In the offseason, the Giants made a number of moves to keep the 2013 team as close to the 2012 roster as possible. For a team that’s won the World Series two out of the last three years, that makes a lot of sense. How good each individual move is the subject of this article. Some were better than others.
Bringing back Torres: C+
The Giants decided to sign Torres to a one-year, $2 million contract. Torres has struggled in almost every season he’s had in the major leagues except for his 2009 and 2010 seasons. His career batting average, .241,is nothing special, and Torres is not expected to start; he’s expected to be the Giant’s fourth outfielder. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to sign a guy back who has been struggling, has mediocre career stats, and won’t even start.
So why doesn’t this move get a failing grade? Well, there may be a small benefit to resigning Torres. The Giants management likely thinks keeping a lot of the same guys will lead the team to have roughly the same chemistry. This could definitely be true. It’s also possible (even if unlikely) Torres will have a season like he did in 2009 or 2010. And, for amount of money and time involved in resigning him, it isn’t a huge investment for the Giants. Still, I think the Giants could have found someone better for the role.
Letting Cabrera be signed to Toronto: A-
Even though though Cabrera’s move to Toronto seems like a huge loss to the Giants, I think the Giants made the right move in not re-signing him. Despite Melky Cabrera’s strong performance for the Giants, the organization was still a winning team without him. When Cabrera was banned for 50 games for testing positive for PED’s, the Giants still closed out the regular season with 30 wins and only 15 losses. He signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Blue Jays. For that amount of money, it really wouldn’t have made much sense to re-sign a player that wasn’t absolutely essential to the team. The 50-game ban, too, may have made the him a higher risk in the eyes of management. The Giants certainly would be kicking themselves if they re-signed Cabrera only to have him banned again for violating the rules.
Keeping Scutaro: A
The Giants acquired Marco Scutaro midway through the 2012 season from the Colorado Rockies. He was having a mediocre season there, but came to life when he came to the Giants. The second baseman went on to hit an amazing .362 for the Giants in the regular season and .328 in the post-season. He’s a great fit into the organization, and, if he keeps up the same level of performance for the duration of his contract, he will be worth every penny of the three-year, $20 million dollar contract.
Re-signing Affedlt: B
There are both good and bad things about keeping Affedlt with the Giants. On one hand, he’s performed well three out of his last four seasons with the Giants, and he’s had a key role. On the other hand, there are questions about how well he will perform in the future due to his age. If he keeps performing well, then the $18 million the Giants are going to give him over the next three years will be worth it. Some critics, however, argue the Giants could have saved money by going with a younger pitcher.
Keeping Pagan: B-
I don’t think Angel Pagan is a bad player, and I think the Giants did the right thing in trying to keep him. The problem I have, though, is how much they spent to do it. They signed the Giant’s outfielder to a four-year $40 million dollar contract. Pagan’s numbers weren’t bad. In fact, he played a solid center field and batted a .288 during the 2012 season. However, for that kind of money, I don’t think it’s worth keeping the team chemistry as close as possible to last season. Perhaps, the Giants could have used the money to try and tempt former Yankee Nick Swisher to join San Francisco’s outfield.
The Giants are making attempts to keep the same pitching staff as last year; however, the Giants still have work to do if they want to keep Brian Wilson. They want to offer him more cash incentives while the closer wants guaranteed money. Wilson has 171 career saves. The Giants also picked up Sandy Rosario on waivers from the Cubs. Even though Rosario gave up six earned runs in four innings of pitching for the Marlins in 2012, he had an ERA of 1.99 in the minors. Basically, Rosario shows potential and throws right-handed, something the Giants can definitely use.