Saturday, December 02, 2017

Guessing at the Stanton deal

Grant Bisbee of McCovey Chronicles says the most likely components of a Stanton deal are 1. taking on at least $250 million of his contract (99%); 2. Denard Span (85%); 3. Heliot Ramos (80%); 4. Chris Shaw (70%); 5. Tyler Beede (60%). He says there's little chance (10%) that Joe Panik will be traded. 

Here's part --

The Giants taking at least $250 million of Giancarlo Stanton’s contract: ~99%

This is the only reason the Giants are in the discussion. Their farm system is at least in the bottom-third of baseball, if not closer to the very bottom. One of the worst parts about 2017, other than all of the worst parts, was that there were comically few breakthroughs and positive developments in the minor leagues. For every Chris Shaw, who seemingly took a step forward, it felt like there were six steps backward.
No, the Giants are finalists because they’re willing to give the Marlins what they really want: financial relief.

The minor league field - 95%

These are the one or two prospects we haven’t heard a rumor about yet, the ones the Marlins’ scouts have taken a liking to. This is how the Giants ended up with Casey McGehee and the Marlins ended up with Luis Castillo. It’s how the Reds ended up with Adam Duvall. More importantly, this is how most deals get consummated without prospects that we remember
I was really optimistic about Felix Diaz and his changeup, everybody.
The Marlins and Giants have probably agreed on at least one name like Aramis Garcia, C.J. Hinojosa, or Garrett Williams. I’m not saying it’s one of those three, but that it’s one or two of the names below Heliot Ramos on this list.

Denard Span - 85%

Don’t laugh. It’s an accepted conclusion that even the Giants will get some money back, at least, but if they get $15 million in cash to apply to Stanton’s contract, that lowers their luxury tax figure by only $1.5 million every year. If they trade Span, they get that same tax figure lowered by about $10.3 million (the average of Span’s contract) this year, which is what they’re explicitly worried about.
Moving Span would help the Giants a ton, and the only hit to the Marlins is that they would have to pay this money in 2018 instead of spread it out over a decade. It’s either Span or Hunter Pence who makes sense in this scenario, and only one of them isn’t a fan favorite with a no-trade clause.

Heliot Ramos - 80%

I can’t see the Marlins not holding out for the Giants’ most desirable prospect. I can’t see the Giants moving on from Stanton in order to save him. The upside for a team with few prospects is that they don’t have to lose a lot of young players they’ll truly miss. The downside is that when they have one of those players, the other team can zero in on him quickly and not let go.
If the Giants are really serious about ending this competition early — and even though it feels like it’s been six months, it really is still early — they’ll have to part with at least one potential future star. This is the only one the Giants have to offer.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Stanton homers in SF

Fangraphs estimates that Giancarlo Stanton would still hit about 59 homers if he were playing all his games in San Francisco.

Here is part --


In San Francisco, Stanton might haved gained one or two, but lost two to three. It's iterestingly become the one place in baseball where the home run surge hasn't arrived, and while that's in some part due to the composition of the Giants' roster, it's also due to the fact that the ballpark on the water doesn't seem to be conducive to power. We'll admit upfront that we're just transferring Stanton's hits here, not adjusting for wind.
Still, "Triples Alley" in right-center field, 421 feet away with a 25 foot fence, might cost Stanton a home run or two. This June home run off Jacob Turner was projected at 398 feet and just barely cleared the 392 sign on the fence in Miami; it's probably extra bases in San Francisco (it had a 95 percent hit probability), but almost certainly doesn't clear the fence.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Giancarlo Stanton as a Giant?

The official Giants site says the team is believed to be offering Joe Panik, Tyler Beede and Chris Shaw for Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon.

