Tucked away deep inside the steel-crossed superstructure of AT&T Park there is, I imagine, an elite Owners Club Room. It's very plush with big leather chairs, a long leather bar, leather napkins, and... well let's just say there's a lot of leather.
Inside that room earlier this week San Francisco Giants upper management must have gathered to slap each other on the back and pop a couple of bottles of J. Lassalle Champagne. And smile at the latest news about their former World Championship team.
Because there's a story being put out in the sports media that the Giants have been "big spenders" this off-season. You know, taking the lead, free-spending lots of money and wrapping up the players they need to win in 2014.
Several SF Chronicle sports writers have made that story their lead the past week. And after the Giants signed starter Tim Hudson, two MLB-TV program hosts roundly touted San Francisco for jumping ahead of the pack and writing checks this way and that.
The trouble is, the Giants haven't spent an extra dime so far this off-season. In fact, to date their payroll is significantly down from last season. But they are getting credit for opening their wallets and dishing out payroll money like M&Ms.
Let's take a look, (from Cot's Baseball Contracts, and note that all future multi-year contract money has been averaged over the length of the contract):
|Player||2013 salary||2014 salary||Difference|
|Hunter Pence||$13.8 million||$18 million||+$4.2 million|
|Total + $15.780 million|
|Player||2013 salary||2014 salary||Difference|
|Tim Lincecum||$20.25 million||$17.5 million||-$2.75 million|
|Barry Zito||$20m||$7m (buyout)||-$13m|
|Ryan Vogelsong||$5m||$300,000 (buyout)||-$4.7m|
|Total - $22.450 million|
Let's see. Carry the one, subtract the decimal, add the differentials, and regularly wash your underwear.
Hey, whadda ya know! The Giants are up $6.67 million so far this off-season! Wow, if that's what the media is calling being a "big spender" then I am impressed with their peculiar notion of advanced mathematics.
But wait, you scream. The Giants aren't paying Hunter Pence just $18 million, they're paying him $90 million (divided over five years). Same with Lincecum-- he's actually going to make $35 million over two years. So you are wrong, sir! The San Francisco Giants really are big spenders.
Sorry, bunky. Just sit back on the couch, pull the tab on another PBR and let's use our logic skills and all our fingers.
Sure the Giants signed Pence to a long term contract-- and they do owe him $90 million. But it's year by year, not payable all at once. So think about it. San Francisco is going to pay salaries for 25 players every year. If it's not Pence, it's someone else. So you can sign Pence to a five year deal or you can sign a new right fielder each year for five years. At about the same price.
The number of years in a given contract doesn't matter-- the Giants' front office is going to pay someone every year. I will guarantee you that some guy is going to play right field for the Giants every season and get paid for it.
If anything, by the time Hunter Pence gets to the second or third year of that contract the average cost for a player of his caliber (at his signing age) will be a lot higher than $18 million a year.
So looking at the Giants 2013 payroll versus what they've dropped for 2014, they are doing pret-ty good. Where are we at? Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence, and Javier Lopez have just replaced themselves. And let's say for the sake of argument that Tim Hudson replaced Barry Zito.
That means we still have two slots to fill: Andres Torres in left field and Ryan Vogelsong's spot in the starting rotation. And, sure, there is other unfinished salary business yet to be done-- Brandon Belt, etc. It's just nice that San Francisco GM Brian Sabean will face all those payroll projects with an extra $6.6 million sitting in the bank.
Now the Giants can really do what they've been given credit for all over the media but haven't actually done yet: become big spenders.
Hi everyone, first of all i want to apologize for my english, i'm a longtime italian Giants fan, so i'm sure you'll understand.
To be honest i'm quite satisfied with Giants offseason untill now.
I'm glad Timmy remained a Giant even if i think we overpaid him, because i was really worried to see him perform really well for..let's say...the Yankees.
I'm even more glad that Hunter is still a Giant, and i think your analysis of what we would pay a RF anyway each year is pretty realistic. So, well done. ......... Now please let's buy a LF.
As for our rotation i think Bum is a solid #1 and Cain will be better than last year and a perfect #2. Timmy and Hudson could be two great #3 or two poor #4. The reality is we don't know how they'll perform because they both have issues to deal with, since Lincecum has to find trust in himself again and Hudson is coming out of an injury. But what worries me the most is that right now we don't have a #5, which may also be needed to replace eventually our #4 if one of the two above fails to perform. Also we don't have young pitching. Crick is not coming up soon, and there's noone else.
