Sabathia signing with the Giants?
According to Buster Olney’s blog on ESPN, this makes perfect sense for both parties. Sabathia gets to return to his hometown of Vallejo, which is a short drive away from San Francisco and the Giants get a new face of the franchise. If this actually happened, which I highly doubt, the Giants would have one of the most, if not, the most dominant pitching rotation in the majors. Can you imagine? Sabathia. Lincecum. Cain. Zito. Sanchez. You would possibly have three Cy Young pitchers in your rotation. It reminds me of the mid-90s when the Braves had Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine. I think if the Giants didn’t sign Zito, they would be the front-runners to get Sabathia this year.
Then again, if the Giants didn’t sign Zito, a lot of things would be different. The main reason they won’t get Sabathia is: money, money money. Sabathia probably commands at least $20 million/year right now and there is no way the Giants can afford that. In fact, I would probably rather give that money to Manny because the offense is non-existant. A Manny signing would draw more fans back to the park too. Irregardless, we will get neither player. The Giants will probably sign a player or two for the bullpen and maybe make a trade for a middle infielder and hope that the farm develops enough to play some youngsters next year. Anyway, here’s the Olney article below:
Sabathia makes sense for Giants
The San Francisco Giants committed $126 million to Barry Zito a couple of winters ago, and in spite of Zito’s best efforts and work to find solutions, that contract is destined to be regarded as one of the most significant busts in baseball history. The Giants shelled out record-setting dollars for high-impact pitching, and it does not appear as if they will get that return.
But that experience should not discourage them from pursuing another left-hander who will set a new record for pitchers. There are good reasons for the Angels to chase CC Sabathia, and for the Yankees to do so, and for the Dodgers. The team that might stand to gain the most from signing Sabathia, however, might be the Giants. And undoubtedly, Sabathia would seriously consider a big-time offer from the Giants. The drive from Vallejo, Calif. — the place where he grew up playing basketball and baseball and riding his bike, and the place where his extended family lives — is just 30 miles. He would get to play in the National League, where pitchers age at a slower rate, as Greg Maddux can attest. He would get to hit, something he loves to do, something he could not do for the Angels or the Yankees. A long-term marriage with the Giants makes all the sense in the world for Sabathia, who is, at heart, a sentimentalist. The signing of Sabathia would make even more sense for the Giants, a team struggling to re-shape its image as it comes out of the Barry Bonds era. For more than a decade, the glowering slugger was the face of the franchise, a Faustian bargain that the Giants made as Bonds hammered home runs and pursued records and drew record crowds. Attendance at AT&T Park fell more than 10 percent last season, and the club’s leadership — led by William Neukom, who has replaced Peter Magowan as managing general partner — understands that Zito is not going to be the new face of the franchise. Tim Lincecum may well be named the NL Cy Young Award winner when the results are announced in the days ahead, but too often it felt as if Lincecum had to haul the franchise by himself in 2008; the Giants were 22-12 in games in which the right-hander pitched, and 50-78 in the other games. The Giants will look to improve their offense, as well, but the best available options on the free-agent and trade markets are all short-term, patch-and-fill alternatives: Manny Ramirez, on a two-year deal, or Matt Holliday, who can be acquired for one year before he becomes eligible for free agency. No, the new leadership group will want to make a big-time splash, to re-brand the Giants, and who better to do this than Sabathia, a local guy who filled Miller Park in the second half of the 2008 season and demonstrated as much competitive integrity and investment in teammates as the sport has witnessed in recent times? Bonds was aloof, famously did not meet a lot of club employees until his last year with the team, seemed to operate in a separate universe than his teammates, and had to be cajoled into attending the few club events at which he appeared. Sabathia, on the other hand, is known as a gregarious everyman, leaving in his wake in Cleveland and Milwaukee fans and friends and employers who think nothing but the best of him. He would embrace the responsibility of representing the Giants in the best possible way, and embrace the challenge of making the team competitive again — and there is no doubt that with Sabathia, the Giants could be a major force in the mediocre NL West. No longer would Lincecum or Matt Cain be asked to be leaders of the staff. Sabathia has always been ready and willing to take the responsibility that comes with being an ace, and if he were to join the Giants’ staff, Lincecum would slide to the No. 2 spot, Cain to No. 3, Zito to No. 4 or 5; on most days, San Francisco would have an edge in the pitching matchup. A Giants rotation with Sabathia, Lincecum and Cain would be dominant, particularly in home games in San Francisco. The Giants need a quick turnaround, and wise executives learned long ago that the fastest way to make change is through improved pitching. The Giants still would need an offensive upgrade, for sure. But they have seen the Padres mostly compete year after year after year in their large park primarily with strong pitching (this will soon change when Jake Peavy is traded, of course), and with Sabathia filling the No. 1 spot, the Giants would need merely a functional offense, rather than a dynamic attack. Hey, Sabathia will help his next team in many different ways, whether he pitches for the Dodgers or the Yankees or the Angels or the Brewers. But right now, he might make more sense for the Giants than any other team.