Over the All-Star Break, the Giants were linked in stories with two potential free-agent outfielders — Melky Cabrera and Michael Bourn, currently of the Braves.
Jon Heyman reported that the Giants were viewed as a “likely suitor” for Bourn in free agency next winter, sources said.
Got to love those “sources” say, especially five months before free-agent season begins.
Yes, Bourn is a fine player, an All-Star. He’s led the NL in stolen bases the past two seasons. He fits the bill of the type of outfielder the Giants are looking for.
However, Bourn must be considered a fallback option if the Giants can re-sign Cabrera. They won’t be signing Bourn AND Cabrera. So if they have to choose, Cabrera is the better option.
- Cabrera is younger. Melky will be entering his age-28 season in 2013. Bourn will be 30. And with speed being such a huge part of Bourn’s game, you’ll have to wonder what effect aging will have on his skills if the Giants sign him to a five-year contract, which he’ll likely be seeking.
- Cabrera is a better all-around player. Melky’s 2012 slash line goes .353/.391/.519, compared to Bourn’s .311/.366/.451. Small sample, you say? OK, let’s look at 2011, when Cabrera went .305/.339/.470 and Bourn went .294/.363/.403. For their career, Cabrera is .283/.336/.411 in 8 seasons; Bourn is .277/.340/.370. And Bourn’s numbers have been steady over the past 3-4 years. Cabrera has taken off the past two seasons.
- If you go out and sign Bourn, you’re basically saying that the No. 1 prospect in your organization is not going to develop into a big-league starter. That’s Gary Brown. Brown had an outstanding season in his first full pro season in 2011 at Class A. After a rough start at Double-A this season, Brown is starting to heat up. Wouldn’t it make better sense in a couple of years to have Brown in center and Melky in left, instead of having two leadoff/center fielders in your outfield?
- Bourn has never been All-Star Game MVP.
- Cabrera has started to create a cult following in the Giants’ fan base. He’s the kind of player the Giants can set up a marketing campaign behind.
So, while we have nothing against Michael Bourn, Melky Cabrera is the better player and the Giants need to make it a priority to keep him in San Francisco.
Cabrera told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he likes it in San Francisco.
“Im a free agent next winter,” Cabrera told Shea, “but the fans and Giants organization have treated me very well, so I would welcome staying with the Giants.”
Shea added that Cabrera has told his representatives of let the Giants know about his wishes to stay with the team.
For all the belly-aching by fans across the country and the rabid tweets from Mets president Sandy Alderson, the fans and Tony LaRussa got it right in putting four San Francisco Giants into the starting lineup of the NL All-Star team.
The Giants’ stat lines were pretty good
- CF Melky Cabrera: 2 for 3, home run, two runs, two RBI.
- C Buster Posey: 0 for 2, walk, run, five scoreless innings caught
- 3B Pablo Sandoval: 1 for 2, triple, run, 3 RBI
- P Matt Cain: 2 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 BB, 1 strikeout, win.
If you missed the start of the game, you missed a thrilling first inning.
After Carlos Gonzalez struck out to open the game, Cabrera singled to left and scored on Ryan Braun’s double.
After Joey Votto struck out, Carlos Beltran and Buster Posey drew walks.
Braun, Beltran and Posey all scored when Sandoval dug out a Verlander curveball and hit it off the wall just inside the right-field foul pole for a triple.
I don’t get many triples,” the Panda said. “We had some fun with that in the dugout.”
Just like that, it was 5-0 National League.
Cabrera grounded out to second in the second. Posey popped out to catcher Mike Napoli in the third and Pablo Sandoval flied to center in the fourth.
But Cabrera capped the exciting night for the Giants by hammering a two-run homer to left off the Rangers’ Matt Harrison, making it 8-0.
That home run made Cabrera the first Giant to be selected All-Star Game MVP since Bobby Bonds in 1973 in a game also played in Kansas City.
“I didn’t come to win an MVP. That’s just a surprise,” he said. “The same opportunity that Kansas City gave me last year is the same opportunity that San Francisco is giving me every day to showcase my talent. Again, I’m just very thankful for the fans that voted for me to come here.”
