THE DEFENDING CHAM ….. oh, wait …. they’re not defending any titles this year, are they? Now, you wouldn’t know that by listening to Giants fans. They’re still slobbering about three titles in five years. I mean, that’s nice and all, they do indeed have the trophies, but their perspective is a little off. I mean, isn’t it really more like three titles in 61 years? But, be that as it may, let’s talk about 2016, shall we?
After finishing 8 games behind the Dodgers and missing the playoffs in 2015, the Giants went into the offseason determined to bulk up their starting pitching and try to add some bats to the aging and oft-injured outfield. To their credit, the front office addressed those very issues. To the bemusement of Dodger fans, they did it in a way that isn’t exactly “intimidating.”
The starting pitchers out there in free agency that were most coveted didn’t land on the tranquil shores of McCovey Cove … but, the rival Dodgers didn’t get them either. So, I guess that counts as a win for the Jints. But Sabean & Co. did spend some money on pitching!
They got Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. Cueto got $130,000,000 over 6-years and Samardjiza got $90,000,000 over 5-years. That’s a lot of garlic fries.
But, here’s the thing … what did they get for their nearly quarter billion dollar investment?
Johnny Cueto is among baseball’s elite pitchers … sometimes … he’s been consistently inconsistent, especially last year. Of course, he was troubled with a bum elbow, but let’s not that worry us, OK? In the Giants’ defense, there wasn’t much “affordable” pitching out there and they got the best guy left after Greinke and Price signed for super ridiculous money. (Good luck with those signings, Red Sox and D-Bags). But, should Cueto return to form, he will LOVE pitching in AT&T Park and he’ll fit nicely into the #2 spot behind MadBum. But, honestly, I think there was a reason the Dodgers didn’t outbid them for Cueto’s services. We’ll see if that was a good or bad decision as the season wears on.
Now, as far as the OTHER big free agent pitcher they signed …
I have to admit, this move surprised me a bit. I know starting pitching is at a premium, but $90MM for Samardzija? Heck, that’s almost as much as he made as a wide-receiver for Notre Dame!
Lifetime Samardzija is 47-61 with a 4.09 ERA. Last year he gave up more hits, runs and home runs than ANY pitcher with 30+ starts.
NOTE: DUE TO A TECHNICAL GLITCH, THE SECOND-HALF OF MY BRILLIANT ANALYSIS OF THE GIANTS POSITION PLAYERS, BULLPEN AND COACHING STAFF DID NOT APPEAR IN THIS POST. I’M SORRY. IT WAS REALLY GOOD. I’LL TRY TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING SOON.
Since moving from New York here’s a list of all of the years that the San Francisco Giants didn’t win the World Series:
1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015.
Years marked in blue are the seasons the Los Angeles Dodgers did win the World Series. So, it’s still 5 to 3, advantage, DODGERS!