Pitching-loaded Giants make a deal

November 7, 2011, 7:12 pm
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Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera is probably more than Jonathan Sanchez is worth. But in time, it may turn out that it was more than Melky Cabrera was worth.For the moment, though, the Giants, who are essentially shut out of the mega-bat everyone demands of them, got another intermediate bat the theory being, one supposes, that if you pile decent run producers high enough, you can pretend they are a couple of huge run producers.Cabrera will reveal his nature soon enough as in, well see whether hes a lineup upgrade or not soon enough.For the moment, though, Sanchez is the item at hand, the classic million dollar arm that couldnt turn it into a millions of dollars arm. He didnt attack the strike zone often enough, or he tried to attack it too hard, but he didnt attack it consistently. And an unreliable pitcher is the same as a bad pitcher when it comes to constructing a starting rotation.To try and make sense of his work is difficult; some would suggest that he thought too much, others, that he thought too little. That is beyond our purview, and frankly, beyond anyones.But the Giants could make this deal not because Melky Cabrera was such a find, but because the Giants are still pitching-loaded. It is an indication that they were not going to divert any more resources into the unknown of Jonathan Sanchez, and his 4.8M salary for 2010, which presumably would at least stay steady in Kansas City, was going to balloon eventually in San Francisco.Cabrera, on the other hand, made 3.1M in 2010 in Atlanta, and had to scramble to make 1.5M from the Royals this last year. He is rebuilding a career that at one point looked like a rocket at liftoff but leveled off. He hit 18 homers and drove in 87 runs a year ago in Kansas City, but those numbers are not necessarily reflective of what will happen in The Cooler er, the Giants ballpark.But it is an acknowledgement that the Giants not only value hitting as a requirement, but that they could no longer grapple with the conundrum of Jonathan Sanchez. He may find Kansas City the perfect place to find the strike zone he lost, because there are different horses for different courses.For the moment, though, this isnt about what the Giants gained, but what they shipped away an unharnessed arm in a place that does nothing but harness arms. Melky Cabrera is an interesting addition, but Jonathan Sanchez is a fascinating tale, both now and in the future.

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