He can also thank Jose Bautista for the MVP trophy and the Camaro that came with it.
Bautista made a nifty sliding catch on a looper off the bat of Braun in the second inning. If Bautista doesn’t make that play, Braun finishes the night 3 for 3 with a single, double and triple … and likely with an MVP honor.
After all the Giants left the game, the All-Star Game went quiet.
Cain earned the victory, becoming the first Giants pitcher to earn an All-Star win since Vida Blue in 1981.
“For those guys to go out and score five runs in the first inning was definitely a little more relaxing for me,” he said. “But I still tried to stay focused.”
Giants All-Star MVPs
- Willie Mays, 1963 (Cleveland)
- Juan Marichal, 1965 (Minnesota)
- Willie Mays, 1968 (Houston)
- Willie McCovey, 1969 (Washington)
- Bobby Bonds, 1973 (Kansas City)
- Melky Cabrera, 2012 (Kansas City)
Giants All-Star winning pitchers
- Sal Maglie, 1951 (Detroit)
- Johnny Antonelli, 1959 (Pittsburgh)
- Stu Miller, 1961 (San Francisco)
- Juan Marichal, 1962 (Washington)
- Juan Marichal, 1964 (New York-Shea)
- Gaylord Perry, 1966 (St. Louis)
- Vida Blue, 1981 (Cleveland)
During the All-Star Selection Show Sunday, one of the panelists disagreed with the election of Pablo Sandoval over David Wright, even going so far as to scold Mets fans for not getting out the vote for their man.
But you can’t blame Mets fans. When it came to All-Star votes — especially online — San Francisco Giants fans belted a grand slam.
The final all-star vote in the NL was knocked black and orange.
Buster Posey went from having 3.3 million votes and leading Yadier Molina by a little more than 200,000 votes last week to finishing with an NL-record 7.6 million votes. Posey was the leading vote-getter in the National League. He outdistanced Molina by more than 2.5 million votes.
Last week, Melky Cabrera lost as the No. 3 vote-getter in the outfield to Ryan Braun. In the final tally, Cabrera was the top vote-getter among NL outfielders. Cabrera collected 7.5 million votes, a little less than 100,000 votes behind Posey. Cabrera finished more than 1 million votes ahead of No. 2 outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Sandoval went from trailing Wright by more than 400,000 votes to beating Wright by more than 1.6 million votes. Sandoval collected 5.7 million votes.
Oh, and it didn’t stop there. Two other Giants — 1B Brandon Belt and SS Brandon Crawford — finished second in voting at their respective positions. Belt finished more than 3 million votes behind the Reds’ Joey Votto. However, Crawford missed being voted the starting NL shortstop by a little more than 306,000 votes.
Outfielder Angel Pagan finished fifth among outfielders (4.5 million). Aubrey Huff was 14th (1.9 million). Freddy Sanchez, who has not played a big-league game in more than a year, finished fourth among second baseman (2.289 million votes).
It’s the first time since 2001 that the Giants have had three players voted All-Star starters (Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Rich Aurilia). Coincidentally, Bonds, Kent and Aurilia are expected at AT&T Park Sunday as the Giants commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 NL championship squad.
Congrats to Buster, the Melkman and the Panda, and also to Matt Cain, who was named to the All-Star team.
Here is the NL All-Star team:
C – Buster Posey, Giants; 1B – Joey Votto, Reds; 2B – Dan Uggla, Braves; SS – Rafael Furcal, Cardinals; 3B – Pablo Sandoval, Giants; OF – Matt Kemp, Dodgers; OF – Carlos Beltran, Cardinals; OF – Melky Cabrera, Giants.
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Craig Kimbrel, Braves; Aroldis Chapman, Reds; Cole Hamels, Phillies; Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies; Wade Miley, Diamondbacks; Gio Gonzalez, Nationals; Stephen Strasburg, Nationals; R.A. Dickey, Mets; Matt Cain, Giants; Lance Lynn, Cardinals; Joel Hanrahan, Pirates; Huston Street, Padres
1B Bryan Lahair, Cubs; 2B Jose Altuve, Astros; SS Starlin Castro, Cubs; SS Ian Desmond, Nationals; 3B David Wright, Mets; C Carlos Ruiz, Phillies; C Yadier Molina, Cardinals; OF Jay Bruce, Reds; OF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies; OF Ryan Braun, Brewers; OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins; OF Andrew McCutchen.