Kind of miss Wheeler maybe...but i don't want to go down that road now.
A final thought which hasn't come up until now. I'm not sure if i trust Romo as a closer. Maybe i never really did, even when he helped us winning the World Series. I'm sorry to say that but that's what i think. Maybe I'd like to see Wilson back in black&orange...just out of curiosity. And i'd really like to see Hembree becoming our closer.
By the way....what about Surkamp? Any news (hopes)?
I agree with the overall point of your post but LoneStar brought up some good facts. The big hole that is staring the Giants in the face is what to do in left field. They still need to pick up a 5 starter but they better think long and hard about LF and do the right thing and if they choose FA not let money stand in the way if it means getting an all around ball blub that can score runs and have good pitching all on a 25 man roster.
@LoneStarGiantFan Great post; Richard does exactly what he accuses the press of doing regarding Giants payroll -- he obfuscates. They spent $137MM in 2013. They've got $125.5 MM committed to 13 players already (Cain, Pence, Pagan, Scutaro, Affeldt, Sandoval, Casilla, Posey, Romo, Bumgarner, Lopez, Hudson, Lincecum). Adding in estimates for 6 arb eligible players: Mijares (2.1), Blanco (2.2), Arias (1.2), Belt (2.4), Abreu (0.7), Petit (1.3) brings us to $135.4. Then you've got 5 young players under their rookie contracts: Crawford (0.9), Sanchez (0.9), Dunning (0.5), Hembree (0.5), and Peguero (0.5) which totals 138.7MM. Add in 7.3 for Zito and Vogelsong's buyouts and you're at $146MM. That's with 24/25 roster spots filled. It seems pretty likely that we'll trade for a platoon LF during the winter meetings, so allow $4.0MM for that and we're at 150MM total for 2014.
Now, you can quibble with my choices for who makes the roster (Mijares and Abreu may not get offered arb; Dunning, Hembree, and Peguero might be Kontos, Machi and Perez; Petit might be Vogelsong) -- but I think I'm going to end up pretty close to the actual budget. We could easily exceed $150MM if we sign Arroyo or Haren, or trade for a starting LF.
We were sixth in payroll in 2013 -- we'll be in the top 8 again this year. This whole "Giants are cheap" meme has just got to stop.
Hey Richard...nice job, other than the fact you completely ignored the $14.5M the Giants owe players due to scheduled contract increases...and glossed over the $5-6M the club will owe in arbitration raises. Take that $19.5-$20.5M in payroll increases, subtract the $6.7 you point out the club has "saved", and you're left with a $12.8-13.8M INCREASE in payroll to date for 2014, with the club still looking for a #5 SP and a way to upgrade in LF.
The Giants have said they would be willing to increase payroll by $10M going into 2014...but have already exceeded that...even if they devote all $25M of their new TV revenue to payroll, AND hadn't already figured the $25M into their plan to up payroll by $10M, that would leave them $21M to fix both LF and the #5 rotation slot.
But that would mean the Giants will have actually increased payroll by $35M for 2014, rather than the $10M they communicated earlier.
Good "detective" work, Richard. You excel at that. And now the Giants are no longer fooling your readers.
Hey maxwell, thanks for posting.
I completely agree that San Francisco needs a front line, run-producing outfielder or we can kiss 2014 off.
We can also kiss 2014 off if Giants management really thinks all the starting pitching staff still needs is a #5 starter. We already have two low rotation pitchers in Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum. Cain has never been a #1 guy and regressed to a #3 starter last season.
This team needs a top starting pitcher who is at least a #2 guy on a legitimate contending team. Otherwise we can look forward to finishing in 3rd place behind the Dodgers and Arizona. Again.
Thanks LSGF and tzill for weighing in on this subject! You bring up a number of relevant points regarding the Giants 2014 payroll. (But here comes the huge "However...")
However, I actually did mention that the Giants still have arbitration (Brandon Belt) and other unfinished salary business to get done before the 2014 season starts. I was making a larger point without getting into each and every potential salary increase or decrease. (For example, the team will likely have several base-MLB salary players on the 2014 40 and 25 man rosters.)
