Tag:Giants
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:33 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 1:51 pm
 

Giants' Sabean: 'We owed it to the city'

Anywhere you went this spring in Scottsdale, all you saw was orange and black. Anywhere you go this season when the Giants are on the road, you see orange and black.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean wasn't just blowing smoke when he said on the conference call to announce the Carlos Beltran trade, "We owed it to the city."

Look, I realize, teams don't just make trades to appease their fans. If they did, the Indians would be moving all their prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez, which is what many of their fans seem to want (even though it would be stupid).

But Sabean, traditionally cautious in moving his top prospects, understands where the Giants stand right now. He realizes that after winning the World Series last year, and with a pitching staff capable of getting them back there this year, this was the time for a bold move.

Sabean hates acquiring rental players, but he understands this is a different situation.

"We're at an interesting point in time," he said Thursday.

Yes, they are. And Sabean understands as well as anyone that it's a general manager's responsibility to read that calendar, and react properly to it.

He understands that the Giants have sold out every home game this season, that they're riding a high and ought to capitalize on it.

When I asked on Twitter the other day whether Beltran was worth a top prospect, given that the Giants could make it to the playoffs with or without him, a Giants fan quickly wrote back, "Back-to-back world champions sounds a lot better than back-to-back division titles."

Beltran doesn't guarantee the Giants anything, but this trade shows Sabean was serious about giving his team its best chance to win.

"Hopefully, this shows that we mean business," he said. "If I was a player, I'd appreciate it. And I think about them."

Sabean isn't necessarily done. The Giants would still love to upgrade, and could do so at any of three spots (catcher, shortstop or center field). But according to sources, nothing is close to hot at the moment on any of those fronts.

That's fine. If the Giants just get Beltran, they're a winner at this trade deadline.

Zack Wheeler, the prospect the Giants gave up for Beltran, is a big "get" for the Mets. But he's also still in Class A.

"It's our job to find another Wheeler, develop another Wheeler," he said.

The Giants have been outstanding at developing pitching, as their strong rotation shows. Dick Tidrow, Sabean's pitching guru, is mostly responsible.

Tidrow assured Sabean that the Giants have enough depth to make up for the loss of Wheeler, The Giants decided they would rather part with a pitcher than a position player.

They knew they wanted Beltran, "the player we coveted all along," according to Sabean.

And they knew the time was right for a move like this.

"We owed it to the city," Sabean said.

And he's right.

Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 2:30 pm
 

Rasmus could interest Nats, Giants

It's still not clear whether the Cardinals will trade Colby Rasmus. But there's no doubt that the Cardinals are very willing to talk about Colby Rasmus.

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday, Rasmus has drawn interest from the White Sox. According to sources, they're not alone.

The Giants and Nationals are both watching Rasmus during this week's series against the Astros, and the Cards made sure to put Rasmus in the lineup Monday night (he even had a good game).

For the Giants, Rasmus appears to be strictly a backup plan. Carlos Beltran remains the Giants' top target.

The Nationals could be a more interesting team to watch, because they have long been searching for a center fielder and Rasmus fits the prototype favored by Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. Also, the Nats have pitching that they could trade (starters Jason Marquis and John Lannan have been mentioned by other teams as being available, as well as reliever Tyler Clippard).

For the Cardinals to trade Rasmus, they would likely need to get immediate pitching help in return. The bullpen continues to be a problem (the Cards have 19 blown saves, tied for second in the majors). Either a starter or a reliever (or relievers) could help, because the Cards could move Kyle McClellan from the rotation to the bullpen.

Rasmus has talent, but he hasn't exactly fit in with manager Tony La Russa. Scouts watching the Cardinals last weekend took notice when La Russa allowed reliever Jason Motte to bat in a situation where he could have used Rasmus as a pinch hitter, then put Rasmus in the game as strictly a defensive replacement.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 9:01 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 11:16 pm
 

3 to Watch: The White Sox (or white flag) edition

The White Sox are having the most disappointing season in baseball. The White Sox could still win the American League Central.

