Author Archives: Chris

Reaction: Giants Acquire Beltran


The most sought after player on the trading block in 2011 was Carlos Beltran, and there’s no doubt about that. There were several teams in on the bidding of Beltran, according to reporters such as Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman, ranging from the Phillies, Braves, Rangers, Red Sox, and of course, the Giants.

If you like to keep it short and simple, here it is: the Giants have the worst offense among all playoff contenders after the loss of Buster Posey, and Brian Sabean has recognized the transformation his team has gone though in a short period.

The Giants are now reaching a rare point in a franchise that’s outside of Boston and New York- They’re selling out every game as the defending World Series Champions with extreme ease. They have also been overcoming injuries and “over-achieving”, proclaimed by their own GM.

That statement alone was the main reason why I was no where near surprised when I woke up today, logged on the Twitter account, and came to realize what was happening- Brian Sabean, yes Brian Sabean, accepted a deal for a rental player, trading away one of his top pitching prospects, Zack Wheeler (not yet official). 

Sabean doesn’t prefer trading away top prospects as he’s shown, though he seems to have quite a strong judgement on the players that he’s moving- here’s a list: Lorenzo Barcelo, Keith Foulke, Bobby Howry, Jim Stoops, Ken Vining, Jason Brester, Darin Blood, Mike Villano, Mike Pageler, Joe Fontenot, Nate Bump, Jason Grilli, Todd Ozias, Francisco Liriano, Tim Alderson (courtesy of 

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA GS IP WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2010 20 Augusta SALL A 3.99 13 58.2 1.449 5.8 10.7 1.84
2011 21 San Jose CALL A+ 3.99 16 88.0 1.375 4.8 10.0 2.09
2 Seasons 3.99 29 146.2 1.405 5.2 10.3 1.98
As Adam Foster explains in his scouting report, Zack Wheeler looks like he has a bright future as a Major League starter, but “his upside, which he could still be 3-4 years from reaching, is as a very good No. 2 starter and maybe even an ace for stretches of time”.

Beltran is hitting .289/.391/.513 with 15 home runs in 419 plate appearances with a wOBA of .392, OPS of .904, and wRC+ of 152, in what has already become his healthiest season since 2008. Beltran is sleighed to hit 3rd in front of Sandoval, and without a doubt, will become the Giants best offensive player by any measure you look at outside of speed.Beltran wasn’t added to help in the NL West race. Their pitching alone combined with “enough”– if you like to call it that– offense will get them the NL West title for a second year in a row. What Beltran was added for was October– the original reason the Mets signed him to that lengthy and expensive contract. If Beltran can have steady success in the 40-50 AB’s he’ll get in the playoffs with the Giants, that would make this deal a success in the minds of any Giants fan, and the front office.

The catch with Beltran that most people already understand, is that he’s a rental player in every aspect- free agent after this season, a Scott Boras client, and non-arbitration eligible- meaning the Giants will get no draft picks in return for Beltran– who without a doubt will be a Type-A free agent– at the end of the season.

I have to trust Sabean on this one despite how others may feel about him. He’s come to terms with the current position his team is in and either a) has settled on the fact that Wheeler’s ceiling is not very high, as he’s done in the past or b)simply was willing to pay the price of a future front of the rotation type pitcher to strengthen this team’s chances this season.

While I believe that Wheeler was a bit much too pay for Beltran, if it works out the way that Brian Sabean has clearly forecasted than the price was ultimately right. There’s simply a difference between a Single-A prospect with “nasty” stuff and much improvement still to be made, than someone like Matt Moore of Tampa Bay’s farm system- a Double-A prospect with filthy stuff, polished command, great numbers, and an overall MLB-ready demeanor.

I’m more on the side that Wheeler is “legit” and will be a “stud” some time in the future and despite feeling he’s too high a price to pay, I have no issue with an exchange for another run at a World Series- because that’s the ultimate goal.

I’ll offer a simple conclusion with this: prospects are not guaranteed. That’s why there’s 50 rounds in the draft, scouts who get criticized to the ultimate degree, and many GM’s who get questioned on a daily basis. To only a certain extent, can you project and predict.

I’m not going completely on either side with this one- I wanted a bat, but I liked Zack Wheeler. I’ll probably be second guessing myself and Brian Sabean sometime in the future, but hey- that’s baseball

Trade Details:

- About $6.5MM of  Beltran’s contract remains, of which the Mets are assuming $4MM in the trade.

Beltran will likely start every game in RF, while Ross/Schierholtz platoon in LF. While it is unknown if Beltran requested to only RF, it seems likely. 


Post-Game Notes: Lights Out Bullpen [as usual] and Home Improvement, but from who?

Where would this team be with Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez still fully healthy? We can’t really just predict, but just imagine Pablo Sandoval. Now think about what this team would look like if Sandoval could bat 3 times through a lineup.

I guess that’s the best that I can do in terms of explaining how amazing this team would be not only with Posey and Sanchez still in the lineup, but the “Bullet” Darren Ford on the bench, and Brandon Belt there to use his disciplined approach to give Huff a few days off.

This team healthy would be beyond competent to win 95 games. They’ve mastered the process of winning 1-run and close games, and we can only imagine if this team could just go from their mark of 3.6 runs per game to a modestly improved 4.0, maybe 4.3. Then, maybe I can leave Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, Miguel Tejada, so on, and so on all alone.
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Post-Game Notes: Improved First Half, Romo’s [usual] dominance, and more

This was just one of those games, where you have no choice but to tip your cap to the other pitcher. Today that was Ryan Dempster, who simply had everything working while dominating the Giants offense through 8.0 IP and only surrendering 1 ER on 6 hits.

Tim Linceum picked up where he left off against the Twins, striking out 9 batters through 7.0 IP and only allowing 5 hits. It seems as he’s gotten through this season’s “August 2010” with the two consecutive solid starts, and it’s a relief for everyone.

It’s hard to pin this loss on any one person, especially since the offense that showed up with 19 runs in the double-header yesterday. Clearly Dempster is nothing special, but when you combine his above-average performance with a less-than-average offense, this is the result you often see.

The Giants managed to tie the game in the 9th when Mike Quade questionably pulled Dempster, who was at 86 pitches and had only surrendered those 3 hits. It was a solid at-bat by Pat Burrell, combined with a more-than-crucial mistake from Tony Campana, and likely the biggest hit of Emmanuel Burriss’ MLB career. Continue reading