Also I noted that I rounded off a couple of multi-year contracts for simplicity sake. Hunter Pence isn't actually making $18 million next season, he's making $16-- but he is getting $90 million over 5 years, an average of $18 million per.
I didn't get into the increases in additional revenue the Giants will get in 2014 and beyond, because then the whole thing becomes a mass of numbers and, again, misses my immediate point.
If you want to talk "other Giants revenue", you actually dramatically underestimated the increases San Francisco will get in revenues in 2014 and beyond.
Not only has the national TV contract increased by $25 million a year-- the Giants will get that $25 million every year for the next 8 years. Which directly supports the kind of high cost multi-year player signings the team should be pursuing.
Also the team is working on the land development deals that will turn their parking lots into revenue generating residential and commercial property. That investment money is coming in now. And the team is also going to lose their annual $30 million loan payment on AT&T Park in a couple of years. That's $30 million in additional revenue each year which could be directly applied to signing major impact players with multi-year contracts. Right now.
Other revenues increasing are ticket sales-- the annual ticket costs for 28,000 season ticket holders goes up each year anywhere from 2% to 8%. MLB teams also get revenue sharing money from Major League Baseball, and on and on.
We can't even fully know the true annual revenue figures for the Giants. But we do know this: they are substantial and they only increase each year. Meanwhile San Francisco's ownership/management is saying they will only increase the 2014 payroll by $10 million?
1. 2014 is done if we don't get a front line LF -- horsecrap. We've got Pagan/Scutaro/Posey/Sandoval/Pence hitting 1-6 and Crawford hitting 8. That's 7/8 of our lineup with competent to very good hitters. We could easily get a platoon RHH to pair with Blanco in left and get decent production out of the 7 hole. If our 7 starters have average years, we'll score plenty of runs. We don't need to sign Choo or Ellsbury -- that would be $20MM plus a year spent on the 7 hole which would be stupid.
2. A rotation of Cain/Bum/Hudson/Lincecum/(Vogelsong or Petit) means we won't contend -- horsecrap again. Hudson and Lincecum are not "bottom of the rotation" starters. Taking his last three years, Hudson projects out to a 109 ERA+ and 2.1 WAR. That's a solid #3. For Timmy, you have to look at his last 20 starts as that's when he finally adjusted to the loss in velocity. We won't see Cy Timmy again, but to expect him to pitch like he did over the 40 starts in 2012-2013 before he adjusted is simply lazy analysis -- he's not that pitcher either. If you take his final 20 starts from this year, he projects out to a 105 ERA+ and 2.0 WAR. Again, a solid #3. For Cain, you cherry pick just this season, but if you take his last three seasons, he projects to 115 ERA+ and 3.0 WAR. That's a #2. I assume we can agree Madison is a #1.
In sum, we've got a #1, a #2, 2 #3s, and an opening. We might get Arroyo (he projects to a #3/#4. But if you look around the league, very few teams if any have a solid 1-5 rotation. The doyers certainly don't. If the top four pitch as projected, our rotation will be solid.
Lastly, your doom-and-gloom predictions are tired, and unsupported by any real analysis. For instance, you give oversimplified terse summations like "Cain has never been a #1 and regressed last season;" (2009-2012 all say "hello??"). You really need to have better grasp of the facts if you're going to have a serious blog. As it is, you seem like just another whiney lunatic fringer, ranting about "cheap Giants FO."
If you had to pick between a front line, run producing OF or a # 2 SP what would your pick be for lets say a 4 year contract. I will go with the OF. The Giants will not pay for both in my opinion and probably will do neither. With the latest rumors flying around I would rather sign Haren over Arroyo but it would be a hard decision.
LOL....Okay...your blog, your rules.
I just pointed out that your contention the Giants have not been spending big is not true. You isolated some very specific cases to make your point. Then, when I added the rest of the story, you launch into the old "But the ownership group is making SO much money" whinerama, rather than simply saying yes, the Giants are currently on a pace to spend $150M+...more than $13M than they did in 2013...in the 2014 season, and are still seeking to sign 2 more players.
Those ARE the facts.