The White Sox could be 1 1/2 games out of first place by Wednesday. Or the White Sox could be sellers by Wednesday.

It's a time of year where things change quickly, with teams assessing their needs and chances daily.

Even by that standard, the White Sox are a team to watch this week.

They begin the week two games under .500, and 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Tigers. The Tigers are in Chicago for three games starting Monday night.

By the time the series ends Wednesday, the White Sox could be a true contender. Or they could be so far out of it that they go into full sell mode, looking to deal a pitcher like Edwin Jackson and perhaps outfielder Carlos Quentin.

Or maybe they're still left guessing whether they're in it or not. Maybe all they can do is to contemplate possible deals like the one the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Sunday, where they would trade a major leaguer for another major leaguer (in this case, a pitcher like Jackson for Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus).

There are other teams to watch this week, notably the Rays, who have fallen 6 1/2 games out in the wild-card race after losing two of three in Kansas City. But the Rays were already telling teams that they don't plan to move pitcher James Shields.

But no team has been as disappointing this year as the White Sox, and no team will be as interesting to follow over the next few days.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. Partly because of the trade deadline, and partly because Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee won't start in the series, the Giants' visit to Philadelphia doesn't feel as big as it probably should. It's still worth watching, and it's worth noting that the Phillies allowed fewer runs over the first 100 games of the season (332) than any team since the 1989 Dodgers. Vance Worley is one of the surprising reasons for that, and Worley faces Tim Lincecum in Giants at Phillies, Tuesday night (7:05 ET) at Citizens Bank Park.

2. The White Sox began the second half by beating Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer on back-to-back days in Detroit, then missed a chance to sweep the series when they lost to Brad Penny. They get Verlander and Scherzer again in this series, with Verlander facing Mark Buehrle in Tigers at White Sox, Tuesday night (8:10 ET) at U.S. Cellular Field. Also worth watching: Jake Peavy's velocity when he faces the Tigers on Wednesday. In Peavy's last start, in Kansas City, his average fastball was below 90 mph.

3. The Mariners are also a team to watch this week, and not just because they've lost a club-record 15 straight. On a market short of starting pitcher, the M's have made Jason Vargas and Doug Fister available, and those two start Monday and Tuesday against the Yankees. They have not made Felix Hernandez available, and they're hoping that Felix won't be trying to break a 17-game losing streak when he faces Phil Hughes in Mariners at Yankees, Wednesday afternoon (1:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be hoping that Hughes looks a lot better than he did in his last start, last Friday against the A's. The M's have won each of Hernandez's last five starts against the Yankees.



Posted on: July 24, 2011 9:00 pm
 

3 to Watch: The White Sox (or white flag) edition

The White Sox are having the most disappointing season in baseball. The White Sox could still win the American League Central.

The White Sox could be 1 1/2 games out of first place by Wednesday. Or the White Sox could be sellers by Wednesday.

It's a time of year where things change quickly, with teams assessing their needs and chances daily.

Even by that standard, the White Sox are a team to watch this week.

They begin the week two games under .500, and 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Tigers. The Tigers are in Chicago for three games starting Monday night.

By the time the series ends Wednesday, the White Sox could be a true contender. Or they could be so far out of it that they go into full sell mode, looking to deal a pitcher like Edwin Jackson and perhaps outfielder Carlos Quentin.

Or maybe they're still left guessing whether they're in it or not. Maybe all they can do is to contemplate possible deals like the one the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Sunday, where they would trade a major leaguer for another major leaguer (in this case, a pitcher like Jackson for Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus).

There are other teams to watch this week, notably the Rays, who have fallen 6 1/2 games out in the wild-card race after losing two of three in Kansas City.

