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MLB Rumors: Why the Marlins Will Regret Paying for Yoenis Cespedes

The Miami Marlins have officially gone overboard with their spending and have overpaid for Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes in what will hurt the team in the short-term.

Cespedes, the 26-year-old Cuban player looking to sign with an MLB squad, was reportedly offered a six-year, $40 million deal by the Marlins earlier this week.  

Cespedes is said to have good speed and excellent power. It is no wonder he is being chased by several MLB teams with deep pockets.

The freewheeling Marlins have had a huge offseason, signing Jose Reyes and Carlos Zambrano, and now plan to add the star Cespedes to their roster, barring any setbacks.

However, the risk involved in this type of situation, as well as the amount of money offered, is far too great for the Marlins.

Even manager Ozzie Guillen is not convinced, saying that Cespedes is no sure thing. Just the words an incoming player wants to hear from his potential manager.

But Guillen is right. The Marlins have money to spend and they have not been shy about spending it. But throwing nearly $7 million per year on an unknown player from Cuba is far from normal.

There are so many obstacles set before this deal, and possible move to Miami for Cespedes, that it is unlikely this move will benefit the club in any aspect in the near future.

Do we even know how his game will translate to the talent in the MLB?

He hit .143 for Cuba in the club’s winter league as a designated hitter, most recently. He also struck out in 10 of his 35 plate appearances there.

Is that enough to warrant nearly $7 million per year?

Credit to the Marlins for being at the forefront of this deal, though. They obviously are in charge of their own fate this season. Bringing in players like Reyes this offseason is exactly what this ball club has been searching for.

If the Marlins strike it rich with Cespedes, then they will be the toast of the MLB for years to come. If not, they are simply just another team fighting for a playoff spot in the NL East.

The amount of money reportedly being thrown at Cespedes is simply not worth that risk.

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Report: Oakland A’s Granted Permission by MLB to Move to San Jose

Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted this morning that the MLB is very much leaning towards allowing the Oakland A’s to move to San Jose, overriding the San Francisco Giants‘ territorial rights to Santa Clara County that the team has had since the 1990’s.

This is the potential first step of a two-step program in getting the A’s to San Jose, as the team reportedly prefers.

Mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, is adamant in her stance to keep the A’s—and the Warriors for that matter—in Oakland, and even went as far as to propose a location for a future A’s ballpark near Jack London Square along the water.

The City of San Jose has made great strides in securing a professional sports team in their city over the past few years. They bought land in downtown San Jose for over $25 million and have offered it to the A’s for just under $7 million. This has caused an uproar among some groups in San Jose, which created several anti-A’s ballpark movements in the city.

With the MLB reportedly allowing the A’s to move to San Jose, the last step is a city vote of whether or not the area would like a professional baseball team in their area.

The MLB’s announcement of approval is set for February 2012, which should set up the San Jose vote for early Summer 2012.

Check out my Bay Area Sports Talk blog for more information on the Oakland A’s potential move to San Jose

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San Francisco Giants: Brandon Belt Seems Bound for Triple-A Fresno

So the San Francisco Giants made a mistake.

The hype was so huge coming out of Spring Training that the Giants ultimately had no choice but to start Brandon Belt on Opening Day at first base.

The Giants went against everything they have ever preached about their prospects by bringing up Belt to the majors to start the season.

Buster Posey waited until mid-season, now look at him; so did Madison Bumgarner and a host of other players who now make up the young core of the Giants’ competitive ball club.

Which is why murmurs of Belt’s imminent departure for Fresno seems just about right for this situation.

Andrew Baggarley of the San Jose Mercury News says that Belt has until April 26 to make a splash in The Bigs or he’ll be splashing in Fresno. That would be the date that Andres Torres is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Honestly, this seems like a done deal already and the Giants really don’t have any other options for this situation at this point, if you look at it.

If the Giants choose not to send Belt down to Fresno, that would mean they would have to designate someone like Nate Schierhotlz for assignment to make room for Torres on the roster.

