Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meet the Giants new largest stakeholder

Larry Baer may be the face of the ownership group but he is far from the largest shareholder in the team and that means that he must answer to the people that ultimately control the team.

Well today Mark Purdy of the Mercury News has a story introducing us to the man that is now the main guy in charge. Giants fans meet Charles Johnson.

There isn't a lot to give us an idea of what it means for the Giants in the future expect for that he was one of the people that helped push out Bill Nuekom. Here is some of the background from Purdy's story:
Johnson, according to Forbes magazine, is among the world's 250 richest people. The co-chairman and co-founder of the Franklin Resources financial mega-firm is worth an estimated $4.4 billion...
He is 78 years old. He is chairman and co-founder of Franklin Resources, the investment and mutual fund giant. Johnson and his wife, Ann, have been longtime Bay Area philanthropists. They live on the peninsula.

That's about it in terms of biographical information.
It is still too early how things under the new regime will turn out but I can't say that I am thrilled with how things are starting (can you say rainy day fund). With this information we will at least now have an idea of how is behind the spin machine that is Baer.

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Is a long extension for Tim Lincecum a good idea?

One of the big off-season goals of the Giants is lock up their top two pitchers to long term deals. Earlier I took a look at what kind of a deal makes sense for Matt Cain and I did something similar with Tim Lincecum over at Bay Area Sports Guy's site.

The latest rumor about the negotiations is that they are still pretty far apart. Here is what MLB Trade Rumors has on the deal:
A sizable gap still exists between the Giants and arbitration eligible right-hander Tim Lincecum as the sides explore a possible extension, Jon Heyman of reports. Negotiations have taken place this winter, but the sides appear to remain a couple of years and tens of millions of dollars apart.
The more I think about this it might not be a bad idea if the Giants avoid a long term deal with Lincecum. Now before you jump all over me for this blasphemy give me a chance to explain.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crazy Crabbers’ Most Popular Posts from 2011

The end of the year is hear and I thought it would be fun to take a look at what the most popular posts were of the last year. Here is the top 10:

1. Giants to Revive Classic 80's Uniforms What can I say people are excited to have these classics coming back.

2. Baseball America's Giants 2012 Top 10 Prospects Without really knowing it I was ahead of everyone with this one, I got my digital magazine subscription that had all the information before Baseball America published the list online.

3. Aubrey Huff Isn't Coming Back A post explaining that wishing for a Huff resurgence was foolish, I think that might be the case going into next season too unless the problem really was conditioning and he has taken it seriously this off-season. I am a skeptic but I am sure he will be given every opportunity to prove me wrong.

4. Checking in on Brandon Belt Looking at Belt in the minors after his demotion from the big leagues.

5. Larry Baer Confirms Giants Fans Worst Fears Title pretty much sums it up, we are living in a rainy day fund world.

6. Jeff Keppinger Trade Analysis I wish I knew about his lack of range when I wrote this. I overrated his offense because for some reason I thought he had something more than singles in his bat. I still don't think it was a bad gamble but not the win I imagined when I wrote the post.

7. Cost Benefit Analysis of a Jose Reyes Trade I was a fan of trading for Reyes, instead the Giants traded for Beltran which wasn't as big of an improvement.

8. Welcome to the Big Leagues Hector Sanchez Title sums this one up.

9. The Giants Misguided Way to Build a Baseball Club Talking about my dislike of the relief pitcher signings this offs-eason which I am still not a fan of.

10. Concussions are a Joking Matter to @MLB MLB twitter account made a bad joke and I called them out on it.

Overall it was a fun 2011 and I can't wait to keep writing into 2012, I hope you all keep reading.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Replacing Runs for the Giants

The major off-season discussion for the Giants has been about how they will get better offensively next season. Over the weekend it looks like a couple people took a shot at trying to answer that.

David Fung at Beyond the Boxscore as a part of his series took a look at the players the Giants lost to free agency and used the Bill James projections to get an idea of what their replacements would do in their place.

Friday, December 23, 2011

3 ways the Giants could have signed Carlos Beltran

The big bat on just about every Giants fan Christmas list just signed with the Cardinals for a very reasonable 2 year $26 million deal. When the news of the years and money involved broke over twitter, a justified freak out session broke out among Giants fans, why couldn't the Giants swing this deal?