Melky Cabrera showed why he should be an All-Star.
Cabrera belted a solo home run in the fourth inning, and that’s all the Giants would need as they shut out the Dodgers for the second consecutive night. It’s the first time since 1987 the Giants have posted back-to-back shutouts against the Dodgers.
Earlier Tuesday, it was announced that Cabrera slipped out of the No. 3 outfield spot in the latest All-Star voting.
Ryan Braun has 3,168,617 votes, just 122,733 votes ahead of Cabrera, the closest margin between two All-Star candidates for a starting spot.
Buster Posey continues to lead at the catcher spot with 3,335,982 votes, 216,452 votes ahead of the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina.
At third base, David Wright (2,687,818) leads the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval by 464,549.
Posey went 2 for 4 with a double in the Giants’ win Tuesday, and Sandoval 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Cabrera is lock to be selected to the NL All-Star team as a reserve if he doesn’t win the voting. Posey also stands a good chance, given that usually three catchers are picked. And with third base being a bit thin this season in the NL, there’s a chance Sandoval could earn a selection.
The Giants were on the road when in-stadium balloting ended last Friday. They are home now, but all the voting is being done online through 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
But Giant fans have always been electronically savvy, so maybe that can swing the vote. MoreSplashHits has voted 50 times (25 times on two different emails).
If the All-Star voting ending today, the San Francisco Giants would have TWO players in the starting lineup.
Melky Cabrera jumped past reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun for third place in the outfield in NL All-Star voting released Tuesday.
Cabrera has 2,144,107 votes to move a little more than 25,000 votes ahead of Braun. Matt Kemp leads among NL outfielders with 3.32 million votes, followed by Carlos Beltran at 2.65 million.
Buster Posey continues to lead among catchers with 2,445,005 votes. He leads Yadier Molina of the Cardinals by 153,438 votes. Posey is trying to become the first San Francisco Giant to be voted the starting NL catcher in an All-Star Game since Ed Bailey in 1963.
The Giants haven’t had two players voted as All-Star starters since 2004, when Barry Bonds (OF) and Jeff Kent (2B) earned the honors.
The last time the Giants had three All-Star starters (via voting) was in 2001 when Bonds, Kent and SS Rich Aurilia won the balloting.
We mentioned that because Pablo Sandoval has moved up to No. 2 among third basemen. Sandoval trails the Mets’ David Wright by about 355,000 votes.
Other Giants among top vote-getters at their positions include 1B Brandon Belt (fourth), SS Brandon Crawford (fifth) and OF Angel Pagan (ninth).
The bad news for Giants All-Star hopefuls is that in-stadium voting ends on Friday, and the Giants are currently halfway through a nine-game road trip. However, Friday’s game is a home-away-from-home game at Oakland.
After that, voting can be done exclusively online through June 28. So let’s hope some wired Giants fans can stuff the ballots.
To vote for your Giants All-Stars, click here.
April showers bring Melky knocks.
Melky Cabrera delivered a 3-for-4 night for the Giants to break Willie Mays’ record for hits by a San Francisco Giant in the month of May with 50.
The Giants on Tuesday only mounted threats in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings — the innings in which Cabrera delivered the first of the inning for the Giants.
So since the previous Giants’ record for hits in May was held by a guy named Mays, shouldn’t we now call Melky “May-ky?”
Or we should just changed the name of the month Melky.
In the fourth, the Giants loaded the bases on singles by Cabrera and Buster Posey, plus a walk to Brett Pill. But the Giants were unable to score.
In the sixth, Cabrera’s infield single preceded Posey’s RBI double that tied the game. The Giants would load the bases again, but not score in part because first-base umpire Brian O’Nora blew the call (Please, Bud Selig, isn’t time for expanded replay?).
