This is not going to be a popular article. History shows that players who make over 20 Million Dollars per year for multiple years, usually kill franchises in the long run. But the Giants have a big problem in the NL West: The Dodgers. The Dodgers have more money than the federal government, and spend like the federal government too. They can literally buy everybody, and that means that if the Giants want to compete, they’re going to have to fight fire with fire. That means cutting ties with Hunter Pence and Vogelsong, and making a play for Cano.
Now, I love Hunter Pence, he’s one of my favorite Giants, and a hell of a ball player; but, with that being said, The San Francisco Giants should not re-sign him in the offseason. He is probably going to command 16-18 Million dollars for three years, and while the Giants CAN afford to give him what he is asking for, they need to make a big splash this offseason to compete with the Dodgers in the NL West. Having more cash on hand would allow them to do so. And in order to get a top flight guy, Hunter Pence is going to have to be the casualty. I’ve written down scenarios in my last article regarding the Giants payroll, but in my opinion, they’d have to re-sign two of their pitchers, meaning Lincecum and Gaudin, while letting go of Pence and Vogelsong. It is harder to replace good starting pitching in the Major Leagues with free agents than it is a good starting right fielder.
The Giants would have 45.75 Million dollars to work with if they brought back everyone except for Pence and Vogelsong. That is quite a bit of dough to work with, and with that they can bring in a top flight guy, or a few top flight guys. The Giants have the ability this offseason to add major talent through free agency, and raise talent through the minor leagues. Not many teams have the ability to do that. Tampa Bay and the A’s can grow top flight talent, but they can’t afford to sign a top flight free agent from outside of the organization. Only a handful of teams, Giants and Dodgers included can both afford to sign big name talent, and grow talent through their minor league system.
The issue regarding the Giants signing major, top flight free agents is that, the top flight guys, we’ve seen, do not want to come to San Francisco, as the ballpark is too big, and that superstar cannot put up the statistical numbers he would in a different ballpark. Not to mention, San Francisco is not as big a market as New York or Los Angeles. And JayZ, being “not a business man, but a business, man” may not permit his largest client Robinson Cano to come to the Giants. By the way, I understand that JayZ (or the artist formerly known as Jay-Z?) isn’t Cano’s ACTUAL agent, and that Cano just signed with Roc Nation and CAA which JayZ owns. It’s a longshot that the Giants actually sign Cano anyway, BUT, they have all of this money just laying around, and they absolutely HAVE to compete with Los Angeles if they want to keep selling out every game, and winning divisions. Why not overpay Cano? I know that recently, players with extremely large contracts have not panned out, and have actually hurt the franchise in the long run (I.E The Angels with Pujols, Hamilton and C.J Wilson, and the Yankees with A-Roid), but I’d take five great years of Cano at second base, and three bad years, than eight years of the Dodgers winning the division.
This issue has kept me up at night since the Top Ten Players article, and that is also probably why I don’t have a girlfriend, or a real job, but that is beside the point, which is fighting fire with fire. That middle of the order, with Posey hitting 3rd and Cano hitting 4th would be the toughest middle of the order in baseball, and could compete with Kershaw and Greinke. Cano would provide the Giants with the firepower they so desperately need to keep up in that division, with budding young stars (including the reigning NL MVP Buster Posey mind you) like Puig and Goldschmidt, and with the starting pitching this division has as well. The Giants can be, and would remain dominant in the National League West with Robinson Cano in the lineup. They’d compete with Los Angeles every year, and they’d have the offense they’d need to do it. I don’t know if Cano would come for 7 years, 25 Million per year (175 Million), but that would be my offer, and I think that would be a winning offer for one of the most dominant hitters in the game today.
This article hurt. I rarely advocate for major contracts like this. I like the Giants normal style of developing excellent starting pitching, and (now) great players like Posey, while bringing in veteran role players like Scutaro and Pagan, but these are desperate times in the City by the Bay. The rival down south is loaded, and is about to offer Kershaw a 200 million dollar contract for a long, long time, just adding to their dominance in the West. Its time to make a splash much like they did 21 years ago, by paying Barry Bonds an unprecedented 43 Million dollar deal (may not sound like much, but in 1992 that was a whole lot of money compared to what guys were making then). Either way, even if they don’t bring in Cano, they have a lot of money to work with, and they absolutely have to make a splash, if not with Cano, then with multiple offensive threats like Morneau and Choo, or a combination of that. Desperation moves, are usually just that, desperate, and they normally are the wrong move. But, this is a move the Giants need to make. At the very least they need to make a serious play for this guy, or else they can watch the Dodgers dominate the NL West from second and third place for a long, long time.