Even the most casual baseball fan knows the San Francisco Giants need offense. The Giants–and in particular GM Brian Sabean–have tried to address this need during this offseason.
However, they are going about things the wrong way.
Signing mediocre or non-impact players is not the way to go. I’ve made the comparison before that the Giants are like a college basketball team after their star player leaves for the NBA. All that is left are the role players.
That is the Giants right now. They have and are a bunch of role players. The team that is left with just role players can’t take things to the next level because nobody is left to make the big shot or in the Giants case, the big hit.
The Giants needed to add an impact bat this offseason and signing guys like Aubrey Huff doesn’t qualify. The Giants signed Huff yesterday to a one-year, $3 million deal. Huff, 33, is expected to play first base for the Giants in 2010.
Not only is Huff not the impact the Giants need, he isn’t even better than what they already have. If you compare the stats, Travis Ishikawi is coming off a better year than Huff is.
In 2009, Ishikawa hit .261/.329/.387 with nine home runs in 120 games. Huff on the other hand, hit .241/.310/.383 with 15 home runs in 150 games in 2009 with the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers.
Why not just go with Ishikawa for 2010?
My guess is Sabean is hoping Huff returns to his 2008 form where he hit .304/.360/.552 with 32 home runs in 2008. Playing in a ballpark where it is death valley for left-handed power hitters, I doubt Huff comes anywhere close to his 2008 numbers.
I am obviously not privy to the Giants’ financial records, but signing someone like Adam LaRoche or even Carlos Delgado would have made more sense for what the Giants need than Huff.
The one thing I am learning about Sabean as the years go by, is that his eye for talent–at least on the offensive side– is usually off. A GM can use stats all he wants, but he also has to use the eye test and try to figure out which players are on the decline and which players are capable of having a bounce-back season.
Sabean consistently misjudges talent on offense. The perfect example of this would be Aaron Rowand. Rowand is a classic role player or glue guy on a good team–not a star player, who can carry a team.
Sabean paid Rowand like a star player and he clearly is not one.
Despite their additions of Huff, and DeRosa and the re-signings of Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez, I still don’t think the Giants have enough on offense to win the NL West.
Huff is a career .282 hitter with 203 home runs and a .340 OBP in 10 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, Orioles, and Tigers.
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