In the eighth, Ryan Theriot led off with a walk and went to third on Cabrera’s record-breaking hit to right. Posey plated Theriot on a sacrifice fly for the lead. Cabrera would later score on Joaquin Arias’ groundout.
For the second time in three days the Giants won a game with excellent pitching and all of their hits coming from Cabrera, Posey and Pagan.
The Giants’ 3-4-5 hitters were 7 for 11 with two runs and two RBI. The other hitters in the Giants’ lineup were 0 for 18.
If Cabrera gets one more hit on Wednesday, he’ll tie Randy Winn for the most hits by a San Francisco Giant in any month.
It’s Tim Linecum Day on Wednesday. Hopefully, it also will be Tim Lincecum Win Day as he faces off against Ian Kennedy at 7:10 p.m. The Giants have won three games in a row for the fifth time this season, but they have not won four in a row.
MARLINS 5, GIANTS 2: BOX SCORE
GIANTS 3, MARLINS 2: BOX SCORE
The Giants’ offensive burst over the past couple of weeks slowed down over the weekend, but it still produced a split in Miami thanks to a nice outing by Matt Cain.
Between May 15-25, the Giants had scored four or more runs in 9 of 11 games. Even including this past weekend, the Giants have scored 3 or more runs in their last seven games and in 15 of their past 17 games, dating back to May 12.
So how much of this offensive explosion (if that’s what you want to call it) can be credited to the torrid May of Melky Cabrera.
We saw what an impact Cabrera can have on Sunday, when he went 4 for 4 and scored all three of the Giants’ runs. He had 4 of the Giants’ 7 runs. In fact, only Cabrera, Buster Posey (2 for 4) and Angel Pagan (1 for 2) collected hits. Everyone else pulled an 0-fer.
When he acquired Cabrera in the offseason, Giants GM Brian Sabean said Cabrera was the kind of player the Giants needed. He wasn’t the big power hitter everyone said the Giants needed. But he got hits, had speed and played good defense.
Now when asked what the chances of the Giants signing Cabrera to an extension before next season, Sabean said the “stars would have to align.”
Doesn’t sound too encouraging, does it?
Well, let’s help Sabes align some stars.
After this season, Aubrey Huff’s $10 million-a-season contract comes off the book, so does Freddy Sanchez’s $6 million deal. And let’s not forget the Giants are paying Aaron Rowand $12 million to make appearances on American Roadster. That also is off the ledger in 2013. The Giants were set to pay Brian Wilson $10-$11 million in arbitration next season. But with Wilson’s elbow injury, that won’t happen as the Giants are sure to non-tender The Beard in hopes of re-signing for much, much less.
Those contracts alone will save the Giants more than $34 million come next year (after you factor in buyouts). They’re looking at about six players who would be arbitration-eligible after this season.
They have cost-certainty with the recent extensions of Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval. Doing the same for BusterPosey may be the next order of business, although the Giants may endure a year of arbitration with their catcher to make sure there are no long-term after-effects from his ankle injury.
Barry Zito’s contract ends in 2013. So does Tim Lincecum’s.
A couple of months ago, the thought of letting Lincecum walk when free agency arrived would be unthinkable to most Giants fans.
It’s not that we don’t think Lincecum will eventually figure out his struggles. It’s just that he has been prone to this lapses over the past couple of years — August 2010, June 2011, NOW.
Then the question becomes whether you want to pay someone prone to these extended funks $25 million a season.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com mentioned that with Gary Brown’s struggles in Double-A this season that the Giants may consider extending Angel Pagan a higher priority.
But the Giants have Gregor Blanco … on the cheap. He may be arbitration eligible in 2013, or he might not.
Blanco is having the breakout year similar to Andres Torres in 2010. And Blanco’s pitch selection and ability to get on base lends itself to avoid the tail-off season the free-swinging Torres had in 2011.
So we believe Cabrera is the priority and Pagan the fallback.
While Adam Jones’ recent contract extension may complicate the Cabrera situation for the Giants. But there are other potential free agent outfielders — Michael Bourn, Andre Ethier, Josh Hamilton, Torii Hunter, Carlos Quentin, Ichiro Suzuki, B.J. Upton, Shane Victorino — that could soften the market.