Friday, June 17, 2011

0 comments More Crazy Bleacher Report Trade Ideas

I think I have fallen in love with a sports site. That site is Bleacher Report. I never really considered it a sports site until I realized it gets a ton of traffic and there is just some really comical stuff on that site. It is probably my temporary love, so I am going to keep rolling with it for the time being. My favorite part about the site is the hypothetical trades some of the authors throw out. We all remember the epic Andre Ethier hypothetical trade article that was posted. It doesn't end there. It is as if the writers at Bleacher Report assume the General Manager of MLB teams are as stupid and reactionary as they are as fans of these teams.

So there was another funny trade proposal article from Bleacher Report. The title is "Buster Posey Broken Leg: Will This Spark Giants to Trade for Jose Reyes?" Reyes has been linked to the Giants, at least by the media, but the Giants should probably worry first about getting a catcher to replace Posey, then worry about upgrading the shortstop position. Otherwise, the Giants will trade one position of weakness for another. Reyes has been linked to the Giants, so the idea isn't crazy necessarily, but there is more information beyond just the title and that's the problem. There is also a trade proposal.

I guess the best news about this article is that, contrary to what we usually see on Bleacher Report, it is not a slideshow.

With the Giants looking to repeat their World Series Championship performance from last season, they will need to make some sort of move to replace Posey.

This normally would be the part where I would rub Murray Chass' nose in it that Posey is lost for the season, so this injury is a good reason why teams keep players in the minors to get full service time out of them. Because shit happens...and yes, it does suck for the player. I would also talk about how the Giants "lack of integrity" helped them out because Giants fans are able to see Posey for one more year because the Giants waited a few months in 2010 to call Posey up to the majors. I would also discuss how this is the second player, along with Stephen Strasburg, who was kept in the minors a little longer from the 2010 season and then that player suffered a major injury which would keep him out an extended period of time. Finally, then I would say injuries can't be predicted, but now the Giants and Nationals have extra time with important players before they hit free agency or arbitration because both teams waited two months to call these players up.

But I won't say any of that.

This is not something that will be easy to do, as Posey was a big threat in the middle of the Giants' lineup. There is one player who will almost definitely be available on the trade market that the Giants could try to trade for.

This person is Jose Reyes. So Reyes, a shorstop and a guy best used as a lead off hitter, will be the big threat in the middle of the lineup to replace Buster Posey, who is a catcher? Reyes isn't quite known as being the power hitter that Posey is and he certainly isn't a catcher. So the Giants may trade for Reyes, but not specifically to replace Posey, because Reyes can't replace his power nor play Posey's position.

While he does not have the power that Posey does, Reyes is a dynamic threat that would greatly improve the Giants' offense.

Yes, he would greatly improve the Giants offense. Posey's power, ability to play catcher and his work with the pitching staff can not be replaced though. I just don't exactly see now that Posey is injured why this means a trade for Reyes should occur. Reyes doesn't really fix too many things the Giants will miss by not having Posey, because he is a completely different player from Posey.

The need for a shortstop on the Giants roster is still a separate need for a catcher, even now that Posey is injured. The Giants probably need an upgrade at both positions.

The Giants already had a need for a shortstop, and Reyes is a big improvement over current Giants shortstops Mike Fontenot and Miguel Tejada.

There are shortstops currently retired or in the Giants minor league system that could be upgrades over Fontenot or Tejada. This isn't a tough level to reach.

He would provide a spark at the top of the Giants lineup and would help offset the Giants' loss of Posey.

You know, except for the fact the Giants still wouldn't have a quality catcher. Maybe the umpire will throw the ball back to the pitcher for the Giants and they can just play without a catcher. If the Giants should make a move at all, it needs to be for a catcher, and then a move for a shortstop. I think they are two completely separate needs. As good as Reyes is, I don't see him offsetting the loss of Buster Posey directly.

The Mets have a chance to take advantage of this injury.

Here comes the crazy trade proposal. Now please know the guy writing this column, Robert Knapel, appears to be a diehard Mets fan. So you know the trade proposal forthcoming is completely biased and unrealistic. He just assumes Brian Sabean is stupid enough to panic and make an idiotic trade because that's what he wants to believe, since it would benefit his favorite team.

The Giants will be in a bit of a short-term panic, and they might be willing to overpay for Reyes.

I love unrealistic rosterbation!