But no team has been as disappointing this year as the White Sox, and no team will be as interesting to follow over the next few days.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. Partly because of the trade deadline, and partly because Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee won't start in the series, the Giants' visit to Philadelphia doesn't feel as big as it probably should. It's still worth watching, and it's worth noting that the Phillies allowed fewer runs over the first 100 games of the season (332) than any team since the 1989 Dodgers. Vance Worley is one of the surprising reasons for that, and Worley faces Tim Lincecum in Giants at Phillies, Tuesday night (7:05 ET) at Citizens Bank Park.

2. The White Sox began the second half by beating Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer on back-to-back days in Detroit, then missed a chance to sweep the series when they lost to Brad Penny. They get Verlander and Scherzer again in this series, with Verlander facing Mark Buehrle in Tigers at White Sox, Tuesday night (8:10 ET) at U.S. Cellular Field. Also worth watching: Jake Peavy's velocity when he faces the Tigers on Wednesday. In Peavy's last start, in Kansas City, his average fastball was below 90 mph.

3. The Mariners are also a team to watch this week, and not just because they've lost a club-record 15 straight. On a market short of starting pitcher, the M's have made Jason Vargas and Doug Fister available, and those two start Monday and Tuesday against the Yankees. They have not made Felix Hernandez available, and they're hoping that Felix won't be trying to break a 17-game losing streak when he faces Phil Hughes in Mariners at Yankees, Wednesday afternoon (1:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be hoping that Hughes looks a lot better than he did in his last start, last Friday against the A's. The M's have won each of Hernandez's last five starts against the Yankees.


Posted on: July 24, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Putting 15 straight losses in perspective

The Yankees have been around for 111 years, and they've never lost 15 games in a row.

Neither have Cubs or the White Sox, or the Indians or the Giants (New York or San Francisco).

It's not unheard of for a team to lose 15 in a row, but it's not exactly common. And it's not good.

When the Mariners lost their 15th straight Sunday in Boston, they became just the 12th team in the last 50 years with a losing streak that long. Ten of the previous 11 went on to lose 100 games, while the 11th (the 1982 Mets) lost 97.

What kind of team loses 15 straight? Teams like the infamous 1962 Mets, who went on to lose 120. Teams like the 1988 Orioles, who lost 21 straight to start the season.

The Mariners' streak is the longest in the big leagues since the 2005 Royals lost 19 straight, and ties the third longest in the last 30 years. If they lose Monday in New York, the Mariners will become just the fifth team in the last 40 years to lose at least 16 straight.

It's already a club record -- and it would already be a club record for 13 of the other 29 big-league teams.

The Yankees club record is 13, set in 1913. They haven't even lost 10 in a row since then.

The White Sox club record is 13, set in 1924. The Giants' is also 13, set in 1902 and tied in 1944. The Indians set a record with 12 straight losses in 1931.

The Mariners have only been around since 1978.

Oh, and those other teams that have never had a 15-game losing streak? Here's the list:

Angels, Astros, Blue Jays, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Padres and Rockies.


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 24, 2011 1:22 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Beltran derby into final days, Rangers interested

With the Carlos Beltran derby heading into the final days, there were suggestions Sunday that the Phillies' interest has cooled, that the Rangers' interest has picked up and that the Giants are still heavily involved.

Meanwhile, the Mets continue to hold out hope that one team or another will agree to surrender its top prospect in return for Beltran, who is the best hitter on the free-agent market but is also strictly a rental player.

Beltran must approve any trade, and as many others have reported, his preference is to stay in the National League. But one person close to him said Sunday that it's possible that Beltran would approve a deal to the Rangers.

Texas fits some of Beltran's stated criteria, since the Rangers are likely to be in the playoffs and have a real chance of getting to the World Series. Also, the Rangers could offer Beltran regular playing time in the outfield, either by playing Beltran in center field or (more likely) by moving Josh Hamilton back to center.

