An article on csnbayarea about the Giants' planned pursuit of free-agent pitchers and such brought out a lot of chatter from fans regarding the team's current situation and the choices available. Given the state of the 49ers at the moment, we found a few rounds of baseball talk to be highly refreshing. For those of you who missed it, here are a few of the comments we made in response to several discussion threads:
Alex Gordon puts up about the same OBP as Aoki. Not the best, but around .360-.370, which is the acceptable minimum for a leadoff man. At 32, he may start walking more, which would be good.
I like Gordon a lot. He will be 32 this year. He's won a couple of Gold Gloves in left. Last year he DH'd only twice. Question is, if we pick him up it will be expensive, and that means another year of Pagan/Blanco in center, and will that be enough? With pitching a priority, only one position spot is likely to be addressed. Last year CF was weaker than LF. I'd rather have Aoki and a top CF than Pagan/Blanco and Gordon, though I really like him.
Parker is older than Madison Bumgarner. The chances of him ever being a full time MLB starter are slim. This said, he has power and will take a walk, and I'd like to see him as the fifth outfielder in 2016.
Bochy is the best "bullpen" manager in the game. When he says he's worried about the 'pen, then we should be too. Right now he isn't.
Starting Pitchers: Greinke, Miller, Kazmir, Gallardo
"The Barry Zito contract wasn't a bad idea because they gave a lot of money to one player, it was a bad idea because they gave a lot of money to one player whose skills had been rapidly declining for 3 years, and was barely a league average pitcher at the time of signing."
Kind of like Yovani Gallardo today, though I hate to say it, being a fan of his. But it's true.
I like Gallardo, but his K-W has been trending steadily down over the past few years while his WHIP is trending upward. He did post a good ERA in the AL last year despite this. He also made 28 times as much money as did Shelby Miller.
Miller would be an excellent choice. he had a terrific year in Atlanta, ignore the W-L and look at the real stats. And he's only 25, already arbitration-eligible, and makes $500K. If the Braves are willing to trade, Miller is the best option for the money available.
Miller and Leake would make a fine 2-3 punch. Miller has the most upside of any pitcher available, including everybody. He's only 25 and has not had a bad season. Question is, do the Braves realize what they have and will they ask for too much in trade?
I'm all for getting Greinke, he's the BPA right now. If we could also swing Miller in trade, that would be fantastic, as he has the most upside of them all.
Grienke just turned 32. He is three months older than Kazmir. Now Miller, he is younger than Bumgarner.
Kazmir isn't in the same class as Miller. He's two years older than Gallardo. The only place he's really pitched well is in Oakland, so he might do well at AT&T. He put up 3.3 WAR in only 18 starts for the A's, which is excellent, but over the past 7 years he's averaged around 1.5 per year, which is Chris Heston territory. And he's a lefty, which guarantees him a good job somewhere. He might be a better choice than Leake for #3, but like Leake he may get offers the Giants won't match, for good reason.
Expect many more installments of this as winter starts rolling in, unless perhaps Blaine Gabbert turns out to be, well, better than "Blaine Gabbert."