Why would the Giants choose to lose Schierholtz when Belt can just be optioned to AAA and possibly brought back up again?

At this point in the season, it betters the team for Belt to be sent down.

His .196 BA isn’t helping anyone right now and he seems a little overwhelmed at the plate at the moment.

With that move, Aubrey Huff can now make a home back at first base and the one-man circus that he was in right field comes to an end.

Plus, it gives Aaron Rowand and Schierhotz, guys who have played well when called upon, chances in the outfield until Cody Ross returns.

There are more pros than cons when it comes to Belt being sent down to AAA-Fresno, which is why it seems the Giants have already made up their mind.

Mark it down: Torres up and Belt sent down on April 26.

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Brandon Belt Makes San Francisco Giants Opening Day Roster

According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Giants have decided to add Brandon Belt onto the 2011 Opening Day roster and start him at first base against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.

To be honest, this is a shock to everyone and anyone who has been involved in Giants baseball through the last several years.

All signs were pointing to Belt being called up by the May at the earliest and most definitely by June or July; but obviously the Giants see that this young prospect can make this team that much better.

If the Giants had held out on calling up Belt until May, Belt would have had an extra year with the Giants before free agency, something the Giants are very serious about with all their young players.

Instead, the Giants chose the alternate route and have made Belt their first baseman.

The move will send Aubrey Huff into right field.

The downside to this madness is that backup first baseman Travis Ishikawa will now be placed on waivers. Reports are he said his goodbyes to the team this afternoon.

What may have had the biggest effect on the Belt call-up was the injury to right-fielder Cody Ross.

The Giants had several options in this case, whether it was Huff in right field, or even Mark DeRosa or Nate Schierholtz, but they obviously felt Belt’s time was now.

How could you blame them for calling up Belt?

He is ready for big leagues.

It was the manner in which the Giants went about calling up their top offensive prospect that has some people scratching their heads.

I can only expect that the Giants are certain that Belt can and will live up to the expectations right now.

With the Giants having success seasoning several of their home-grown players and making them into bonified major league players in the past, it is only expected that the Giants made the right move in calling up Belt.

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Brian Wilson’s Opening Day in Doubt: Is His Beard Okay?

The likelihood of Brian Wilson appearing on Opening Day at Chavez Ravine is doubtful after he was yanked from a bullpen session today.

Reports from ESPN are saying he felt a little discomfort and was told to stop.

Is this a setback?

Who are you asking?

According to Wilson, no, but then again this is Brian Wilson, and rarely do we see him stress publicly about anything, especially something as lowly as a strained oblique. It just doesn’t fit his lumberjack persona.

Of course the Giants don’t feel that way. Jeremy Affeldt was held out of 23 games last summer for a strained oblique.

But Wilson is better than that, right? Fear the Beard?

“I mean, I’d like to feel superhuman. Correction: I am superhuman,” he told the San Jose Mercury News.

But let’s get serious.

How is his beard doing? When do we can we start blaming Charlie Sheen? And do comments even sound “delicious” to Wilson now that he has this strained oblique?

The world might never know.

What we do know is that this injury isn’t serious.

Let’s get real, this is Brian Wilson. He is bulletproof right now.

He says he will throw on Thursday if they give him the go, but that seems unlikely.

What is likely is that he will not be available for Opening Day, and my bet is he will not be ready for maybe a week after that.

Better safe than sorry, right? Expect him back sooner than later.

Meanwhile, let the “closer-by-committee” convene and put upon themselves the mystique that is Brian Wilson’s Beard of Zeus, as disgusting as that sounds.

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San Francisco Giants: The Competition In Left Field

It’s not a bad problem to have, but Bruce Bochy has admitted it, the San Francisco Giants have a competition for the starting spot in left field.

This is something the Giants haven’t experienced in some time, what with Barry Bonds being the left fielder in the past.

But the Giants should be happy with this. Bonds is gone and they have three viable contenders to start in left field with each bringing their own unique pros and cons to the lineup.

For the sake of the argument, I am going to eliminate the Brandon Belt possibility from the equation.

