Nick Cannata-Bowman has an interesting post at Croix de Candlestick about how gun-shy the Giants have become in terms of trades over the last six years since the disastrous Joe Nathan trade.
Sabean's gotten deservedly bad reviews for free agent signings after that (Blownitez, Zito, Renteria, Rowand, Roberts, Klesko) but the trades since then such as the Jeremy Accardo deal have also been particularly unimpressive. Or is anyone out there pumped about the Garko deal?
Nick contends that trades are probably the only way the Giants can get better fast. I'm reluctant to endorse that strategy due to Sabean's incompetence. Here are Nick's key points:-- The lesson to be taken here is that Sabean is reluctant to swing big deals, and when he does more often than not it’s blown up in his face. The book is still out on the Garko/Barnes and Sanchez/Alderson swaps, but the general consensus so far is that we gave up too much on our end. You see this, and then compare it with Sabean’s first move that brought future MVP Jeff Kent over in exchange for Matt Williams and it starts to become evident that our fearless leader isn’t quite as bold anymore.
-- So where did this all begin? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say on November 4, 2003. On that fateful day, the Giants dealt Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser for catcher A.J. Pierzynski. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, our most notable acquisitions have been Dustin Mohr, Dave Burba, Latroy Hawkins, Randy Winn, and Mike Stanton. All decent role players, but no blockbusters to be found.
-- Put simply, man cannot live on free agents alone. If this team is to truly turn itself around, it needs to come from the top down. Extending Sabean and Bochy another two years wasn’t the ideal way to do this. That said, we’ll just have to work with what we have. With a free agent market where our best option at this point is Nick Johnson, there isn’t a lot of improvement to be found in that realm.