Great feedback on my last two posts. Sorry about the lack of writing, big doings in casa de’ Perricone lately.
Nonetheless…. the Nen deal was, along with the Alfonzo deal, one of the Giants’ big deal signings of the last several years. A headline-generating, damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of deal. As such, it is worth noting that, for whatever reason, neither deal was covered by insurance, as a tremendous number of today’s big-money contracts are. (All of the baseball sites out there have written about how hard it is to get insurance on any baseball contracts longer than three years, primarily because of the major hits insurance companies have taken in recent years due to these kinds of huge, backloaded deals being given to “veteran” players)
When Sabean decides to make these deals, he is putting it all on him, so to speak. Guy gets hurt, can’t play, “my bad,” says Sabean, and rightfully so. The only team I can remember offering Alfonzo a contract that didn’t insist on him passing a physical was the Giants. As for Vizquel, if the Indians were really going to offer him a two year, $20 million dollar contract (as noted at ESPN.com), do you really think a three-year deal for just two million more was enough?
Sabean loves veterans. I just think his love for the proven commodity has distorted to the point where he overpays for it, competing against nobody. It’s been written time and again how Tom Hicks overpayed for A-Rod, basically competing against himself. Well, I think Sabean is guilty of the same thing, in many of these instances. Who was going to give Reuter the kind of money we did? Who was going to give Alfonzo $25 million? Who was going to give Nen $30 million? Who was going to give Benard $10 million? Who was going to “steal” Snow from under Sabean’s nose and give him that $24 million dollars?
Steinbrenner and his minions are rightfully criticized for giving Vazquez the same deal Pettitte turned down, without his having thrown a single pitch for the Yanks. I think Sabean, coming from the Yankees some eight years ago, is guilty of the same kind of short-sighted approach. The Giants have a team of misfits surrounding Superman, none of which have come up through the Giants system. This is Sabean’s team, like it or not. Every position player but Bonds is his guy. Which one of the Giants starters would any team take off the Giants hands right now? Pierzynksi? Snow?
The Yankees have a group of players who are considered untradable because of their huge contracts, not because of their lack of talent. The Giants have a group of players who are equally untradable, but in their case it’s because their talent doesn’t match their paychecks, guys like Durham, Alfonzo, now Vizquel, last season it was Neifi, Reuter….
The song remains the same. I have been writing about the Giants for going on three seasons now. The same kind of mistakes keep on happening. Again, good and bad, Sabean is on the hook. For all the talk there is about how some of the deals have been under-rated, is there any doubt that if we had Giles in left-field (or anyone except Bonds) for the last ten seasons, Sabean would have lost his job long ago?