…. Boldly go where no man has gone before

OK, so obviously the A-Rod express isn’t gonna land in SF, but how about Miguel Cabrera? It’s hard not to love the idea of adding a 24-year old with 138 career home runs, who posted a .400-plus OBP for the last two seasons, with a career line of .313/.388/.542 .929 OPS. Bill James, in the same article I mentioned the other day, ranks him as the 13th best young player in baseball:

He’s fat and he looks lazy, but he hits .320 and drives in 115 runs every year. As a hitter, he’s in a class with Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle, just crushes the ball about 200 times a year. As a third baseman he’s in a class with guys who really need to work on playing third base.

So, fine, move him to first, and leave the horrifying Pedro Feliz to be our version of a defensive replacement at third. As long as we can sign him to an extension, he should be picked up for, say, either Jonathan Sanchez or Noah Lowry and a couple of prospects. Actually, Jon Heyman reports tha Marlins want prospects only, which is even better:

Florida will likely seek a package of three young players, including at least one or two top-tier talents for Cabrera, 24, who is eligible for free agency after the 2009 season.

He’s not even eligible for free agency for two more seasons?! Great. Let them look through a list of five or six of our best prospects, and let’s pick up one of the best hitters in the game at the beginning of what should be the prime years of his career.

You could argue that he’d be a better pickup than A-Rod, simply because of his age. He’d make a huge impact on our offense immediately, and by moving to first, he’d solve two problems at once. Then Sabean could go out and actually earn his money, and grab Andruw Jones. He’d be a bargain coming off one of the worst years of his career (which was still a better year than Feliz, who Sabean is talking about giving $8 million dollars), he’s still two years younger(!) than Feliz, and he’d instantly save about 100 runs in center. (Gotcha!! You thought I was serious, admit it) In two moves, we’d have transformed the team, adding something like 70 to 80 home runs, better outfield defense, and we’d get younger in the bargain.

Come on Sabean, make something happen. Three straight years of sucking the pipe are enough.

UPDATE: David Pinto says a lot about Cabrera in his Sporting News article, but he says it all in his post about Cabrera:

Players like Cabrera are rare. Acquiring one for prospects is more than worth it.

Guys, we’re not talking about trading away great young pitching prospects for a 30-year old catcher –an obviously stupid and disastrous move that Sabean should have never even considered– we’re talking about trading great young pitching prospects for a potential Hall of Famer who’s gonna be 25 years old. As much as I, too, am still gun-shy at trading away some of our young pitchers, there’s really no comparison. Other than Cain and Licecum –who have to be considered untouchable– the Giants do have some young studs, and the Marlins would be happy to take a couple of 17 and 18-year old uber-prospects; and I seem to remember we’ve recently picked up a couple. Is it really in the team’s best interests to wait and see if one of these players is major-league ready in three or four years, or should we trade them for an already established All Star who is younger than any position player on the team?

UPDATE, Part II: OK, so I’ve just checked on John Sickels’ Minor League Report, and the Giants prospects are, well, they’re horrible. Nate Silver says it even more succintly, (I forgot about this article, sorry):

We’ve talked about teams that face difficult situations, such as the Orioles, Rangers and Pirates. Well, the Giants are in more trouble than any of those clubs. Way more trouble. From the majors on down to the rookie levels, the Giants have by far less talent than any other organization in the big leagues. Making matters worse, they have almost no tradable assets

Beyond Sanchez, we’re talking about a heaping pile of backup infielders and middle relievers. Maybe we can’t put together a package to land Cabrera, shit, unless they fall asleep at the wheel, there’s probably no way in hell we can, but we should still try like hell.

There’s risk in everything, but Jeremy Accardo’s elbow is just as likely to explode as Cabrera’s ass is. This team needs a lot of help, and there’s none to be had in the system. Should Sabean just wait and see if the Yankees are gonna get him?

This is why I didn’t want to see Sabean kept on. Another winter of sitting here saying, wow, here’s an interesting way to solve the team’s problems, and then watching the Giants sit pat and trot out Klesko and Aurilia again. While the Hot Stove has rumors of just about every team in baseball doing something (more bad news, the Nationals just lost their third baseman to a broken wrist) the Giants big announcement is that they are severing ties with the best player they’re ever gonna have. That, and stories about bringing back Vizquel and Feliz, easily the worst left side of any infield in the entire world.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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