 Here's the top --

The market for Giancarlo Stanton continues to heat up, as the Giants appear to be emerging as favorites to land the National League Most Valuable Player Award winner, a source tells's Mark Feinsand.
MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal first reported that the Giants have submitted an offer to the Marlins, and that proposals are expected soon from the Red Sox and Dodgers, if they have not come in already. The Cardinals have also made an offer, and although San Francisco appears to have the edge, St. Louis "may still be a factor," in the running for Stanton Feinsand reports.
Hot Stove Tracker
According to Craig Mish of SiriusXM, the Marlins and Giants have exchanged names in their talks for a potential Stanton deal, with Stanton and speedy infielder Dee Gordon involved, along with Giants infielder Joe Panik and two San Francisco prospects -- right-hander Tyler Beede and outfielder Chris Shaw.
According to, Shaw is ranked as the Giants' No. 2 prospect, with Beede No. 3. Shaw hit 24 home runs between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento while playing left field and first base in 2017, while Beede reached Richmond but has struggled with his command since his days as a standout at Vanderbilt. Prior reports also indicated that the Marlins would be interested in the Giants' No. 4 prospect Heliot Ramos, who was San Francisco's first-round selection in the 2017 Draft and has a chance to stick in center field. Neither the Giants nor Marlins have commented on any negotiations involving Stanton.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Carlos Beltran as a Giant

If you're reading this, you are probably an actual Giants fan. Grant Bisbee at McCovery chronicles has a good post on the 3 months the now retired Carlos Beltran spent as a Giant in 2011. 

Carlos Beltran announced his retirement on Monday, and that gives me a good excuse to talk about his time with the Giants. The Mets traded Beltran to the Giants on July 28, 2011, at a point when the Giants, despite a historically terrible offense, had a record of 60-44 and were up by three games on the Diamondbacks in the NL West. He came over, immediately hit badly, the Giants had a terrible August (even worse than the August of the 2017 Giants, if you can believe that), and they fell out of the race while Zack Wheeler, the prospect traded to the Mets, had multiple increasingly impressive seasons that put him on prospect lists and made Giants fans bitter.
For this, Giants fans booed Carlos Beltran for years. And they shouldn’t have.
Let’s start with the chronologically first complaint. Carlos Beltran did have 11 very poor games immediately after he was traded and the Giants played poorly in those games. Here is his game log from that period; you, the savvy baseball fan, can notice that these numbers are bad. The Giants went 3-8 in that period; you, the savvy baseball fan, can notice that that record is bad.
That wasn’t Beltran’s fault. Well, it wasn’t entirely his fault; he did hit poorly, which is the opposite of what a hitter wants to do, but how much can one guy be expected to do when his team is starting catchers, second basemen, and center fielders who can’t hit, as well as the desiccated husks of Orlando Cabrera and Aubrey Huff? And more importantly, are we really judging him based on a bad week and a half? That’s just absolutely nutty.
So, on August 7, after those 11 bad games, Beltran injured his wrist on a check swing against the Phillies — not something you should be mad at him for — and then, after the team took way too long to put him on the DL — not something you should be mad at him for — he went on the DL on August 16. When Beltran got injured, the team was up half a game on the Diamondbacks, and when he was activated from the DL on August 23, the Giants were trailing Arizona by two games.

And then Carlos Beltran started hitting. He didn’t start the day he was activated from the DL, but he started the next five games, and he got multiple hits in four of them. In that time, the team dropped from two games back to four games back. Then in September, he had, by raw OPS, the second best month of his career. That September, Beltran hit .378/.434/.700. He and Pablo Sandoval carried the offense to previously unseen heights of league averageness, and if you remember 2011, you’ll know just how big of an upgrade that was.
It didn’t help, of course. The Giants were six games back at the beginning of the month and eight games back at the end, and that was it for the 2011 Giants. Carlos Beltran, all in all, ended up hitting .323/.369/.551 as a Giant, which translated to an OPS+ of 159. He was a phenomenally productive hitter who, even after having gotten off to a poor start, had the best offensive stretch of his Hall of Fame career. It’s hard to complain about that.
And yet Giants fans complain about that. Some of it is the cost for the trade — while Zack Wheeler’s ended up struggling with injuries with the Mets, he also used to be a big time pitching prospect, and so even though Wheeler’s star has dimmed considerably, there’s a sense that the Giants gave away something good for nothing. Some of it is the fact that Beltran didn’t singlehandedly fix the team, which is a silly expectation to have of any player, especially one who’s only around for two months. Some of it is that he got hurt, which is, as I said before, a dumb thing to blame a player for. Some of it is that he didn’t re-sign with the Giants, which is especially silly, because, well:
"They never called,'' said Beltran, who signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Carlos Beltran trade didn’t work out, but it wasn’t because of any failing of Beltran’s, and it didn’t really cause any long term damage (in fact, after Beltran left, the Giants won two thirds of the next three World Series). This is not a situation like the Mike Leake trade or the Casey McGehee trade where, boy, not only was that guy bad but the Giants sure could have used one of the guys they traded for him, ha ha, oh darn. Carlos Beltran was an extremely good baseball player for the Giants. He did what he was supposed to, even as the rest of the team didn’t.
So think kindly of Carlos Beltran’s time with the Giants. For a month, he made a wretched, unwatchable offense — significantly worse than the 2017 Giants offense, which is saying something — decent. That is an almost superhuman feat, and something to be lauded. Carlos Beltran never should have been booed in San Francisco after he left, and you shouldn’t think poorly of his time here. He had a very good half season here as part of a great career. That’s something to be celebrated, not maligned.
He led the 2011 Giants in triples, you know.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Rick Schu in the Orange and Black

