Found November 15, 2013 on
SF Lunatic Fringe:
The trade made sense at the time.
The 2003 Giants had been one of the best teams in the NL, and the team was in a win-now sort of a mood. There was still hope Robb Nen would come back, and if he didn’t, Tim Worrell had done well as a closer. They had some young pitchers that were obviously going to improve as they got more experience. And Benito Santiago was going to be a 39-year old catcher that the Giants didn’t want to spend more money on. They needed a catcher.
So they got a reigning All-Star.
Joe Nathan? Dealing with injuries, he’d been struggling in the minors (to the tune of a 5.60 ERA in Fresno in 2002, two years before the trade, and that was an improvement from previous years), even though in 2003 he had a 2.96 ERA. Nathan was very good in 2003, but he was having a breakout season at 28 with a lot of bad history. There’s a theory to selling high in trades. As much as I liked Nathan, that was how you sell high.
Francisco Liriano? There was no doubt Liriano had talent. The doubt was whether or not anyone would see it. In his previous three seasons with the Giants farm system, he’d averaged just 71 innings each season, due to injuries. He was a high risk, high reward player, but it didn’t seem likely he’d ever reach his ceiling.
Boof Bonser? Struggling former first round pick…and, well, let’s face it, when people get outraged about the A.J. trade, Boof usually isn’t what they are complaining about.
It made sense. Until the end of 2004.
Pierzynski was an arbitration eligible player. The team had three years of control of him before he would officially hit free agency, as long as they offered him contracts. And then, after one year, the team didn’t offer him a contract, and let him walk, for nothing.
It wasn’t like Pierzynski was that terrible in 2004. He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t so terrible that you wouldn’t expect a bounce-back. This was the move that killed me. The Twins hated him enough to dump him for spare parts that worked out. Couldn’t the Giants have tried to do something with him?
Here’s the thing that I think many people forget…the A.J. trade wasn’t the only problem of that offseason for fans…that was the Vladimir Guerrero year where the Giants cried cheap, and the “Lunatic Fringe” comment came out that would eventually inspire the name of this comic. (Thanks, by the way, Sabes.) The Giants went with Michael Tucker in the outfield, infamously giving up a draft pick to sign him.
If the team wanted to improve hitting at a low cost, trading for a pre-free agent hitter made total and complete sense. But the feeling was that, after 2004, the Giants cut him partially because they didn’t want to get stuck with a salary that probably would have been in the $3.5-$4 million range in case they couldn’t trade him.
2004 was the beginning of the doldrums for the Giants. You almost knew it had to be when the Giants were in Los Angeles, watching the Dodgers celebrate winning a division title in front of them. There was a little hope because the Giants had been close. But all the wheels began to fall off. Bonds got hurt. Alfonzo and Durham’s glass-ness began to show. Tim Worrell didn’t come back, and so the team had Matt Herges as the closer. And losing that draft pick, as well as what came in 2005 when they didn’t pick until the 4th round because of sacrificed picks, set back the rebuilding ability of the team by a few years.
The A.J. trade was simply the most obvious spoke in the wheel.
In reality, it wasn’t a bad trade. It fit what the Giants needed, and what they said they needed to do.
But it really did not work out, until you got the view from now… 2 World Series titles. That’ll calm a fan base down.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Now that the World Series fog and the Winter Meetings underway in Orlando, we get a clearer picture of the Giants options in Free Agency, and with the exception of today’s bogus report on Twitter that the Giants had signed Jacoby Ellsbury, it is pretty much what we thought it’d be. Vanilla. With names like Bronson Arroyo, Tim Hudson (a 37 year old Tim Hudson coming off a major...
San Francisco Giants
2013 Record: (76-86, 3rd Place)
Key Free Agents: Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito, Javier Lopez, Andres Torres, Jeff Francoeur
World Series Hangover- the season following a World Series championship in which the defending champions struggle to reach expectations or fail to even be remotely competitive for the majority of the year
Yes, 2013 was certainly a forgettable...
It’s been reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter) that the San Francisco Giants are one of the teams interested in Brian Wilson. I’m sure the Giants do have some interest and aren’t ruling out anyone at this point. However, Wilson is looking for a closer role. With Sergio Romo currently holding the closing job here in San Francisco, I can’t see a Wilson return...
Pinch yourself. There you go. See, you’re awake! This isn’t a dream. That headline that you just clicked on isn’t some strange fever-induced night terror; it’s reality. The San Francisco Giants are one of a handful of teams that reportedly has interest in signing a pitcher by the name of Brian Wilson; perhaps you’ve heard of him.
Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown reported...
It seems that talks are still ongoing between Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants about re-signing for 2014, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Schulman cited the Giants’ vice president of baseball operations, Bobby Evans, who said the team are still discussing a deal with Vogelsong’s agent. The likelihood of Vogelsong signing is still unclear...
This is Miles. He is five years old and battling cancer. He also spent Friday helping San Francisco police take on the likes of The Penguin and The Riddler.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation pulled together one of its most elaborate, incredible, heart-warming projects for young Miles, who told them he "wanted to be Batman." The organization turned San Francisco into Gotham City...
The San Francisco Giants offseason plan of making sure that Pablo Sandoval reaches – and stays in – prime shape may have hit a bump in the road. Then again, it may have not.
The Panda eschewed the club’s original plan to have him stay in San Francisco all winter, where he could use the team’s year round facilities and have employees and trainers keep tabs on him and...
Batkid was called to save the San Francisco Giants' mascot, Lou Seal. He rushed to AT&T Park, saved Lou, and even nabbed the Penguin.
Sometimes, the world can be an OK place.
Those losing faith in humanity need not look any further than Friday’s events in San Francisco as proof that people really are capable of doing good deeds. That’s where 5-year-old Miles Scott was granted an absolutely amazing wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Scott, who is in remission from leukemia, has a passion for comic books. On...
Ted Lilly certainly isn’t going to give up easily on his attempt to return to the major leagues in 2014. According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, Lilly has undergone a procedure to have nerve endings in his neck cauterized, in order to relieve the pain in that area. The information came from Lilly’s agent, Larry O’Brien, who said the procedure had been beneficial for...
Buster Posey is no Joe Maeur. Apart from the fact that’s he’s way better than the Minnesota Twins franchise man, Posey won’t be hanging up his catcher’s mask for a permanent residence at first base. At least not anytime soon.
General Manager Brian Sabean boldly stated that at the MLB GM’s meeting, saying,
“When we signed him to an extension [before last season...
Hold on to your hats, Giants fans (preferably your 2010 or 2012 world champion SF hats). Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that Javier Lopez and the New York Yankees have “expressed mutual interest.” That turn of phrase needs should need no translation.
This comes on the heels of the Yankees taking Brian Wilson off of their free agency board because...
Javier Lopez has been linked to several contending teams looking for left-handed bullpen help and the latest is the Yankees, with Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reporting that the two sides have “mutual interest.”
Lopez would replace fellow free agent Boone Logan as the Yankees’ left-handed specialist. In four seasons with the Giants he posted a 2.26 ERA in 147...