Blog Entry

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

Posted on: November 29, 2011 5:13 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 5:28 pm
The news peg for the Giants on Tuesday was the ballclub extending the contracts of general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy through 2013, with club options for 2014.

That order of business out of the way, understand this as the Giants charge full-speed ahead -- such as it is -- toward building their 2012 team this winter: Those fabled splash hits at AT&T Park are a far different thing from a big splash free agent signing.

"There won't be a big splash," Sabean said on a conference call Tuesday afternoon. "We are in concert through Larry Baer [club president] and our partnership that our pitching is our gold standard.

"Whatever we attempt, we have to make sure we take care of that commodity first."

San Francisco's clear goal this winter is to beef up an offense that ranked 29th in the majors in runs scored last summer.

But that also likely will not include another free agent, one who finished 2011 with the Giants: Outfielder Carlos Beltran.

"A lot of conversations," Sabean said. "We're going to have a conference-call update [internal] on where we're at after this call.

"I would say it's a fluid situation, as well as other situations we're in on."

Baer confirmed that the Giants expect to manage a 2012 payroll of about $130 million, up a tick from the $125 million at which San Francisco finished the season. That doesn't leave much wiggle room for normal arbitration raises, let alone free agency.

"The best way to phrase it is, he is a consideration but [length of contract] will be an issue with anybody we pursue," Sabean said of Beltran. "Whether it's him or anybody else. We have a very definitive game plan on each conversation on what we think is a reasonable length."

As they look to upgrade their offense, the logical areas for the Giants -- who already have traded for Melky Cabrera this winter -- are a corner outfield slot or shortstop. One thing Sabean and Bochy will hash out in the coming days is whether they think Brandon Crawford, who started last season at Class A San Jose, is capable of playing there every day in the majors.

Sabean watched Crawford in the Arizona Fall League and was impressed with Crawford's progress, however incremental.

"Around the end of the Fall League, he certainly was impressive," Sabean said. "I was able to see him in person quite a bit. We know what his glove brings. He's trying like hell to make adjustments at home plate. Albeit it's not major league pitching, but he's doing what we asked him to do -- put the ball in play, [swing at pitches] at the belt and below and stay off of the high fastball, which has been his kryptonite."

Crawford hit .204 with 22 runs scored in 64 games for the Giants last season. But unless Sabean can find a hidden gem, it sounds like he may get a real shot this spring. Forget Reyes, Jimmy Rollins right now isn't a fit in San Francisco's payroll.

"It's going to be a function of what's left in the payroll, and what the price point is," Sabean said of Rollins. "Any acquisition is in the eyes of the beholder. A sticker-shock-type, I don't anticipate a big splash. Or let's say a household name, per se."

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:24 am

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'


I agree with you re: Posey but would urge you and other fans to keep things in perspective and temper your expectations.  Posey has not proven that he can CARRY a team offensively for periods at a time.  Posey is months removed from crutches and is finally back on the field.  He brings so many things to the table and will be a blast of fresh air. 

I dont think ANY sensible fan would hope to see Rollins in SF.  He IS from the Bay Area but his expected contract makes me hope that he does not come to play in it everyday. 

Crawford is not a comparison to Uribe...truly.  Defensively, no contest... Crawford may be Gold Glove material.  His offense MUST improve and even then he will be a 7 hitter at best. 

Freddie... he is the X factor and the guy the Giants need back second most.  His bat was missed.  I like the Keppinger pickup and would be happy with him on the roster again but Freddie is a pure hitter.

I strongly disagree on the Beltran acquisition and hope they can resign him.  No offense to Nate the Great but Beltran is a big time hitter and can carry a club if he gets hot.  He fielded very well and hits into the gap very well (a plus at AT&T).  The prospects they gave up will be the telling factor on that deal (obviously) but I liked the deal and thought it made sense.  Nate the Great will be solid but his offense is no where near Beltran's and Beltran's D is comparable to Nate's (not arms though). 

I hope that the Giants front office does not stand pat.  I hope that Giants fans dont root for a 2010 retread because that roster won't win it again.  They need MORE.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2011 11:50 am

Did Buster Posey die or something?

This is a team that lost its offensive leader the first week of May last year and still almost won the division.   Buster Posey coming back improves a position that hit in the 220 range last year at best, by approximately 100 points.   Sure, he's not a 35-40HR guy, but there are very few in the bigs that would hit that many HRs with AT&T as their home park.

Rollins would be an absolutely terrible decision, much like the Zito signing back when the signed him.   Anybody that thought Zito was worth what they paid him then surely sees now that it was the second worst move Sabean ever made, closely tracking when he traded Liriano, Nathan, and Bonser for AJ Pierzynski and his crybaby attitude.

If Crawford is going to hit 230-240, how much worse is that than Juan Uribe hit playing 3B and SS two years ago?   Admittedly the power numbers aren't there, but his glove more than makes up for it.  