No matter how hard he tears up spring training the rest of the way, all signs point to the Giants starting Belt in AAA-Fresno and not San Francisco, just like they did with Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval and the rest of the gang.

The system has proven to work. So why change it?

Come midseason, or whenever the Giants decide to call up Belt, this argument never happened.

Aubrey Huff moves to left field and Belt starts at first base. It’s a done deal.

Until then, we may have a game of musical chairs going on in left field.

Here are the three main players to be considered for the left field starting job.

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San Francisco Giants: 5 Question Marks Heading into the 2011 Baseball Season

With Spring Training now in full swing, the San Francisco Giants have unofficially began their journey to repeat as World Series Champions.

After their improbable run to become baseball’s 2010 World Champions, it is hard to say whether this team has yet to come down from that high.

A pretty mediocre and quiet offseason from the Giants’ front office has this team against the odds once again.

That is, until you look at their pitching staff, when you quickly remember why this team won it all last season.

Still, there are question marks aplenty for this team.

Can they repeat? Will Brian Wilson’s beard rule the world? Who is “The Machine?”

Here are my five biggest question marks for the San Francisco Giants heading into the 2011 MLB season

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Giants Frustrated, but Zito’s Spot Secure

Bruce Jenkins’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle this past week sent waves throughout the San Francisco Giants community.

Jenkins’ report? Barry Zito may be released.

So now, an offseason where the team had no distractions and could focus on repeating has turned into a game of, “What If?”

The report, bogus in itself, was that the Giants were frustrated with Zito because they only made the playoffs by one game, and it wouldn’t have been that close if Zito had given them a just a few better outings.


Jenkins is credible and very respected in the industry, but this isn’t supposed to be serious, right?

That’s baseball, Bruce.

I don’t doubt the Giants are frustrated with Zito—$126 million and barely any production? Plus, he was left off the playoff roster. Yeah, they should be disappointed. He’s not quite the investment they were hoping for.

On top of that, he has shown up to spring training out of shape—and apparently he’s had close to no offseason conditioning. Oh, and he botched his spring debut. That may have fueled this fire.

But are the Giants going to release Zito? No, no , no. From a financial stand-point, why would they?

Zito’s $126 million/seven years still has $57.5 million and three years left on it. You think the Giants are going to eat that? Doubt it. Not even if Zito starts the season 0-10 are they going to eat that. Although, don’t quote me on that.

The hefty $126 million contract aside, from a production stand-point, will the Giants release him? Never.

Zito is one of the best fifth starters in the MLB. Although he gets paid No. 1 starter money, his 4.09 ERA over the last couple seasons is nothing to be released over.

Take him for what he’s worth. He is a decent starter who happens to make a ridiculous sum of money that he doesn’t deserve.

But he isn’t going anywhere. Bruce Bochy came out and said Zito is the team’s fourth starter, no questions.

Actually I have one. No. 4? Really?

You’re telling me Zito is the fourth best pitcher on this team? Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner are worse than Zito? Check yourself Boch.

So Zito is their guy through thick and thin. Not because the Giants want him to be their guy, but because he has to be their guy. $65 million through 2013 will remind them of that.

This isn’t to say Zito’s spot in the rotation will be safe the whole season. He’s going to have to earn it whether the team acknowledges it or not.

The leash will be short.

The No. 5 spot in that rotation is fully functional because the Giants have four pitchers who are horses and they can easily get away with a four-man rotation if they want to get crazy.

Remember, the Giants do have a farm system, and a decent one at that. They did sign Jeff Suppan in the offseason, and Clayton Tanner from AA may be making some strides and will one day pitch in San Francisco. So Zito’s spot isn’t fully secure. They’ll make him work for it.

It should be that way. Zito coming to spring training out of shape is no way to get respect back. It only fuels the fire more.

I don’t doubt Zito and the Giants organization are on the same page from a public relations standpoint, but you have to believe that Zito’s act is getting old.

Who knows how long the Giants will let him go before they finally snap?

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