A Wild 24 Hours

On a day when the Giants gave their minor league players a day off from conditioning camp after one of their team vans was involved in an accident, I think it fitting to take a day off from the Cove Chatter 100 prospect lists. If you missed all the commotion this morning, here’s the write-up over at CSN Bay Area. Fortunately, all of the players that were taken to the hospital (Mejia, Bandilla, Soptic, Tomlinson, and Slania) were released without any serious injuries.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter which players were in that van. What matters is their safety. The pictures of the car that hit them aren’t pretty… what a scary situation. This is one blog that is sure thankful those guys are all safe.

In other, not so stressful baseball news, it’s been a very busy 24 hours for the hot stove. Last night was the non-tender deadline for MLB, and the Giants were pretty generous with their contracts. No surprise that Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco, Yusmeiro Petit, and Joaquin Arias were re-upped, but it was a bit of a shocker to me (and likely a few others) that Tony Abreu was tendered a contract. I guess Sabes doesn’t think too highly of the infield market… not enough to cut ties with Abreu – who really didn’t provide much support last year – anyway.

While all five of the arbitration-eligible guys were awarded contracts, Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero were sent packing last night. The Giants apparently couldn’t find a trade partner for Peguero, as they did with Johnny Monell (Baltimore). I’m sure someone will offer Peguero a minor league contract eventually, but his MLB future is very much in doubt at this point. Rosario’s time as a professional has sort of become a revolving door, as I remember his name popping up on numerous waiver claims last winter. He’s a guy I’d take a chance on, but the Giants seem to be looking for more stability from the bullpen next year… I can’t blame them.

So… it would appear that the same reserve infield/outfield issues still loom for the Giants going forward. Let’s assume for a second that Arias and Blanco have two of those spots locked up (which I think is a safe bet). If that’s the case, you still have Juan Perez, Brett Pill, Ehire Adrianza (who is out of options), Nick Noonan, and now Abreu all fighting for the final two spots… plus any other IF/OF Sabean decides to bring in before camp. I don’t know about you, but I sure hope there are more moves to come, even if it’s a guy like Mark Ellis, who I’d gladly take over Abreu to back-up Scutaro at 2B. Abreu and Adrianza are both switch hitters, but Abreu can’t stay healthy, and Adrianza’s ability at the plate is TBD. This is going to get a little messy, friends, and likely won’t be decided until spring.

Around the league, there really weren’t all that many interesting names on the non-tender lists… again, let me show you my surprised face. Noticeably absent from those lists were Justin Ruggiano and Drew Stubbs, two guys who I could see as decent fits to platoon with Blanco in LF. If Sabes is interested in either of those two (which is purely speculation at this points), he’ll have to acquire them in a trade.

The few non-tender players who do intrigue me: Justin Turner, John Axford, Wesley Wright, Daniel Hudson, Andrew Bailey, Jerome Williams. Among this list, I think Turner could be a nice fit (although I seriously don’t know the priority for middle infielders now that Abreu was tendered). He plays all over the diamond, seems to be passable on defense, and is accustomed to a reserve role. The OBP isn’t all that great, but the positional flexibility would be nice. The rest of these cats are pitchers. Hudson isn’t very far removed from a pretty darn good season with Arizona. Axford, Wright and Bailey could all be valuable pieces in a bullpen, but Bailey especially comes with the high injury risk. I would think all three of those guys will find a home pretty quickly. Finally, if the Giants want a little more depth in the rotation heading into spring training, Williams could be a nice full-circle story on a minor league deal. I didn’t really find much else that caught my eye… remember, these are the guys that other teams DIDN’T want.

We’ll wrap up with a quick overview of the recent trade/FA signing action. To my knowledge, there have been approximately 250 moves in the past 48 hours – and those are just from the office of Billy Beane. Seriously, though, the past couple days have been trade central. The A’s (Jim Johnson, Craig Gentry, Luke Gregerson) and Rays (Ryan Hanigan, Heath Bell) have certainly been the most active, but the Nats probably swung the biggest deal in snagging Doug Fister from the Tigers. Fister is a very nice addition to that rotation.

If we’re learning anything here, there are certainly trades to be had out there. The winter meetings are next week, and I sure as hell hope Uncle Sabes is working on that shopping list for a LF. Even if it’s a Ruggiano type, I don’t care. I’m not satisfied with a Blanco/Perez platoon, and I hope you aren’t either. Maybe the front office will completely surprise us with a trade nobody was expecting. They sure have enough interesting prospects to snag a decent player, but whether they’ll pull those strings or not remains to be seen.