Last, Freddie Sanchez, while aging, was still putting up impressive numbers for a 2B.   Last years team was robbed of its two best hitters and just didn't have enough to recover.  

Getting Beltran was also a terrible move, since his stipulation meant he was playing RF, and we all saw just how bad a decision that was.   Schierholtz's defensive prowess, mostly leveraging his incredible arm strength and accuracy makes him the ONLY option SF should look to for RF this season.    And when healthy, his offensive numbers aren't anything to be embarassed of.

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:13 am

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

400 miliion probably includes consessions, souveiners and parking sales. seems about right.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:13 am

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

As a  lifelong Giants fan, Sabean needs to be WRONG here.  If there is not a "big splash" made in the offseason, then the Giants will be no more than a second place team just like last season.  Their offense cannot produce runs OR scratch our runs to win.  They will need to retool things either way.  On % was too low to hope to claw out 1 run games every day.  Too many holes to not do something more.  I liked the Melky deal but come on...  LOL.  This needs to be a smoke screen to distract the other teams...  (fingers crossed).

Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:10 pm

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

sabean truthfully needs to get some people in that lineup cause right now they are a 4th place team right above the padres

The Giants will finish 2012 in 4th place in the NL West
The Phillies will not make the 2012 NL playoffs
The Cardinals will finish 2012 below .500 
The Rockies will win 100+ games in 2012
The Mets will win the NL East in 2012
The 2012 Diamondbacks will lose 100 games
The Nationals will be the NL WC in 2012 
The Dodgers will make the 2012 playoffs
The 2012 Braves will clinch the NL East before September 1st
The Brewers will finish 2012 with the best record in MLB     &n


Since: Jul 13, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:53 pm

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

i honestly think the giants are gonna sign rollins. i dont care what sabean is saying, and plus if you think you can win with JUST pitching then your crazy. and all this talk about pitching wins championships. no it doesnt. one year it did and that was when your giants did it in 2010. who won this year? cards(hitting). 09 was the yankees(hitting). 08 phillies(hitting). sabean truthfully needs to get some people in that lineup cause right now they are a 4th place team right above the padres. with beltran and rollins they are atleast a WC team.

IMO though i think they will sign rollins realizing crawford isnt good enough, and i think thats gonna hurt them cause rollins has no power anymore is losing his speed and doesnt hit for avg. hes basically a .265 hitter that steals 25 bases and plays good defense. giants need power in that lineup cause they have none whatsoever. so for san frans sake they better not sign jimmy to a 4 or 5 yr deal worth 13 a yr most likely. i would love to see it though cause i dont want him back in philly. i want them to make a big splash for a david wright or a hanley ramirez, maybe even a jose reyes. just not jimy im tired of seeing him dog it up the first base line.

But good luck this year giants. your division shouldnt be too hard to win so a couple solid bats could put you over the top in the NL WEST.

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:46 pm

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

You have one of the bast pitching staffs in all of baseball. You lose Posey during the year, and you can't hit at all. If you want to keep up with the other teams in the National League, you HAVE to get at least 2 competent hitters. It would also be nice if thy could also hit a HR more than once every two weeks. Good pitching beats good hitting 90% of the time. But you still have to score some runs. You don't need to go after Fielder or anybody with that kind of a pricetag, but you still need professional hitters. Hitters that can hit with men on base and in the 8th and 9th innings.

Since: Jul 20, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:38 pm

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

I thought we were a playoff team last year with Buster Posey in the lineup. Obviously he was missed, but with a helthy Panda and Posey, we have a legit 3-4 combination now. Throw in Nate in the 5 hole, BB in the 6 spot and Cabrera and Sanchez 1-2 and boom. We have the most legit lineup we have had since the home run king left. We didn't need to make a big splash this year. Just keep Timmy, Cain, Bumgarner and Vogelsong together. It would be nice to have a good hitting SS, but we won a world series without one. Offense wins games, defense (pitching) wins championships. Just ask the Rangers ;-). LETS GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:26 pm

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

There's nothing quite like ensuring that your pitchers' prime years will be wasted because of your own willful mediocrity.
I wouldn't call winning a World Series in 2010 wasted, exactly. Do you remember the last time the Giants won a World Series in SF? Me neither.

As the Giants jewel of a ballpark generates $400 million in cash, fans will have no idea that the ownership group is running away with the money instead of investing in a team that has a shot at a dynasty powered by Lincecum, Cain & Co.
$400 million in cash? Based on what? That's roughly $130 per ticket sold. You believe that's accurate, and if you do how much do you think it costs to run the Giants right now? I don't really care about the owners making money or not, I'm just curious about the basis for your comments.

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:30 pm

Giants' Sabean: 'I don't anticipate a big splash'

I think this is one of the dumbest things ever said on here, in so many ways.   Let's sign 2 firstbaseman who are allstars that will cost at least 40 million a year.  Why we are at let's trade for every superstar in the league

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