Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, Nate Schierholtz.
If that sent shudders of contempt, confusion, and depression through your central nervous system instead of excitement, I would certify you as a sane individual. The Giants have committed most of their $130 million payroll, and Giants GM Brian Sabean has been quoted as saying that the Giants are done with any significant player signing or movement1.
Neither Cody Ross nor Carlos Beltran was offered a contract, and talks never got deep. Ross was even willing to take a discount to stay with the Giants, and was quoted as saying, “it’s sad” that he isn’t donning the orange and black in 2012.
Excuse me? That’s it? That’s our outfield?
Well, that’s my first reaction, but the cogent (ha) objective part of me needs time to digest this, and after you peel back the first few layers of mediocrity, the Giants still may do alright with the status quo next year. The BIG caveat is that they cannot be riddled with injuries like they were in 2011. Their lineup will automatically improve with Posey and Freddy Sanchez playing 140+ games, and their run production should increase. But really, it couldn’t get much worse after last year’s historic anemic production.
From an statistics point of view, Beltran was a rent-a-player, and Ross may have poured the last of his significant contributions in the 2010 playoffs, as last year was dismal (.240, 14 HR, 52 RBI). Torres also had a down year and I’m sad to see him depart for the Big Apple.
Now, bear with me, but a little statistical breakdown, assuming everyone performs like they did last year; we may actually get more production out of our outfield.
*dons green banker visor*
Last year, the three outfield positions sported a combined .248 average, 46 HRs and 180 RBI. If you divide that by three, the “average” SF Giants outfielder for a full year had 15 HRs and 60 RBI. If you look at Cabrera, Pagan, and Schierholtz and extrapolate 2011’s performance to 162 games played, they total .282, 41 HR, 222 RBI. Granted, it’s a slight reduction in power, but a significant increase in batting average, OBP and OPS.
Maybe there is hope when you add by subtraction.