Urban: Cabrera deal says Giants mean business


Urban: Cabrera deal says Giants mean business

July 30, 2011


Mychael Urban

Say this about Brian Sabean: Hes a man of his word. And then some.A little more than a week ago, during one of his impromptu session with the local press, Sabean verbally spat on the notion that the Giants as currently constructed werent good enough for the club to get where it intended to go. The intended ultimate destination, of course, is right back to Market Street, early November, for another delirious, intoxicating parade.Everyone and their dental hygienist knew that Sabean was going to do his damndest to land Carlos Beltran, but the Giants GM made it clear that in his eyes, Beltran alone wouldnt suffice. He was going to go big, as long as the market allowed him to do so.It has. Since that proclamation, Sabean has backed up his words with action -- the best and only way to engender faith among fans. Talk really is cheap. Acquiring proven, championship-quality talent is not.As such, three very good minor-league arms and a popular outfield prospect with considerable upside are gone. In their stead are starting second baseman Jeff Keppinger, who cost two arms; starting right fielder Beltran, who cost the biggest arm; and now starting shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who came at the cost of Thomas Neal, a gregarious and gifted young man who appeared to be ticketed for left field at AT&T Park sometime in the fairly near future until Saturdays somewhat stunning swap with the Indians.
NEWS: Giants acquire Orlando Cabrera from Indians
Thats exactly the kind of makeover that Sabean alluded was required, and dont be surprised if he makes another move -- the ad reads Championship GM Seeks Catcher With Brains Behind Plate, Brawn In Batters Box -- before Sundays non-waiver trade deadline. Or shortly thereafter; the deadline is a bit overblown that way.Why Cabrera? What does he bring? The first answer is easy: Miguel Tejada didnt work, and Cabrera was the best shortstop available. Emphasis, shortstop.Unlike the Keppinger and Beltran deals, and the deal for a catcher should it materialize, adding Cabrera was not about upgrading the offense. His numbers across the board are nearly identical to those of Tejada, who, quite frankly, is the better and more dangerous hitter between the two.This deal was about getting better up the middle defensively; Cabrera, 36, is only a year younger than Tejada, but hes maintained his range in his old age far better than Tejada, whose timetable for return from his strained abdominal muscle is far from clear.Dont think the lack of news about Freddy Sanchez doesnt factor here, either. Its been said in this space since his shoulder exploded: surgery is the only fix. Rehab is a band-aid all too easy and painful to rip off.So thats part of what Cabrera brings: a better glove than Tejada -- and a better bat than Brandon Crawford, whose roster spot would now appear to be in question given that Giants manager Bruce Bochy recently expressed reluctance to use a rookie as a late-game defensive replacement.What else does Cabrera bring? Class and clout, as evidenced by his short stint with the As, for whom he became a legitimate leader, and by his four playoff appearances in the past four years with four different teams.Thanks to Sabean, who deserves high praise for walking the talk, Cabrera -- and all Giants fans -- should be feeling awfully good about making it 5-for-5.

Report: 49ers seek first-round pick for Staley

Report: 49ers seek first-round pick for Staley

If the 49ers are active at the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 1, the organization figures to be sellers.

With a 1-6 record, mired in a six-game losing streak and seemingly fielding a less-competitive team every week, the 49ers do not figure to be in the buying market with the trade deadline approaching.

Left tackle Joe Staley, 32, one of the team’s few players who would be attractive to a contender, is available for a first-round draft pick, according to Pro Football Talk. The report cited a “source with knowledge of the dynamics.”

Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is also on the trade market for a second-round pick, according to the report. The teams mentioned with potential interest in acquiring Staley or Thomas are the Vikings, Giants, Cardinals, Seahawks and Patriots, reports PFT.

Staley has a base salary of $5.4 million this season. His pay increases to $8.95 million next season, including $8.25 million in base salary. He is signed through the 2019 season.

Staley, a first-round draft pick in 2007, has been selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls.

If the 49ers trade Staley, it could open the way for right tackle Trent Brown to move to the left side. The only other tackle on the roster is rookie John Theus. Veteran guard Zane Beadles is also capable of playing tackle.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. (PT). The 49ers enter their bye week after Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team’s next game is Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints.

Kickers miss short field goals in OT; Seahawks, Cardinals tie


Kickers miss short field goals in OT; Seahawks, Cardinals tie

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

The last tie in the NFL came in 2014, when Carolina and Cincinnati tied 37-37.

The Cardinals (3-3-1) dominated the game statistically and looked to be in shape to win it after Carson Palmer's 40-yard pass to J.J. Nelson set up Catanzaro's short kick.

The Seahawks (4-1-1), stuffed throughout regulation by the Arizona defense, took over and Russell Wilson completed passes of 31 yards to Jermaine Kearse and 27 yards to Doug Baldwin to give Houschka his short attempt.

Both kickers made field goals on their teams' first possession of overtime.

Catanzaro, who kicked field goals of 46 and 45 yards, also had a 39-yard field goal blocked by a stunning play by Bobby Wagner.

Until the overtime, the only time the Seahawks crossed midfield came when Tanner McEnvoy blocked Ryan Quigley's punt with 4:33 to play. That gave Seattle the ball on the Arizona 27 and led to Hauschka's 40-yard field goal that tied it at 3 with four minutes to play.

Catanzaro's 46-yard field goal put Arizona up 3-0 with 3:11 left in the first half and the Cardinals nursed that lead until the blocked punt.

On a bruising night, Arizona's David Johnson had a career-high 41 touches. He carried the ball 33 times for 113 yards and caught eight passes for 58 yards. Russell Wilson, obviously slowed by leg problems, complelted 24 of 37 passes for 225 yards, most of the damage coming in the overtime. He carried the ball once for minus-two yards.

Arizona's defense nearly scored halfway through the fourth quarter when Chandler Jones hit Wilson as he was about to pass and the ball bounced toward the Seattle goal line, but Michael Glowinski jumped on it for Seattle and the 4-yard line, a 20-yard loss.


The Cardinals had the first scoring threat. Catanzaro lined up for a 39-yard field goal but 245-pound linebacker Wagner jumped over Arizona long snapper Aaron Brewer like an Olympic hurdler and blocked it. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians argued loudly for a penalty and was charged with a timeout when he challenged a play that is not reviewable. That proved significant when the Cardinals couldn't stop the clock to get off a short field goal attempt as the first half ended.


The Cardinals were without speedster John Brown after doctors diagnosed sickle cell traits that were causing leg pain. The other wide receiver named Brown, Jaron, left the game early with a knee injury, depleting is usually one of the league's deeper wide receiver corps.