…. Rebirth

Barry Zito started a season 4-0 for the first time in his career, after yesterday’s 5-2 win over the Rockies. The win pushed the Giants to 13-9, their best start in four years.

This team has enough pitching to win a championship, right now. This team, right now, needs one big bat. That’s all. One real hitter. RIGHT NOW.

Who is that hitter? I think you all know what player I would love to see the team make a behind-the-scenes, blockbuster, change the landscape of the entire National League play for:

…. I said it before, and I’ll say it again, Prince Fielder is the best young player in baseball. Today, he became the youngest player ever to reach 50 home runs in a season, supplanting Willie Mays, who did it in his age 24 season. Fielder is 23, and looks to be a superstar for a long time. If only the Giants had a player with anything even close to the kind of upside Fielder seems to have.

I wrote that three years ago. Can you imagine Fielder at first and Sandoval at third? That is a dream team at the corners for a decade. Fielder’s situation in Milwaukee appears probematic, mostly due to the outrageous $125 million dollar extension the Phillies gave to Ryan Howard. Even John Shea agrees with me:

…. first basemen Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez will be free agents after the 2011 season and were long shots to re-sign with their teams even before Howard’s stunning deal.

Now that the bar is set far higher, the question is: When will Fielder and Gonzalez be traded? Before the July 31 deadline, with their trade value peaking? The offseason? The following July?

For the Giants, it’s worth monitoring. If it’s midseason, and they’re serious about advancing through the playoffs, and their offense is lagging, and Aubrey Huff isn’t proving to be a difference-maker, they’d be wise to enter the conversation.

Neither Fielder nor Gonzalez makes much in his current contract, relatively speaking. Fielder gets $6.5 million this year and is eligible for arbitration after the season. Gonzalez makes $4.75 million in 2010 with a $5.5 million club option for 2011.

Put either in the middle of the Giants’ lineup, and opponents suddenly would fear more than the pitching.

Madison Bumgardner and a handful of prospects might be enough to pry Fielder away from Milwaukee, right now. Now is when Sabean should be approaching Doug Melvin. Now, before the season moves forward, before Milwaukee knows whether they will contend. Strike while the iron is hot, says the old saw.

The Giants have the best pitching in baseball. Right now. Fortune favors the bold. Be bold, Brian Sabean, Bill Neukom and the rest of the managing partners.

Don’t tell me you’re thinking of buying the Golden State Warriors. What? If you have that kind of extra cash, spend it on your baseball team. Buy the best young hitter available. You got millions of dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Spend it on bringing a championship to San Francisco for the first time ever.

You put Fielder at first, Sandoval at third, and Posey behind the plate, and the roster of wanna be’s, never-wases and has-beens that Sabean is so fond of are suddenly palatable. Three dynamic, young stud hitters surrounded by some relatively inexpensive, league average hitters, and this team can win a title. This team can win multiple titles with a big three like that.

Be bold, Brian.

UPDATE: 14-9. Seriously. Make a move, Sabean. You cannot allow another season to roll by without taking advantage f this pitching staff.

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