Inside the Giants Clubhouse
Easiest way to trigger a lively conversation in the Bay Area this week: Mention Manny Ramirez and the Giants.
The Giants would be out of their minds even to consider signing a guy who could disrupt the clubhouse the way this one can.
The Giants would be out of their minds even to consider not signing a guy who could electrify their lineup the way this one can.
This is a perfect debate topic because there is no wrong opinion. You can make a compelling argument for either side – and heaven knows, we’ve been hearing a thousand versions of each on radio shows, blogs, newspapers, TV.
In the center of this swirl sits Brian Sabean.
He sees both sides, too, of course. And he knows there is no mathematical formula that ultimately will yield the one, definitive correct answer. Piecing together a major-league roster – factoring in money, lengths of contracts, immediate vs. future needs, personalities – is an inexact science. It’s about research and analysis, absolutely, but also instinct, experience, opportunism.
In his office at AT&T Park, with the walls covered almost floor to ceiling with the ever-changing rosters of every ML team, Sabean weighs the pros and cons of a player like Ramirez. He says he still hasn’t had anything more than “general conversations” with Scott Boras, Ramirez’s agent, trying to get a sense of their “parameters” as far as money and years, and whether those parameters are worth the Giants’ consideration.
“We have to look at it in a baseball sense, and in a present and future sense,” Sabean said this morning. “It’s a nice idea, but if you’re not any farther along as an organization two years from now, than it doesn’t make sense.
“He’s not in a position we need, but we’re doing our due diligence because he’s a middle-of-the-order hitter and he’s on the free agent market. But you have to consider whether you’re getting a player who allows you to win the division but takes you off course for the long run.”
In other news:
On Jan. 21, Sabean is flying to the Dominican Republic with Larry Baer, John Barr and Bill Neukom to evaluate the organization’s set-up there. The Giants have a field and a dormitory-like building on a U.S. Air Force base in Santa Domingo. The team brings in players they’re looking at, players who perhaps have gone through the Dominican instructional league or summer league. Baer and Neukom have never seen the facility, so it’s something of a goodwill visit. But they also want to gauge if the facility needs upgrading or expansion to strengthen the team’s ability to identify and cultivate Dominican players.
Thanks for reading. Send me questions about the Giants and I’ll do my best to track down the answers.