The Giants did something one would think unthinkable in this decade.
A trade that for all intents and purposes looks like a fair deal on both sides...
I'm not saying the Giants haven't made some nice trades lately. (See Javier Lopez and World Series)
Obviously we are also not immune to terrible trades as well. (See AJ Pierzinski)
But a trade where both sides are equally happy? Almost unfathomable. Here are the facts: Melky Cabrera and Jonathan Sanchez are both entering their respective last years of arbitration. Melky earned a paltry $1.25 Mil last year while Sanchez earned $4.8 Mil. With Melky having had a career year with the Royals his price tag will probably go up, and Sanchez having a terrible year will probably go down.
Aside from the money, you have a young Center Fielder in Cabrera who seems to be coming into his own, OR had a fluke good season that the Giants unfortunately will not be able to harness. On Kansas City's side they have a pitcher in Sanchez who has lights out stuff on occasion, but hasn't yet been able to master that consistency.
When looking at actual team needs. I just finished saying in my last post how the Giants were looking for a center fielder with some speed who might be able to bat leadoff and steal some bases. Enter Melky Cabrera for a pitcher you weren't sure where to put who hit for over .300 last season with 18 homers and 20 steals in a pitchers park.
Meanwhile KC needs starting pitching and has a young minor leaguer they want to try at center field.
So presumably if Melky's arbitration value equals Sanchez's, then by spending no money at all in free agency Brian Sabean has just filled one of our most important needs by getting rid of an inconsistent guy who we've all been scratching our heads about for the past 2-3 years.
I dare say that even if I might swallow my words later, Sabean has just shown genius qualities that might rival only the size of Bruce Bochy's head.
Now I could nitpick and talk about how Melky has a below average UZR rating and that his defensive skill is a far cry from one Andres Torres, but we all know that the Giants problem is getting runs across the board. To keep an Andres Torres who hits around .200 and gets on base about as often as Brian Wilson turns down commercial deals does not seem like the most prudent course of action at this time.
The thing I love most about this trade is that IF the Giants had plans to move the payroll to just south of $150 Million, they could still do so and fill that hole at shortstop with a Jose Reyes or even a Jimmy Rollins without worrying about another hole at Center Field. Or the Giants even have some leverage to bring back Carlos Beltran who said he wanted more offense on the field when evaluating whether he would want to return to the Giants.
That being said it doesn't look very likely that any of those names will land in the Giants hands being that the payroll is likely to stay very close to the $125 Million range unless the Giants had a huge infusion of cash. Wait didn't we sell out every home game last year?.... Interesting...
Laws of the Day
Opening Lineup 2012?
Melky Cabera CF
Freddy Sanchez 2B
Buster Posey C
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Brett Pill 1B
Aubrey Huff RF >> Carlos Beltran?
Brandon Belt LF
Brandon Crawford SS >> Jimmy Rollins? >> Jose Reyes?!
Tim Lincecum P