I agree the Giants could "afford" to spend another $20M on the 2014 payroll...they could become one of the top 3-4 payroll franchises in MLB...but they don't believe they need to to be successful...to make the playoffs and play for another ring. Anyone who's watched Brian Sabean knows his MO is to field a somewhat imperfect team to start the season, look to see what goes right and wrong for the first 1/3 of the season, then make adjustments at the Trade Deadline. They've delivered two World Series Championships using the same approach.
If the Giants are in it after 60 games, I'd look for the Giants to deal 1-2 of their pitching prospects and a couple position prospects to acquire whatever the club needs at the turn. A LF? Okay. A 3B? Okay. Whatever.
The timing for this move is also important, as our lower level prospects will have advanced to their next level of MiLB development, providing Evans, Sabean, and crew just a bit more insight to their true ceilings than they have today. They may also have the added benefit of knowing how the 2014 Draft has already gone.
See where I'm going? If the Giants blow their wad in the off-season, they also blow their flexibility to acquire what they need at the Trade Deadline. It really is as simple as that.
@RDyer @LoneStarGiantFan Again, you're obfuscating. They are going to up the payroll by at least $13MM this year. Probably more. In any event, how much they bring in from other ventures has nothing to do with the payroll. Those land deals that they are working on have nothing to do with payroll; it's merely another way for the owners to make money. It would be similar to the owners investing in a startup that did well -- they've no obligation to take profit from those sources and plow it into the Giants payroll. The fact remains that the Giants are top 5 in spending, which is PLENTY to filed a contending team. Averaging contracts over their life is just plain lazy; Cots gives you the breakdowns. The bottom line is this: they spent $137MM this year and will spend $150MM+ this year. That's not cheap. The "Giants don't spend enough money" meme is just tired; you need to come up with something better than that.
Apparently, unlike you, I respect the fact that you disagree with me. And I respect your opinion. I assume, like me, you are a Giants fan, and ultimately we both want our team to achieve success.
Because you disagree with me I don't think that makes you a "whiney lunatic fringer", or that what you say is "drivel", or "stupid", or "ridiculous". To me, it's an opinion I just don't happen to agree with.
Why is it when we disagree with someone, it's not enough to state your opinion and your take on things and leave it at that. Apparently it's also really important to state that the person you disagree with is somehow "stupid", or their opinion is bullshit.
It is critical that I tell you that I know more than you, which means you're an idiot.
For me you get a pass, because I am assuming you are just a passionate Giants fan who has (temporarily) forgotten to be civil. (And believe me, I have also been a dick at times. It happens.)
In response to the other aspects of your post, the answer is "no". I am not satisfied with the Giants simply going forward with the same team that finished 16 games out of 1st place in 2013, plus the addition of a couple of older starters that other teams didn't want.
Marco Scutaro is very likely no longer a full-time player, so at some point the Giants will have to deal with the second base problem (hopefully better than they dealt with left field problem last season).
And I am happy that Matt Cain had some good years. Last season he was 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA and 158 SO in 184.1 IP. Hopefully, he will bounce back to form.
It's decision that no real American should ever be asked to make.
Having said that, the San Francisco Giants can more than afford to sign both a front line starter and a front line outfielder.
If they choose just one of those, then they're hoping that Giant fans drink the Kool-Aid, and be happily stupid.
"Yeah, you know, the Giants have that, you know, budget thing, and they just don't have the, you know, money to do both... ".
If the Giants don't sign either a top starter or outfielder, then we know the San Francisco Giants front office has decided to live off of the 2010 and 2012 World Series for yet another year. And now they'll have even more profits to be distributed to the ownership group in October of 2014.
So I can't choose signing one over the other when signing both are what a first class, winning franchise would do. Like St. Louis, like the Yankees, like Boston, like (gulp!) the Dodgers.
(Having said that, I totally agree with you-- I'll take Dan Haren in a heartbeat over Bronson Arroyo.)
Wow, i can't believe this guy is saying that the Giants can't draft! This is the team that drafted Timmy, Posey, Cain, Bumgarner, Panda... Even Belt and Crawford seem to be coming around. And Sabean has done a very good job with free agency in the post Bonds era, even with the Rowands and the Beltran fiascos, the front office managed to win two world series with the albatross of having Barry Zito on the payroll! Lopez, Ross, Burrell, Scutaro, Vogelsong -talk about finding diamonds in the rough! Not every player is going to work out but i think this front office has done very well in getting us the right guys to win championships. And they have also done very well in signing our own players, and to very team friendly contracts. Just look at the madison bumgarner contract! And Posey and Cain's contracts are going to look very good in 3 or 4 years as inflation hits the rest of the league. Instead of chasing big name players in FA they lock up the home grown talent first and find role players to fill needs. I hope they spend more time locking up Pablo Sandoval long-term than tilting at windmills for the big names. Hopefully they can get a weight rider in that contract though! Seriously, two WS titles in 3 years and people are still complaining!
