Jan. 15, 2010GIANTS PAGEMychael Urban
CSNBayArea.comLike most every general manager in baseball, Brian Sabean has mastered the art of speaking in terms that can be interpreted -- and misinterpreted -- in a variety of ways. He was at it again this week on the topic of what's left on his to-do list, between now and the start of spring training.Made somewhat clear -- that'll have to do -- is that picking up a reliever is the top priority, and this morning I learned that the Kiko Calero drum I've been banging for so long has not yet been silenced.
I had it confirmed by vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans that the Giants have indeed been chatting with Calero's agent, Diego Benz.
I called Benz even before I spoke with Evans, but I haven't heard back from him yet. In fact, I just called again and now his voice mailbox is full, so I shot him a text.
I called Kiko, who is inPuerto Rico, and got some freaky error message from his cell service provider. So no dice there, either.
Anyway, the Giants definitely are still interested in Calero, who had a terrific year with the Marlins last season (1.95 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 69 games) and has a comic-book slider that would be quite the San Francisco treat.
Alas, Evans seems to think Calero will get a more lucrative andor longer offer than what I'm guessing is a one-plus-one deal from the Giants. He also said Calero is far from the only relief option being currently explored. A one-plus-one (the "plus-one" being an option year in case that's too insidery) deal for Calero, who turned 35 last Saturday, sounds about right to me. His almost-exclusive reliance on that slider, which he throws at two different speeds to create two types of break, and his fairly recent elbow-and-shoulder injury history makes him a dicey long-term commitment. But right now, Evans said, most players in Calero's age range who are still productive are looking for as much contract length as possible, for obvious reasons. It could be the last contract these guys get. But the Giants aren't going more than two years with anybody.
Moving on, the next item on Sabean's list of priorities is acquiring a veteran catcher. Or not. His GM-speak on the issue made it very difficult to discern. Buster Posey is the starting catcher as of now, and the Giants have spent the previous two weeks making that clear, but Sabean's most recent comments were about as clear as my head was the morning after my bachelor party.He said the team is prepared to go with Posey, but he's open to picking up a lesser-light catcher who has nowhere else to go. I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of what he said, and let's get real: It wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement for Posey or this unidentified, unemployed schlep-rock.Way, way, way down the list is the need for a No. 5 starter. In other words, they don't need one. No. 5 starters are a dime a dozen, if you ask me. Vastly overrated -- unless you have a young stud to fill the role. Madison Bumgarner is that stud, and the Giants know it. So on that topic, it's basically, "Move along folks, nothing to see here."