Recently, the SF Giants’ GM, Brian Sabean, was featured in an MLB.com chat. During the chat, he was asked whether the Giants had made an offer to Vladimir Guerrero. His response?
“In a word: No. If we had signed Guerrero or [Gary] Sheffield, we would have been without [Jim] Brower, [Scott] Eyre, [Matt] Herges, [Dustin] Hermanson, [Brett] Tomko, [A.J.] Pierzynski, [Pedro] Feliz, [J.T.] Snow, [Jeffrey] Hammonds, [Dustan] Mohr and [Michael] Tucker–obviously not being able to field a competitive team, especially from an experience standpoint, given our level of spending.”
Over at Baseball Prospectus, Michael Wolverton has an excellent and detailed analysis of this gobbleydygook. (I’d originally told you that the article was a Premium, but as Lisa pointed out, it’s actually not. Go, read it now! Ha ha ha!) In the article, Wolverton compares the expected value of the players Sabean mentions to the expected value of Guerrero, as the cost of the group Sabean mentions balances well against Guerrero’s $10 million per deal. Guess who would be worth more?
Listen, I think Sabean deserves a lot of credit for the work he’s done, but Wolverton is dead right. Furthermore, Wolverton doesn’t mention what I’ve been railing about since I started OBM. Sabean overpays for at or below league-average production, all the time. Marvin Benard, JT Snow, Shawon Dunston, Neifi Perez, it never stops. Dustin Hermanson, Brett Tomko, Jeffrey Hammonds, Dustan Mohr and Michael Tucker are just the latest entries in the long list of guys not worth the money they will get, guys that could be replaced with Triple AAA talent for the major-league minimum.
It’s worth remembering, because, as I’ve said before, Superman is the only reason this kind of strategy hasn’t backfired in a season-long implosion. It’s only a matter of time before it does. What do you think is gonna happen if Barry pulls a hamstring again, or God forbid, is seriously injured and misses major time. The Giants will turn into the Tigers. Guerrero represented the bridge to the future; and Sabean missed the exit.