Again, Richard. I have to agree with the others that your research leaves something to be desired.
Here is a link from Fangraphs entitled "Building Through the Draft" http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/building-through-the-draft-best-of-the-best/
It rates which teams have gotten the most WAR from their own draftees over the past ten years. Lo and behold.....who comes in at #2.....its the good ol' "inept" San Francisco Giants!
Now, granted, this was done in February 2012, so we have played two full seasons since. However, I checked the Fangraphs pages for posey/cain/lincecum/bumgarner/belt/romo/sandoval/crawford and that group has put up approx. 40 WAR since then. If that article were rewritten today, the Giants could very well come in at #1. At the very least, they must still be Top 5.
What does that mean? It means the Giants have done a great job of drafting and developing players who contribute at the major league level (that is if you think WAR is a good measurement).
Are there teams that have done better? Sure there are. One of the reasons the Giants system is on the weaker side now is that they did such a great job over a few year period in bringing players up. And considering how highly some people think of the stable of young arms the Giants have at the A/AA levels, they are surely to rise on that list soon (fingers crossed).
Lets put it another way. The Giants were able to turn four bad seasons (2005-2008) into the following top draft picks - Lincecum, Bumgarner, Posey, Wheeler. The first three combined with several other players drafted in later rounds such as Wilson, Romo and J. Sanchez to bring that first title in 2010 (not sure if Sandoval counts....he was an international signee, not a draftee). After that, the Giants have drafted later in the first round and none of those draft picks have made it yet.
I'm glad you dropped Tampa Bay into the discussion....all hail the Rays. Sure, they have done a good job of developing players......that is what coming in last for ten years will do for you. The Rays average draft position from 99-08 was 3rd. It really helps to have the #1 pick (David Price), or the #3 pick (Longoria). That can make any GM look brilliant. The Giants turn four bad seasons into the basis of a championship team, and Tampa can't do it in ten.....yet they are the geniuses. Also, Tampa has a history of not signing their good players when they reach free agency (which gives them extra first round picks) as well as trading players as they near free agency for players with more team control (as they did last year with James Shields and may do now with Price). Would Tampa have been a more formidable playoff team with James Shields instead of Wil Myers? Who knows? Tampa seems content to just be "in the running" as opposed to "winning the World Series".
Back to this year and the hole in left field. First of all, per MLB Trade Rumors, only 9 of the top 50 free agents are off the board...and only 3 of the top 25 with McCann being the only big one. This is how they play the game. Doesn't mean the Giants will make any big signings, but to have expected something by now is unreasonable.
I think Choo would be great.....better than Ellsbury because I think he will cost less. But there are three components to the "cost" of a free agent.....the years....the money.....the draft pick. I think the top free agents (Cano, Ellsbury, Choo...a few others) will command (and get) too many years + too much money. To throw a draft pick on top of that makes it excessive.
Still, that doesn't mean the Giants wouldn't do it. But, here's another thing to remember. The first word in "Free Agent" is "free". These guys can go where they want. How do you know they don't tell their agent "I don't want to go to SF". Its my belief that players want money and stats more than they want winning. There are plenty of teams with just as much money as the Giants, just as good of a chance to win and much smaller ballparks. You may not think it matters, but it does. The only time players indicate a willingness to sign here is when they are traded here and experience what its like to play here (Ross and Pence come to mind). When was the last time a free agent expressed how much he wanted to come to SF? Rumor has it that numerous free agent plays by the Giants in the past have been rebuffed because the players didn't want to play here (Soriano, Carlos Lee, Berkman (twice)). You act as if these players are waiting by the phone ready to give the Giants a discount but that they are too stubborn to do it. You simply don't know. The Giants may make the calls and told the player is not interested. The only way to get them here after that is to drastically overpay....which doesn't go over well on the blogs either.
