider the option as a fallback if the restructuring fails. I can't see Sanchez getting $8.1MM on the open market.
- A Brad Penny return appears unlikely. If he sticks to the NL and the West Coast he'll be down to the Padres pretty much. It'd also be surprising to see the Giants re-sign catcher Bengie Molina, who wants a two-year deal worth more than $6MM annually.
- Sabean wouldn't rule out trading a pitcher for a bat, but said he'd agonize over such a decision.
- Brandon Medders, Justin Miller, and Ryan Garko are non-tender candidates. The Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner call-ups locked up two 40-man roster spots.
- Quoting Baggarly: Sabean justified the $18.5 million contract he gave [Edgar Renteria] last winter by saying they needed a veteran shortstop."
The San Francisco Giants will bring both General Manager Brian Sabean and Manager Bruce Bochy back for the 2010 season, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Sabean is completing his thirteenth season at the helm, while Bochy has been skipper for three seasons. Both have been the subject of rumors, but the unexpected challenge by the Giants for the Wild Card has likely been their savior.
Giants' Managing General Partner Bill Neukom also said he expected San Francisco's payroll to rise in 2010.
The Giants have about $28MM coming off the books for 2010, between Dave Roberts, Bengie Molina, Randy Winn and Randy Johnson. Of course, the arbitration eligibility of Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson will eat into that number significantly.
- Chat today, 2pm CST.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spoke with commissioner Bud Selig, who was adamant that the Pirates are not pocketing their profits.
- Pirates starter Zach Duke was pulled last night from an 11-1 game, one out away from a complete game, with 103 pitches thrown. Talking to Kovacevic, team president Frank Coonelly "strongly rejected" the idea that manager John Russell made the move to weaken Duke's bargaining position at the arbitration table. Joe Posnanski questions Russell's explanation of his decision.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News feels that Giants managing partner Bill Neukom will retain GM Brian Sabean when that decision comes due in a week.
- Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks is strongly opposed to moving to center field, according to Anthony Witrado of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Weeks has explained his stance to GM Doug Melvin.
- Nomar Garciaparra told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle he hasn't thought about whether he'll play next year. Slusser says Nomar won't be back in Oakland, regardless.
- Reliever Doug Brocail is also undecided about 2010, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. An upcoming MRI on Brocail's shoulder will influence his decision.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive right on in...
- Southpaws Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw are likely to start the first two games of the playoffs for the Dodgers, but Kershaw must recover from his dislocated non-throwing shoulder first. The back-to-back lefties would be a big advantage if LA played the lefthanded hitter heavy Phillies. Rosenthal also mentions that the Cardinals, despite being so righty heavy, have the second lowest team OPS (.675) against lefthanded pitchers in the National League.
- Hiroki Kuroda would likely start game three for the Dodgers, followed by either Vicente Padilla or Jon Garland. Chad Billinglsey will likely be left out of the rotation.
- The Cards have put their contract extension talks with Mark DeRosa on hold until the offseason, making it more likely that he'll become a free agent. The deal St. Louis originally proposed was less than the three-year, $17.5MM contract Casey Blake received as a free agent last offseason. DeRosa is a year younger now than Blake was then, but the offseason wrist surgery he is scheduled to have makes the situation cloudy.
- The Cubs will be open to "anything and everything" this offseason, including trading Milton Bradley and/or Carlos Zambrano. Anything to improve the club, basically. However, perhaps the only way the Cubs could unload Bradley would be to take on another underachieving, overpaid player in return.
- Zambrano has a full no-trade clause and is owed $54MM over the next three years, but he's still only 28-years-old and still incredibly talented. The free agent market for starting pitching is thin, which may work in Chicago's favor. Big Z might be appealing at the right price.
- Ken Macha will likely remain with the Brewers, but at least four other managers are in danger of being fired. The list starts with Cecil Cooper of the Astros, and also includes Jim Riggleman of the Nationals, Dave Trembley of the Orioles, and Eric Wedge of the Indians.
- Among general managers, Ned Colletti of the Dodgers, Brian Sabean of the Giants, and Dan O'Dowd of the Rockies are all without contracts for next year, and two of them are going to the postseason. The only GM that appears to be in jeopardy of losing his job is J.P. Ricciardi of the Blue Jays.
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.
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.
Links for Monday...
- In his first post for RotoAuthority, David Chase looks at players who were said to have lost weight or gained muscle during Spring Training '08. How did they perform in '08?
- The Red Sox inked infielder Nick Green to a minor league deal.
- Murray Chass explains why the New York Times Company's purchase of a share of the Red Sox was a conflict of interest.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik: "We’ve got an offer out right now for a piece of the puzzle, and I’d hope to hear in the next few days."
- David Laurila talked to new Mariners exec Tony Blengino. One of many interesting quotes (in reference to the Bill Bavasi regime and the '07 club): "I thought that it was clear going in that, with all due respect, they overrated their team from the last year."
The Yankees will introduce Mark Teixeira tomorrow. He passed his physical today.
- River Ave. Blues and Peter Abraham ask whether the Yankees should consider Andruw Jones. Evan Brunell looks at other possible fits.
- The Dodgers talked to the Cubs about Jason Marquis, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
- Pirates president Frank Coonelly joins Mark Attanasio (Brewers) and Drayton McLane (Astros) in supporting a salary cap.
- Jeff Moorad might be aggressive in the draft if he takes over the Padres. Tom Krasovic adds that the Padres have already discussed spending up to $6MM on their #3 pick this June.
- Keith Law likes the Angels' Brian Fuentes signing, and doesn't think the Indians gave up much for Mark DeRosa.
- If the Indians are to add another significant player, they'll have to get creative with contracts.
- RAB and In Mo We Trust discuss Kevin Kernan's recent suggestion that the Yanks sign Oliver Perez over Andy Pettitte.
- A couple of recent Hot Stove Dailies from Jeff Passan: the Braves and A's.
- Athletics Nation asks whether Brian Sabean is "out-GMing" Billy Beane this winter.
- Sox Machine on why the Gavin Floyd-Brian Roberts rumor makes no sense.
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.
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 MLB.com asked Giants general manager Brian Sabean about the possibility after signing Johnson.
"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.