MLB’s 2014 Winter Meeting is over. Lots of GMs made moves–picking up a player here, sending a player there. But not our GM–no, our GM didn’t make any moves. It wasn’t for lack of trying. As GIANTS VP Bobby Evans said when Lester eliminated the GIANTS from his short list: “we did not receive a rose.” Nobody asked, but here’s what I think–Good! We don’t need no stinking roses. Jon Lester’s price tag put him at $25 million a year. $25 million!!
Let’s make a comparison–the GIANTS have the 2014 World Series MVP, the Sports Illustrated 2014 Sportsman of the Year, and a 2014 Silver Slugger Award winner in the starting rotation. That’s not 3 different pitchers, that’s just one guy–our ace–Madison Bumgarner. You want to know what MadBum was paid for the stellar performance that outclassed every other pitcher in the MLB in 2014? His base salary was $3.75 million. Next year his salary jumps to a whopping $6.75 million. In 2012, MadBum entered into a contact with the GIANTS for $35 million over 5 years. I know, it doesn’t include incentives or bonuses–hopefully they’re taking good care of the man who basically put the entire team on his back and carried them to the promise land. Hopefully. There is just no way the GIANTS front office could justify paying Jon Lester–who is a very good pitcher, don’t get me wrong, the kid has talent but he’s no Madison Bumgarner–the equivalent of 4.3 times what they pay Bumgarner. It wouldn’t be right and it wouldn’t be just.
Bottom line–the GIANTS walk away from the Winter Meeting without making a single move. So be it. It’s not the first time. I caution all you GIANTS fans out there–never challenge Brian Sabean to a game of chicken. The guy doesn’t flinch. Hell, he doesn’t even blink. He’s got nerves of steel and he won’t make a move unless he is certain it’s the right one for the club. It’s worked so far. Is there another GM in the game today flashing big-time Baseball Bling 3 times in 5 years? The answer is–not in the National League. The only other NL team to take the Fall Classic 3 times in 5 years was the Cardinals–in 1942, 1944, & 1946–but the GIANTS are the 1st in the NL since then. In the American League a few teams have done it–the Yankees several times. Anyway, you get my drift–question Sabean all you want, but you can’t argue with his record. Yeah, sure, he pulls moves that have us scratching our heads sometimes–like that prima ballerina Beltran for our best pitching prospect, or Aaron Rowand or Dan Uggla? I’m still trying to figure that one out–but more often than not, Sabean quiets the Lunatic Fringe with his uncanny results. Think Scutaro. Javy Lopez. Melky (juiced or not–he made a difference). Pagan. Pence. Peavy. And those are just a few of the recent ones–we can go all day—but I’ll stop now.
All in all, I think we have to give Sabean, or, as Brad Pitt likes to call him–Sabey Sabes–credit where credit is due. He’s doing something right–the results speak for themselves. So, he didn’t make any moves at the Winter Meeting. So what? He’s taking his time and taking stock. And the rest of us? The Lunatic Fringe as he refers to us? We’ll have to send on our thanks for another championship season.