Monday, June 14, 2010
Battle of the Bay: Sabean vs. Beane
Monte Poole on the Bay Area teams' comparative winters:
Sabean spent the offseason scouring the free-agent market for offense and bought, in order, Mark DeRosa (two years, $12 million), Uribe (who re-signed for one year, $3.25 mil) and Huff (one year, $3 mil).
With plenty of revenue-sharing cash available, Beane spent the offseason shopping for an ace and an outfielder. His major purchases were Ben Sheets, coming off major surgery, at a salary of $10 million, and Coco Crisp, also coming off injury, at a salary of $5 million.
DeRosa and Crisp haven't played much because of injuries. Sheets is 2-6 with a 4.93 ERA; he was the losing pitcher Saturday night. Huff (10 homers, 33 RBIs, .303 average, .395 on-base percentage) and Uribe (10, 41, .290, .356) have given the offensively challenged Giants more than they could have imagined.
I didn't like the Sheets contract, and wrote so at the time. Uribe's doing essentially what he did last season (which is still better than most of us expected). Huff's doing roughly what he did in 2008, with his awful 2009 now looking like an anomaly. I'm perfectly happy to credit Sabean for liking what he saw in Uribe last season, and for not giving a great deal of weight to Huff's '09 numbers, with the caveat that it's still fairly early.
I don't know that I'll ever be able to understand the Sheets deal, though. Unless he pitches brilliantly in July or the A's wind up in the playoffs -- both of which seem exceptionally unlikely -- this one's going to blow in Beane's face.