I know it sounds great to think the Giants will panic, but if you sit down and think about Brian Sabean then you know he doesn't panic. He signed Miguel Tejada to play shortstop this offseason . I would have been in a panic immediately after paying Miguel Tejada to play for my team. The Giants, and Sabean, won the World Series last year by building an offense with a veteran lineup that didn't seem to be able to hit well enough on paper to succeed in the playoffs. Sabean didn't panic and it worked out for him. A lesser GM would have seen he had traded or signed 21 outfielders near the trade deadline (just a guess...I know he traded for or signed Cody Ross, Pat Burrell and Jose Guillen) all of whom didn't seem initially to be a huge answer to the Giants offensive problems and gone into a panic he had not done enough to upgrade the offense. I know I probably would. Not Brian Sabean. So I don't think he will panic this year either with the injury to Posey.

Brandon Belt, who may have been off-limits beforehand, could be dealt to the Mets for Reyes.

This is a crazy trade proposal for two reasons:

1. The Giants are probably not terribly eager to trade their best prospect and a MLB-ready player in order to get Jose Reyes as a one year rental, after which he will become a free agent. Thinking the Giants would trade a young, team-controlled, left-handed hitter for a one-year rental is just not realistic.

2. Far be it for me to bring this up, but Brandon Belt is a first baseman. He has played some outfield in the minors, but he is probably best served at first base. Don't the Mets already have a young, left-handed first baseman? Ike Davis, maybe? So why the fuck why they trade for ANOTHER first baseman? To put him out of his natural position in the outfield?

Zach Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner are two other players that could also be moved.

Any player COULD be moved. In reality, it won't happen. I can see Knapel did the typical "look at another team's farm system and then pick one of the top prospects" method of designing a trade and that's how he came up with Zach Wheeler's name. Wheeler is the Giants top pitching prospect and top prospect overall after Brandon Belt. Given the success the Giants have had with developing pitching, what on Earth could make someone think the Giants would trade their top pitching prospect for a player that may end up being a one-year rental?

I've said it before, it is not acceptable to just pick the top prospect in another team's system and just assume a team will trade that player. For this to be realistic you have to look at the team's history and see if it makes sense based on their needs. It doesn't make sense when you look at the Giants recent history.

The same thing goes for Madison Bumgarner. There's no chance, even as poorly as some of his numbers look like this year, that the Giants would trade a 21 year old left-handed pitcher who has proven he can pitch at the major league level for a shortstop that is going to probably be a one-year rental. Reyes wants to his the free agent market and he is going to have bidders. I am not sure the Giants could or would match another team's offer. So the odds of Reyes staying in San Francisco or signing with them before the season is over is not good. Knowing how the Giants do their business, this just isn't a realistic trade.

As we have seen with Kendrys Morales, a broken bone could cause Posey to miss more than just this season. On top of the broken leg, Posey also has severely sprained ligaments in his ankle. This could lead to a very long recovery process.

Which is why trading for a player who has one year left on his contract makes sense? Which is why trading a good young hitter (Belt) who has shown he can come close to Posey's production (at least in the minors) is a good idea? Is there not going to be a 2012 baseball season and no one has told me yet?

I like Jose Reyes and I think he will be a valuable addition to a team that trades for him. He's young and is the type of hitter that is hard to find in baseball. I don't see too many teams trading upper-tier MLB-ready players or their top prospect for him. This doesn't seem like it would happen.

Jose Reyes is a free agent this off-season, but if the Giants acquire him, they could lock him up to a long-term deal.

They could lock him up to a long-term deal. Or they could not lock him up to a long-term deal. It's a risk that is factored into the trade.

The Giants could also sign Jose Reyes to a long-term deal when he becomes a free agent after this season, which is something they would have to do anyway to justify trading Bumgarner, Belt or Wheeler for Reyes.

This would certainly serve as insurance if Posey has to miss part or all of next season.

Because nothing says "insurance" like spending $14-$16 million on a player. The last time the Giants spent that much money on a player, they spent it on Barry Zito. Think they mostly regret that decision? Not that the Zito contract would cause the Giants to not sign another player for a ton of money, but you don't sign a guy to a long-term, expensive deal as insurance in case another player doesn't come back soon enough from injury. Well, some teams may, but I don't think the Giants would.

If Posey is healthy, the Giants' lineup becomes much more intimidating to opposing pitchers with Reyes hitting in front of Posey.

That would be intimidating. So rather than trading for Jose Reyes, should the Giants just try to sign him after this season? It seems to make more sense since Reyes probably would not be able to hit in front of Buster Posey this year due to Posey's injury.

I think I just got confused. So is the point to trade for Reyes so he can "replace" Posey's production? Or is the point to trade for Reyes so he can be re-signed to hit in front of Posey? Or is it both? If it is both, then why don't the Giants just keep their best prospects and sign Reyes, as they would have to do anyway, after this season? He would replace Posey's production until Posey is 100% and they get to keep their prospects. Does that make too much sense?