What is it that you want, Richard? A team that wins the World Series every year, has the top rated farm system every year, signs all the best free agents every year....and what....has free beer? You're starting to sound like a typical Yankees/Red Sox fan who doesn't just want that, but feels entitled to it. I think that for an "inept" franchise, the Giants have been doing quite well.
No. The reason most blogs aren't taken seriously..by me, at least...is because most bloggers don't research their topics well enough, or only present a small piece of the picture to illustrate a point they want to make. Their content falls apart the first time it suffers a hard ping.
If you'd like to critique MY content, feel free to drop by the Giants MLB MB any time....;+)...........
I embarrass myself there on a regular basis.
Bottom line. The Giants have the money so they should be thinking of the fans. Put the best players on the field and pay us back for all the butts we have put in the seats every year. I am after offense and it steams me that they might be platooning in LF. After the debacle last year in LF they need an every day blue chipper in that position and if it cost a 1st round draft pick so be it. You would be taking a chance on the pick any way plus it would take some time for seasoning. As a fan I want to win the WS every year and for the Giants not to be aggressive for 2014 would be a slap in the face to the fans . There is a glaring need in LF .Giants do the right thing! Choo is the man to fill it.
"Richard, lay out some examples for us? Who do you want the Giants to spend their money on? Remember, any impact player is likely to cause the Giants to lose the 14th pick in the draft. That means you can't turn around and complain in a few years about the Giants weak farm system."
Sorry Sabean Wannabe, I'm not going to republish a blog I wrote on November 12, 2013 (just scroll down to read it) in which I already laid out:
1. The three players the Giants should consider signing.
2. The issue of signing a player like Shin-Soo Choo and losing their first draft pick in 2014. But here is the "draft pick" sentence in that Nov 12th posting:
"Whoever signs Choo will have to give up their top draft pick in 2014, but there's always a price to pay for quality.
"And the potential worth of a 2014 draft pick five years from now doesn't compare to what Shin-Soo Choo would bring to San Francisco over those same five years."
On your last point, "That means you can't turn around and complain in a few years about the Giants weak farm system."
Again, I completely disagree. You need to review the Giants draft picks over the past 10 years. They stink.
Which is why you should also check out Fangraphs and BaseballAmerica, both of whom have rated the Giants farm system in the bottom 5 or 6 of all 30 MLB teams for years.
That didn't happen because the Giants gave up a first round pick here or there, it happened because the people that do San Francisco's draft research have done a poor job.
(And please don't mention the 5 or 6 players who came up through the Giants system to the big club over the past 10 years-- that's out of 460+ drafted players, a terrible average.)
That's why teams like the Red Sox, St. Louis, and Tampa, who have routinely finished high in the standings over the past 10 seasons (and therefore only qualify for lower draft picks) have outstanding minor league systems that produce ten times the number of MLB-level players the Giants have.
If the Giants don't sign a player like Shin-Soo Choo because they're worried about one draft pick, that further illustrates how inept the organization has become.
Again, Giants management has spent 20 years portraying themselves as a so-called small market team that can't afford to spend like the so-called big market teams.
Here's a citation for you.
On November 16, 2013, SF Chronicle sports writer John Shea talked about how the Giants have "spent freely" and that they are a "big-market, high-revenue" team able to sign a big ticket free agent (SF Chron 11-16-13):
"General manager Brian Sabean said the pitching depth needs to keep up with the Dodgers' and other playoff teams', including the pennant-winning Cardinals'. After spending freely on Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence, the Giants have little reason for getting outbid for the top pitcher on the market Masahiro Tanaka.
"He'll cost more than $100 million including the posting fee and contract,
each likely to surpass $60 million. For the big-market, high-revenue Giants,
it's doable, especially with the arrival of their generous holiday gift package
- the new national TV deals."
Great points. First of all, I have not read any piece that calls the Giants "big spenders"....unless its Bleacher Report or some other hack publication (can you provide us a couple of links?).
The bottom line is the numbers are available, and tzill and LSFG have put good narrative around them. The Giants will continue to rank in the Top 10 in MLB in both revenue and payroll. Beyond that, I'd like to make a few points;
- having worked many years in corporate fnance, I can tell you that outsiders (the media, wall street analysts, etc.) make estimates about your income (based on information you chose to provide )and may come close, but are never spot on. Bottom line is we don't know exactly what the Giants revenue is - could be higher than thought...could be lower than thought.