We’ll pick back up with the CC 100 tomorrow, with another honorable mention list to be released. For now, though, we’re just thankful here at Cove Chatter that those prospects are safe, and still able to play the game they (and we) all love.

Tony Abreu

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9 thoughts on “A Wild 24 Hours”

  1. Another great post from the newest sensation in the world of Giants blogs.

    Pill and Adrianza without options makes things interesting. If Jemile Weeks can net a 10 mil/50 save closer, what can Sabes get done?

    Big week plus ahead for “Uncle Sabes”. Hope he comes out from his bear cave.

    1. Thanks for the compliment. I agree, there has to be something out there… Maybe we’ll find out during the meetings. Some of those moves from the A’s really surprised me, and I don’t understand the Choice for Gentry deal at all.

      1. That Gentry trade is a bit of a head scratcher, I agree. One, clearly it shows that they gave up on Choice doing anything much in the majors, Gentry isn’t that great a player, though great enough defensively that he could add 2 WAR in limited playing time.

        And that is where I see the key of the trade for the A’s. I see it as a way to backup the loss of any of the starting OF with someone who, while not much of a hitter, really picks it in the OF. Plus, as backup OF, he could be brought into games late to replace poor defensive OF in close games, since pitching is part of their strong areas (though not strong enough, IMO, not like the Giants in 2009-2012).

        The Giants might have someone like that in Perez if he can just hold his own hitting, at least enough to be replacement level. His defense is off the charts in 2013, and that might be why the Giants are content drawling the trade market for LF, they plan on platooning Blanco/Perez in LF, with Perez replacing Pagan or Pence late in games for defensive purposes.

      2. A player like Gentry certainly has value, but yeah, I just don’t see how he could command a prospect like Choice. Interesting.

        I love Perez in the field. Honestly, he’s probably the best defensive outfielder in the entire organization. But the fact that we have no idea whether he’ll be able to hold his own with the bat makes me hope like hell Sabean is serious about acquiring someone else. I’m already not very pleased with Blanco seeing the majority of the AB’s, but supplementing that with Perez is not a wise move (yet), in my opinion. I would gladly give Perez a roster spot, but I wouldn’t give him a starting spot based on what we saw at the plate last season.

    2. The difference here is that Weeks was the A’s #5 top prospect in BA as recent as their 2011 ranking, and has one good MLB season on the back of his baseball card. And he was a first round, 12th pick overall.

      These Giants don’t have such pedigree. Pill was never in the Top 10, and he was drafted way down in the draft, plus has not had a good extended season in the majors yet. Adrianza was 5th in 2011, but then 9th in 2012, then 24th in 2013, and has hardly any MLB experience.

      Plus, Weeks is not the main reason they netted a $10M closer, it was because the A’s was willing to take on a $10M salary that got the deal done too.

  2. I like Ruggiano. Even with his .220 BA he hit 15 HR and stole 18 bases and his BABIP suggests he might have some bounceback in there. If there is some other deal out there to upgrade LF that won’t cost Kyle Crick, that would be great. If not, I am actually satisfied with a Blanco/Perez or Blanco/Pill platoon(Ducks and runs).

    1. I think I’ve accepted the notion that there’s probably going to be a platoon in left again. The defense is great DrB, but I just don’t see the offensive upside from those options. I know we could do much worse than Blanco, but I’m not satisfied with settling for Pill or Perez as the other half of that platoon. I really do like Perez, and I’d be happy with him forcing himself into a bigger role, but right now I’d like at least one more proven player out there… and with all the recent trades, I know there’s got to be something out there for Sabean.

      1. Well, Chris Haft seems to think Sabes is going to be going after an OF at the Winter Meetings, so let’s wait and see what he comes up with. We might actually like it!

  3. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/sf/five-giants-minor-leaguers-ok-after-arizona-car-collision?ymd=20131203&content_id=64353292&vkey=news_sf

    This lists all the players who were injured. Also, your CSN link was updated to include the same names. Bryce Bandilla, Adalberto Mejia, Dan Slania, Jeff Soptic and Kelby Tomlinson. There were 11 Giants in the van (12 person van, so makes sense). Also, Crick and Mac Williamson apparently tweeted that they were OK and unharmed. I’ll bet those players are glad that they had their seat belts on, and will wear them for the rest of their lives.

    Looking at the photos in the CSN link you provided, it looks like it was the driver of the Kia who was seriously injured. That car is a wreck, and somehow it got by the van and looks like it hit a pole too. It was not noted in the CSN article that the police has cited the Giants van driver for the accident.

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