It would have been understandable if the Giants didn't want to go three or even four years with the aging slugger but two years was right in the Giants sweet spot. The Giants have window to compete with their pitching and getting Beltran on a two year deal would have opened that up a little bit further without hurting the long term out look.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Giants need patience with Brandon Belt's strikeout problem

Once upon a time the Giants had an awesome hitting prospect, he had all the tools one could ask for, he had good power, made contact well and by all accounts was a very good fielder.

At each minor league level against inferior pitching he looked like the second coming of Babe Ruth, a real can't miss prospect that was the envy of every scouting director and general manager in baseball.

When he was finally called up to the majors something funny happened. He couldn’t hit a major league curveball and his strike out rate soared. When he did put the ball in play, he had poor luck with those balls falling in for hits leading to a poor batting average.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Highlights from the Baseball America Giants Prospect Chat

Over at Baseball America today, the Giants Top Prospect list was officially announced (but you already knew that if you read here regularly) and the second part of their wall to wall coverage was a chat with Andy Baggarly.

There was lots of great information in the chat that I thought I would share. So here are some of the highlights, you can check out the full chat here (Subscription required):

The Soft Carlos Beltran Market... Could the Giants Get Back In?

So the market for Carlos Beltran isn't shaping up the way that many thought at the beginning of the free agent period.

According to MLB Trade Rumors there is interest in the slugger from multiple teams but it seems that no team has been willing to give him the long term deal that he would like.

This is a bit surprising, I thought that he would be able to get a third year from an AL team pretty easy and that some team might even give him a fourth or filth year with the luxury of a DH to move him to should his knees get achy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Great Keppinger vs. Fontenot Debate Ends Tonight

The deadline to tender a contract to players eligible for arbitration is at midnight eastern time tonight and the Giants have a few decisions left to make.

The main event for tonight revolves around the Giants choosing between infielders Jeff Keppinger and Mike Fontenot as their backup second baseman/utility infielder. To me the choice really isn't that hard, I am a fan of Fontenot who offers better defense, more power and is better suited for the utility role. Keppinger has his skills but it is hard to get past the poor speed and empty batting average for me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How much should Matt Cain get in an extension?

With the news earlier today that the Angels had signed C.J. Wilson to a 5 year $77.5 million deal it got me thinking about Matt Cain and his coming free agency next season.

What Wilson was able to get as an older and less consistent starting pitcher means that the market, should Cain become a free agent, could get pretty crazy. With that in mind I think that the Giants should really take advantage of the window that they have right now to work on getting him extended before he leaves town like Albert Pujols.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Giants Budget is Maxed Out

With the trades for Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan the Giants final roster situation has solidified a little more. In addition the team has confirmed what I suspected already, that they will go into 2012 with a payroll target of $130 million.

There are still quite a few things left to resolve that could change things but as things stand now there is about $5 million left for two smallish players. The Giants have ten guys that are eligible for arbitration that they are likely to offer a contract, the numbers for these guys are a best guess and could end up being quite different if the team makes longer term deals.

Angel Pagan Trade Analysis

The winter meetings sure haven't been dull, there have been streams of rumors flying around and last night some big news regarding the Giants came out. The Giants and the Mets have for the second time in the last few months come to terms on a trade. The Mets send the Giants Angel Pagan in exchange for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.

This one isn't quite the blockbuster that sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants in exchange for top prospect Zack Wheeler but it is still a pretty big move so lets take a look.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giants End of Season Review: Starting Pitchers

Up today, as we continue to take a look back at 2011, is the starting pitchers. This was the strength of the team and if the Giants are going to contend next season it will need to be again.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It is time for teams to have more engagement with their blogs

So I saw something on twitter today that made me insanely jealous, the Mets are having a blogger conference call with GM Sandy Alderson. 

Yes, lowly bloggers get to ask questions to the guy who is in charge of making the biggest decisions for a Major League Baseball team. 

Let me repeat that, the Mets are having a blogger conference call with GM Sandy Alderson.