- being in a high tax, high regulatory state, I'm willing to be the Giants have many more expenses than do other teams. The Giants can't spend their revenue, the can only spend the net.
- You act as those MLB teams should not have a budget. Why wouldn't an MLB franchise have a budget? So many people (present blog included) act as though MLB teams should operate as if they have unlimited budgets. Lets look at that in real life....
......lets say Jacoby Ellsbury is desired by seven teams who have very high revenue....NYY, LAD, LAA, BOS, PHI, SFG, TEX. The bidding starts at 6yr/$125M. Why would the bidding ever stop? If they each have an unlimited budget, wouldn't the bidding keep going? Wouldn't we soon be at 10yr/$500M and beyond? Remember, the teams don't matter about the price because they all have an unlimited budget.
Bottom line is the Giants have a budget.....a budget not set by Brian Sabean. Its increased by 50% in the space of four years (from approx. $100M to start the 201 season to approx. $150M to start the 2014 season).
Why is rampant spending on free agents the answer? Hasn't worked for NYY in a while and look at the money they now owe to Jeter, A-Rod, etc. Boston dumped their high priced free agents and turned themselves from a last place team into a World Series winner. St. Louis has done pretty well for several years running and their biggest FA move was to let Pujols go.
Why should the Giants bite if they don't like the price? There is a good chance the price will be better at the trade deadline.
Richard, lay out some examples for us? Who do you want the Giants to spend their money on? Remember, any impact player is likely to cause the Giants to lose the 14th pick in the draft. That means you can't turn around and complain in a few years about the Giants weak farm system.
Check out sites like fangraphs that often rate the worst/most unmoveable contracts in baseball. They are all the ""big spender" contracts you so desire - Fielder, Pujols, Hamilton, Howard, etc. I simply don't think that is where the Giants need to be. On a side note.......AL teams can often go more years/money for big bats because they know they can eventually move the guy to DH. It makes it tough to bid against them. Can you imagine Prince Fielder playing the filed in five years?
I agree with the others that there is a "Giants are cheap" meme that continues despite little evidence to back it up.
I love your tenacity and knowledge LoneStar. So as a holiday gift for you...
Yes, the Giants are currently on a pace to spend $150M+.
In 2013 CBS Sports reported the Giants were 6th overall in team payroll at $140.2 million. Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, the Dodgers, and the Yankees were ahead of them.
So if San Francisco ends up at $150+ then their payroll would have gone up about $10 million (depending, as you point out, what they do about another pitcher and an outfielder).
And they're probably going to still be about 6th overall in 2014 payroll.
Brian Sabean has been GM for 17 years, with 2 World Series wins. That Sabean formula he uses each season-- start each season with less and count on rebuilding at the halfway point-- is old school 1970s baseball. That's what an actual small market team used to do out of necessity.
Which is not the Giants. Sure, it worked twice in 17 years but I am definitely not a fan of that tired formula.
As for the blog, I generally dislike rules. But I like treating contributors with respect.
I just think we can have passionate discussions, even huge disagreements, without the immature school yard name calling and the "see, I'm smarter than you" posturing.
It's one of the reasons MLB (and other sports) blogs aren't taken seriously.
Again, thanks for joining the dialogue. Because of your posts, I'm going to stop obfuscating because my elbows and knees are starting to hurt like hell.
The Giants ownership group must be wildly happy with your comments-- millionaires getting support in the blogisphere in support of them pocketing profits instead of reinvesting that money into their Major League baseball team.
That's their dream.
And you are absolutely wrong. Everything the team does that generates revenue exists only because they own an MLB franchise-- that's who they are.
So the $30 million mortgage payments for AT&T Park that will end in a few years, the big money land deals with their parking lots, the increase in season tickets, and all the media revenue each year-- all of that only happens because they own a Major League baseball team called the San Francisco Giants.
They are not random businessmen making investments in "startups". They are the owners of the Giants making money off the Giants.
But you are right about one thing: they do not have an obligation to put their massive profits into the team's payroll. They can distribute that money as profit to the investors each year.
Also, I'm the one who noted that I averaged the contract information from Cots-- it was a deliberate decision, not "just plain lazy".
Just plain lazy is using the words "obfuscating" and "meme" way too many times.