Joe Sheehan is probably gonna be pissed that I am cutting and pasting almost his entire article today, but, Jesus Fucking Christ, I feel like Nostradamus:
…. Let’s get something out of the way: as currently constituted, the Giants are unlikely to make the playoffs. True, they have played well so far, thanks in no small part to a devastating one-two rotation punch and a surprisingly strong bullpen. The Giants are very, very good at preventing the other team from scoring, and that’s the skill that has enabled them to be a factor in this summer’s playoff chase.
…. What they can’t fake is an offense, which has been hideously bad. The team is 15th in the NL in runs scored, and 16th in Equivalent Average with a .241 mark that’s seven points worse than the Padres. They have one good bat in Pablo Sandoval, one average one in Aaron Rowand, and seven guys who can’t hit.
…. they can acquire and play just about any player in baseball because they have so few players who can’t be benched.
…. the other factor in play here is that the Giants have significantly outperformed their expected record, not just from the preseason, but what you’d expect from what they’ve done on the field. The Giants have scored 33 more runs their their third-order prediction, and allowed 17 fewer. That’s a five-win swing, right now the difference between second place the wild-card chase and nowhere.
…. it brings up the question of how good the team really is, and how good it can be? If the Giants are “only” a .500 team, improving them to .550 is harder than if they’re a .530 team. The Playoff Odds Report is seeing this problem as well, giving the Giants a mere 9.5 percent chance to make the playoffs, a small chunk of which is their chance to win the division.
…. With that in mind, should the Giants bother to make a big move? As mentioned, their top-heavy farm system is a challenge, as teams want their very best prospects, and four of those guys are among the top 60 prospects in the game. Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Angel Villalona, Tim Alderson… these guys are the core of a championship team down the line. Add in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, and you can see the Giants playing deep into October in the not-too-distant future.
On the other hand, four of those guys are pitchers, and one, by definition, will be the fourth starter in that rotation. The Freak isn’t tradeable, and Matt Cain’s contract and jump in performance make him a fixture. Bumgarner is ahead of Alderson by any evaluation, and I haven’t mentioned Sanchez, himself an incredible talent, in this paragraph yet.
son could be in the major leagues a year from now, and he’ll be a top-40 prospect on next year’s list. He is, however, a level back of the guys who will be one-two-three at that time. As Kevin Goldstein said, “His ceiling is nowhere near that of teammate Madison Bumgarner, but he could be closer to the major league rotation.” That actually could be a selling point in a deal, as GMs trading away veteran talent like to do so for players who are close to the majors. Alderson could be starting for his new team next summer, providing the local fans proof positive of the value of what could be an unpopular deal.
…. What your team needs more than anything else is guys who don’t make outs. Nick Johnson doesn’t make outs to the tune of a .410 OBP. There’s not much power left in his bat, and he runs poorly, but you’d be picking up 15-20 runs at first base over the rest of the season, with no loss in defensive performance compared to Travis Ishikawa, himself a good glove man. That’s about two wins. The Nationals also have two left fielders better than Randy Winn or Fred Lewis, one expensive, one less so. Josh Willingham is having a nice season, but it’s Adam Dunn that you want. A poor left fielder, Dunn hits more than enough to make up for that, and it’s not as if Lewis is a tough act to follow out there. Even if Dunn asks for a trade this winter, so what? Let him walk as a free agent and take back the $10 million you would have owed him. For now, bank the 20-25 extra runs he’ll be worth and start taking yourself seriously as a contender.
First, I'm sending Joe an email apology for posting pretty much his whole fucking article.
Second, Joe only affirms that I have been right about the fact that Adam Dunn is the single most effective player available to solve the Giants offensive woes, and he has been SINCE THE END OF LAST SEASON!!!!!!!
My thanks go out to Joe for confirming that I –in fact– am not an idiot. “A poor left fielder, Dunn hits more than enough to make up for that.” Yes, I have only been saying that for going on seven months now.
So, trading for Dunn, (as opposed to signing him as a free agent, which would have been the absolutely best possible move the team could have made last off-season), is, in point of fact, pretty much the only move the team could or should make, even though Brian Sabean should be fired for coming to this conclusion now, because the facts were there, for all of us to see, in November of last year.
As an alternative, Josh WIllingham, simply because he's just a bit younger, would be equally valuable to a team that has pretty much the very worst offense you can possibly have and still talk about contending.