Earlier this month, the Rangers seemed most focused on adding pitching, either in the rotation or the bullpen. They talked to the Rockies about Ubaldo Jimenez, and discussed relievers with the Padres.

But the Rangers sent a scout in to see Beltran at the end of the Mets' homestand last week, and by Sunday one rival official was suggesting that the Rangers could even be the favorite, because they had more prospects available and also could take on more of Beltran's salary.

The Braves, Red Sox, Pirates and even the Reds have been mentioned in connection with Beltran.

Because Beltran is easily the biggest impact hitter on the market, the Mets can justify asking for the world. What works against them actually getting it is that both the Giants and the Rangers (and the Phillies, for that matter) will very likely make the playoffs with or without a Beltran trade.

For those teams, the question is how much better Beltran would make them in October, and how much that's worth in terms of giving up top prospects.

The Mets are said by sources to have asked for pitcher Zack Wheeler from the Giants. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, they asked for first Domonic Brown and then Jarred Cosart from the Phillies. It's no surprise that the Phils said no on both. There were also reports that the Mets had asked for Mike Minor from the Braves, and again it's no surprise that the Braves said no.

Posted on: July 22, 2011 7:20 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 7:40 pm
 

As DeJesus knows, injuries can change everything

NEW YORK -- The other night at Citi Field, the subject was Carlos Beltran.

"They can wait [to trade him], but they'd better hope he doesn't get hurt," one scout said.

Yeah, like David DeJesus did.

It was a year ago Friday. DeJesus was with the Royals then, and they were working on a deal that would send him to the Giants. Then DeJesus ran into a wall at Yankee Stadium, hurting his thumb, ending his season and quickly putting an end to those trade talks.

"It was crazy," DeJesus said Friday, back at Yankee Stadium with the A's.

He says he didn't think about what might have been, even after the Giants went on to win the World Series. But he remembers July 22, 2010 vividly, and especially the third-inning Derek Jeter fly ball that changed so much.

"I can pretty much still see the play," DeJesus said. "I caught it, and my glove slid across the padding. And my thumb jammed. It started blowing up. They X-rayed it, and right away they told me is was a Grade 3 tear."

DeJesus was traded to the A's last winter, and he could be traded again this month, although his .229 batting average makes him less attractive than he was when he was hitting .318.


Posted on: July 20, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:38 pm
 

Beltran is the big prize on trade market

The Mets aren't interested in trading Jose Reyes, who would have been the best player available on this July's trade market.

They will trade Carlos Beltran, the best hitter available on the market.

"He's the impact guy," said an official of one of the many teams hoping to acquire Beltran.

Beltran, who entered play Wednesday with 14 home runs and 59 RBI in 91 games, is good enough that even teams without a real need in the outfield have sent scouts to see him, just in case. The Rangers had a scout at Citi Field on Wednesday, even though their main focus this month has been on acquiring pitching.

The list of teams that could end up with Beltran remains a long one. The Phillies may be the most aggressive suitor, as Jon Heyman of SI.com has suggested, but the Red Sox, Giants and Braves are all still believed to be in the running. The Phillies and Giants both have had scouts in New York all week, and the Red Sox were in to see Beltran last weekend.

The Tigers and Pirates are also said to have shown interest, but the Tigers' focus continues to be on acquiring a starting pitcher, and it's not clear that Beltran would approve a deal to the Pirates. Beltran has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but it's believed he would agree to go to any of the other contenders.

The Mets are almost certain to deal Beltran, because he will be a free agent at the end of the season and won't be back in 2012, in any case. Also, they wouldn't get any draft picks as compensation when he signs elsewhere, because of a clause in his contract that doesn't allow him to be offered arbitration (and a high salary that probably would have kept them from offering it, anyway).

Because Beltran is the best hitter on the market, the Mets can try to hold out for a big price for Beltran, even though he's a true rental player. They have also suggested to teams that they would be willing to pay some or most of his contract, depending on the players they get in return.


For more trade deadline news, click here.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com