The Nats hitting coach Rick Schu has replaced Hensley Meulens for the Giants

I've never understood why Meulens wasn't fired long ago. He's been proven incompetent year after year. Well, now he's bench coach. So he can say, "Bench, do this."

Schu sounds like he's an improvement. Here's the story --

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants completed their coaching-staff overhaul Thursday by naming Rick Schu as their assistant hitting coach.
The appointment of Schu, 55, was atypical; unlike many coaches the Giants hire, he has no prior ties to the ballclub or the Bay Area.
He has, however, become adept at his craft. Schu has taught hitting for 20 seasons across the Major and Minor Leagues, including a banner year as the Nationals' hitting coach in 2017.
Last season, the Nats topped the National League in slugging percentage (.449) and OPS (.782), ranked third in runs scored (812), hits (1,477), doubles (311) and batting average (.266), and seventh in home runs (215).

Schu spent 12 years in the Diamondbacks' organization before going to Washington in 2013.
Primarily a third baseman during his playing career, Schu hit .246 with 41 home runs in 580 games for the Phillies, Orioles, Tigers, Angels and Expos from 1984-96. He also played in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters in '93 and '94.
Manager Bruce Bochy's 2018 coaching staff consists of Schu, bench coach Hensley Meulens, pitching coach Curt Young, hitting coach Alonzo Powell, third-base coach Ron Wotus, first-base coach Jose Alguacil, bullpen coach Matt Herges and Major League assistant and replay analyst Shawon Dunston.
Schu, Young, Powell and Herges are new to the staff. Alguacil is the only coach who has retained the same title he possessed last year.
Schu replaced Steve Decker, who was reassigned to a special assistant's role in the baseball operations department.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Johnny's coming back

Johnny Cueto has decided to stay a Giant. That's fine with me. When he's on, he's really on. 

Here's the MLB story --

Right-hander Johnny Cueto decided Saturday night to not opt out of the final four years and $84 million of his contract with the Giants.
Cueto, 31, went 8-8 with a 4.52 ERA for San Francisco in 2017, dealing with a forearm injury that sidelined him from mid-July through August. In 2016, the two-time All-Star went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 32 starts.
Prior to being traded to the Royals and helping Kansas City win the World Series in 2015, Cueto posted a 3.21 ERA with a 7.5 K/9 rate in eight seasons with the Reds.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Dodgers do not win World Series for 29th consecutive year

That's the headline on Grant Bisbee's McCovey Chronicles.

So the 2017 season is finally over. Pretty dreadful for Giants fans although the final play of the year for the Giants was Sandoval homering and the final play of the series was a weak groundout to MVP Jose Altuve.

Here are the first two graphs --

For the 29th consecutive year, the Los Angeles Dodgers did not win the World Series. They will. Soon. It’s coming. They will eventually win the World Series, and we’ll just have to wear it. They’re too rich, too talented, and too smart not to win. I don’t even like writing these any more because it feels like I’m poking a bear.
This year, however, they got all the way to the end of Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins before dying at the final boss. They are out of continues. They will have to start all over.

I do not agree with Grant that the Dodgers will win a Series soon. They are too self-entitled and too self-righteous to do so.