If you’ve read Andrew Baggarly’s piece or Hank Schulman’s piece on the Baer interview, you’re probably all caught up on the news, so I’ll do my best to throw in my opinions as we go along so you don’t feel like you’re reading the same thing over, and over, and over again.
One of the many elephants in the room is the Los Angeles Dodgers and their sky-high payroll. The Giants brass will not, as Baer put it, “match them dollar for dollar,” and any baseball fan will tell you that having the highest payroll doesn’t buy you a championship, but it can definitely better your odds. Even though we shouldn’t expect the Giants to try and sign the biggest free agent out there, what Baer said (emphasis mine), was pretty important to put away for later:
“You can look at where the Dodgers are now. If you look at their track and other teams’ tracks, it’s pretty wild swings. There was a period recently before the new Dodgers ownership that we were $30-40 million ahead of them. They’ve gone up, they’ve gone down. I don’t know where they’re going to go from here. Maybe they’re going to go way up. We think we can get it done with a plan where each year, as long as business stays strong, we can go up. But we’re not looking for wild swings up, because usually what that necessitates is wild swings down.”
Baer said ownership is willing to spend more money in midseason to acquire players if the Giants are in the hunt.
“There’s some firepower left if warranted,” he said.
This saves the whole world a blog post later if the Giants are trying to add an outfielder, a starting pitcher, or maybe even a high-priced reliever. It saves us the speculation of saying, “Can the Giants add the contract of this player that has almost eight digits of dollars of money left for 2014.” We’re just left to wonder how much money equals “some firepower.” I also found the first sentence I bolded pretty insightful. It may not be my money they’re spending, but as a fan, I also don’t want to see the Giants in a rut because of their spending.
Baer doesn’t think Pablo Sandoval is necessarily gone from the Giants if an extension doesn’t get done. After all, Hunter Pence‘s deal still got done right before Pence hit the market. I agree with Baer here. I don’t see why a deal has to be impossible. If Pablo sees the Giants throwing out stupid money to him like they did to Lincecum, why should he say no? For those wanting the draft pick instead of Pablo, I’m guessing you haven’t seen what’s out there on the 3B market (or in-house) that could replace Pablo. It’s not good.
The A’s and Giants possibly sharing a park if the A’s need somewhere to go while they build a new stadium (if they ever get there) would be a nice gesture. It would give A’s fans a chance to watch baseball where baseball should be played: in a baseball stadium. Kind of like how Candlestick was the dump that belonged to Giants fans, the Coliseum is the dump that belongs to the A’s fans. Except their dump is probably starting to smell like one.
Not from the report that the beat writers talked about, but on the radio today I heard Baer mention that teams were calling the Giants about Brandon Belt. A player going into his first arbitration year that’s just starting to blossom? Why wouldn’t you want one of those? Not everybody has a Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, or Paul Goldschmidt on their team, so you can understand the need for the teams to kick the tires on Belt. Baer told Flem and Jon that the Giants made it clear Belt belongs to the Giants without saying the word “untouchable,” that’s what it seems like Belt was this winter.
Speaking of the Giants and the A’s, the Giants lost 10-5 today to the A’s. I’d recap it for you, but I didn’t watch it, nor did many other people outside of Scottsdale.