Brian Sabean Rumors
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.
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.
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.
A few articles today take a look at some GM positions in '09 that will have new faces...
- Michael Radano takes a look at who might fill the GM post for the Phillies in '09. Based on the Phillies current success, Radano wonders if they should just promote from within. That would mean one of the team's assistant GMs, Mike Arbuckle and Ruben Amaro Jr. Both Arbuckle and Amaro have interviewed with other teams for open GM positions in the past.
- Rick Freeman takes a look at the names most likely to end up as the GM in Seattle (John Hart, Gerry Hunsicker, Kevin Towers, Kim Ng) and the Phillies (Hunsicker, Arbuckle, Amaro Jr) noting that Hunsicker was the leading candidate for the same post three years ago prior to the hiring of Pat Gillick. He also notes that Kevin Towers will not likely be kept from interviewing with other teams this time around and Ned Colletti could be gone if the Dodgers miss the playoffs. Among the GMs that Freeman believes will remain with their current teams are Brian Sabean, Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein, the latter two of whom are in the final year of their respective contracts.
- A blogger interviewed Paul DePodesta. The Padres assistant General Manager sounds like somebody that has no interest in becoming a GM for another organization, saying "I think I’ve moved around enough and when you land in a place like San Diego there isn’t much incentive to leave. The reality is that I came here for a number of reasons, both professional (the people who work here) and personal (my wife’s family), so unless those things change I would like to stay here as long as they’ll have me." DePodesta may be waiting for Towers to move to another organization.
MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz has finished compiling Brian Sabean's trade history. Click to download in Excel form. Let us know in the comments if you see any errors or omissions.
Previous GMs in the series:
Let's take a look at what is being said about some recent rumors, trades and signings in the Blogosphere...
- Right Field Bleachers sees the signing of Ryan Braun and Corey Hart to long-term deals as a "must" for the Brewers.
- Brewers Nation sees the Braun deal as evidence that Prince Fielder will not sign an extension even if the two situations are very different.
- Oleanders and Morning Glories thinks that if Nats' management was hoping to sign Ryan Zimmerman to a Troy Tulowitzki-type deal, Braun's deal may have raised the bar.
- Squawking Baseball sees the recent trend in giving long-term deals to young stars and wonders if the absence of top-level free agents in a few years will drive up free agency prices. If that happens, players may stop signing these extensions and the market will correct itself...The point is valid, but these players will still become free agents eventually. The difference is only that they will be free agents in their age 30 season (approximately) instead of their age 28 season. If there is a correction, it will only be minimal and would only last a year or two.
- The Tribe Time Report explains why Matt Holliday would be a perfect fit for the Indians even if it is only for a season and a half.
- Friar Forum does not seem surprised about the notion of the Padres selling off pieces sooner, rather than later. However, they would be surprised to see Kevin Kouzmanoff moved, noting that it is much more likely that the slew of free agents-to-be will be shipped to other clubs.
- The Southpaw would love to see the Jays make a push for Khalil Greene, but their scenario is contingent on the Padres also dealing Kouzmanoff.
- Sorry we missed this before, but in light of Brian Sabean's recent comments, I felt it was worth noting that Bucs Dugout has been running a series of polls to determine the worst GM in baseball. The finals featured Sabean easily out-distancing his opponent, Ed Wade of the Astros.
Here are some various trade rumors that didn't quite have enough behind them for individual posts.
- There's a gossip section in the Boston Herald called Inside Track, written by Gayle Fee, Laura Raposa, and Erin Hayes. They heard that Coco Crisp told fans at the recent Division Champs celebration that he expects to be dealt this winter to make room for Jacoby Ellsbury. By most accounts Crisp has developed into a fine defensive center fielder, and he's under contract for $4.75MM in '08, $5.75MM in '09, and an $8MM club option in '10. Perhaps Crisp could be used to acquire a third baseman in the event that Mike Lowell leaves and the Red Sox can't sign A-Rod.
- Phil Wood of the Washington Examiner speculates that the Nationals could get in on Jason Bay. Not the worst idea, but the Nats don't seem to have the available young pitching for the deal.
- Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution likes the Nate Robertson to Atlanta idea, tossing Joe Blanton and Shaun Marcum into the mix as other options.
- Bob Wickman may quietly retire, bumming out these guys.
- El Lefty Malo dissects recent comments from Giants GM Brian Sabean.
- Peter Abraham suggests the Mets trade Carlos Beltran for pitching.
One thing's for sure: Sabean is due to make some deals. He's yet to make a single trade in 2006. He waited til May last year, but ended up making eight trades in 2005. Sabean typically makes about five trades per calendar year.
Of his 26 trades since 2001, Sabean has dealt with 18 different GMs. He's not one to just stick to his buddies. As far as popular trading partners, Doug Melvin tops the list. Melvin has completed four trades with Sabean, all fairly minor (Doug Mirabelli, Eric Young, Wayne Franklin, Dave Burba). Sabean has also made multiple trades with Mike Flanagan, Jim Hendry, Bill Stoneman, and Kenny Williams.
The Giants need some help at first base, with Todd Walker and Phil Nevin surfacing as options. Sabean is not afraid to make a splash at the deadline, with such acquisitions as Jason Schmidt, Kenny Lofton, Sidney Ponson, and Randy Winn under his belt from previous Julys.
Sabean beat out the Cubs and Twins for Schmidt in '01. To get Ponson in '03, Sabean dealt with competition from the Braves and traded one of his best prospects in Kurt Ainsworth.