Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buster Posey to Fresno... Bengie Molina implications?

Word around the blogosphere today is that Buster Posey is being promoted...Slow down, don't get too excited. Not to the Giants. No, but exciting never-the-less...

The word from Henry Schulman today is that the plan with Posey was to play him the first half at A San Jose, then promote him for the second half. As it turns out, he will be skipping AA Connecticut and heading straight for AAA Fresno. Whether the plan all along was to bypass AA is questionable, but fairly irrelevant. There are good arguments for both, neither are really wrong.

I was hoping that Posey's next stop was in Connecticut, but really from the standpoint of learning under the tutelage of Steve Decker... But at this point it may be holding him back. On one hand, catching Henry Sosa, Madison Bumgarner, & Tim Alderson could help, especially from a cohesive standpoint later on. On the other, he is so far advanced offensively, he may need more of a challenge. Plus Jackson Williams is in need of much more work offensively & is definitely not ready for a promotion himself.

Moving Posey to Fresno has value. As Bochy put it, there is a lot to learn by catching guys who have big league experience. The move to Fresno certainly would allow that as 4 current members of the staff have big league experience. He will also have his bat tested much more.

The real value and the true reason for moving Posey now is more about Bengie than anything else.

With Bengie Molina's contract expiring come season's end, the Giants have a major decision to make. Molina could walk, but will likely be a Type A free agent. If the Giants allow this & offer him arbitration, they would get 2 draft picks. Then again, Molina could except Arbitration and would be in line for a raise. Using the 20% rule & Molina's current salary, the least the Giants could pay him is $4.8 million. More likely they pay him around $8 to $9 million. Not bad for 1 season, but not good if they have Posey ready to take over.

So the question then remains, will Posey be ready by 2010? Maybe... It's entirely possible. Better to find out now, because option C opens. If Posey can display the same advanced skills at AAA Fresno that he was in San Jose, then Bengie Molina becomes expendable. Not to the point where the Giants are needing to off load salary or are in sell mode, but at the price of improving because they found a deal they couldn't pass up.

The Giants are in the unique position whereas they may be able to be buyers & sellers. The Giants need a bat, but it's too early to for a good deal. Other buyers have needs the Giants may be able to fill. Randy Winn for instance makes $8.25 million this year, Jermaine Dye makes $11.5 million. Dye may hit the trade market come mid July and the White Sox may be looking for Salary relief as well as prospects. Dye for Winn +cash, say $3 million might work. Puts the Giants on the hook for $14.5 million, or $6.25 million more... Same could be said for Bengie Molina...

If Posey shows he's the guy for next year, & the Giants think Molina WILL except arbitration, they may decide to deal him. Teams always are looking for a catcher down the stretch, see the Yankees last season. Teams like Toronto, New York Yankees, & Boston from the AL all have again catchers who still hit good but may need more rest could platoon him & DH the other. The more ideal trade partners come from the NL central. The Cubs desperate to win, are getting sup par output from Giovanni Soto. The Reds Ramon Hernandez is performing well below average... & the Brewers have Jason Kendall who has about as many career Homeruns as Duane Kuiper does. All from a very winnable division, all with a need.

So the development of Posey has far reaching possibilities. One that the Giants must pursue. The future is bright & the future is near... Time to see what we have.

1 comment:

tubesox said...

Bengie is a great team guy and a clutch hitter, but he has holes in his game (base running, catching high pitches) that are getting more glaring with time and he's hardly a day-in, day-out force in the middle of the lineup. Trading him soon for someone in the Jermaine Dye category (seems ageless, but maybe his due date is approaching) might be the way to go if there's a ready replacement.

So, what about putting the Panda behind the plate? After all, it wasn't that long ago that he was being hailed as Barry Zito's personal catcher, so if he can handle that head case, why couldn't he handle more rational-thinking types like Timmy and Cainer? Is it an elbow issue? Is his runners thrown-out ratio on stolen bases miserable?

The question then becomes, who's on third? Why not Juan Uribe? So far, the guy strikes me as a clutch hitter with some pop in his bat. In my book, Sandoval-Dye-Uribe is a better recipe for runs than Sandoval-Molina-Wynn and especially Sandoval-Molina-Lewis (can Dye play left?). Any experts out there want to poke holes in this hypothetical defensive alignment?