Baggs straightens out the Cain mess

Posted By on May 27, 2009 2:25 pm

Great entry in Andy Baggarly’s blog today in which explains what the Giants are really doing with regards to Matt Cain. Of course, I never believed that were actively “shopping” Cain, because I know that’s not Brian Sabean’s style. Any GM has got be open to listening on just about anyone. To not do it, as Billy Beane always says, would be malpractice.

I want to take issue with one thing Baggs wrote…

We’re not talking about an impending free agent like Nick Johnson here. We’re talking about a player with similar service-time attributes as Cain…


Cain has incredible value – probably as much as Dan Haren when the A’s dealt him. The Giants will not be seeking a Haren-type deal for prospects, though. (See “similar service-time attributes” above.)

To that I say, why not? (Questioning the Giants here, not Baggs)

As I wrote a few days ago over at FanHouse, I believe that’s the only kind of deal the Giants ought to consider for Matt Cain. If we don’t believe the Giants have enough horses right now to be a serious championship caliber team by 2011 (during Cain’s contract), why should we believe they will be if you replace Cain with, hypothetically, Prince Fielder?

Do you want to know what a team looks like when it has one big hitter in the middle of the lineup and no one else? You already know what it looks like, because that’s what the Giants had in 2006 and 2007. They scored 746 and 683 runs in those years. Last year’s totally impotent lineup scored 640 runs. Assuming that whatever new hitter the Giants get is not going to be as good as Barry Bonds (not even the ’06 and ’07 versions), and assuming that the pitching is worse without Cain, my feeling is that a one-for-one swap does nothing to help the Giants in the short- or long-term.

First of all, the Giants don’t need to trade Cain unless someone blows their socks off. To me a blow-your-socks off deal would be one that includes at least four players, two of whom are among a team’s top four or five prospects. The Giants also need to get two players who project to being above average everyday players (not necessarily stars).

Just for fun, let’s say the Rangers stay in contention and decide they need more pitching. They are loaded with prospects. What if they offered Chris Davis (they could use Hank Blalock at first) and Netfali Perez, along with two other lower-level minor leaguers. Davis is already a big leaguer, in his first full season, and Perez is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.

That’s just a hypothetical, but that’s the sort of thing I think should be the Giants’ goal.


One Response to “Baggs straightens out the Cain mess”

  1. harold says:

    I agree with you; the Giants need more than one new player. But, a very good young player like Ryan Zimmerman would be a nice addition without the risk of getting prospects that may or may not pan out. It scares me to think of trading Cain. I would be a terrible GM.

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