With the Holliday season upon us, I thought I'd run down the various teams in the Bay Area that we cover her at The Journal, and let you know where each team currently stands. We've been talking Niners in every post so we'll hold back off them (just scroll down for our last post on the), but what about the Warriors, the Giants, the A's and Raiders?
First off, the Warriors made a move for a much needed big man this week, inking former Michael Jordan protege and #1 pick Kwame Brown. I don't necessarily love the deal, but it sure beats throwing huge dollars at an un-proven DeAndre Jordan in my eyes. I don't get the infatuation with Jordan, he can jump and rebound and cause havoc in the middle, but so can Epke Udoh and Brown will bring just that kind of presence if he's motivated and healthy. Not saying I think Brown's a better player than Jordan, just saying that the W's have overpaid their share for mediocre big men already. I'm glad they didn't waste a bunch of money in order to do so and got themselves a defensive presence in Brown. Kwame's never lived up to his #1 pick billing, so people will always look upon him with a frown, but he's a Warrior now and he's got my full backing. If the W's get the player who showed up in Charlotte in the 2nd half (10/7 per night), then he'll probably take the starting job from Biedrins without much of a fight. The only other center being possibly discussed was Samuel Dalembert, so Brown doesn't look so bad considering. What surprised me the most upon hearing this signing was that Biedrins was not amnestied, instead they used it on Charlie Bell. Should make for an interesting small preseason!
On the Giants front, their offseason has been very quiet outside of two mid-range trades in which they've added Angel Pagan from New York and Melky Cabrera from Kansas City. With the two moves, the Giants appear to have done their major work this winter, with the chance of them still signing a utility infielder and a right-handed hitting outfielder before spring training. If they are indeed done though, I can't say I'm overly impressed with what Sabean has done. I like Pagan and Cabrera as players and believe the Giants made good deals, but they still need pop in that lineup. Someone who can hit more than the 20 HR's Pablo and Buster will give them. They're banking on Huff, Sanchez, Posey, Crawford and Belt all improving by standing pat, and that's a lot to ask. As always, for our daily, in-depth Giants talk, check out The Giants Baseball Blog!
Onto the A's, who have moved into full on sale mode once again. Luckily though, they traded the right pitching in my mind in Cahill instead of Gonzalez, but they still could deal Gonzalez away as well. They sent Cahill to Arizona for a speedy average hitting outfielder in Collin Cowgill, and a few young arms in Jarrod Parker (starting pitcher) and Ryan Cook (relief pitcher). Now, Parker is a nice young arm, who projects out to be a 3 or 4 starter, but Cook looks like a mid-reliever and I'd be surprised if Cowgill becomes a successful MLB regular. In other words, I think AZ won this deal hands down, getting a potential 23 year-old ace under control for years and not even near his prime yet. I know he had a hiccup in 2011, but he was still one of the most consistent starters in that rotation and again, he's 23! Seems to me for a 23 year-old #1-2 starter, they could have gotten an already proven everyday player (Drew, Montero, Perra?), as well as the team's top pitching prospect like Parker. I mean, Cahill's younger than Parker, and already has years under his belt!
I'm going on longer than I was planning, so I have to keep the Raiders notes short and sweet. This team hasn't tanked like everyone in the Bay Area media is saying they have, they've actually played quite well up until the last few weeks considering the QB change in season and all the injury problems on the O-line and wideout spots, but the ultimate missing piece has been Darren McFadden, who just made this offense go when he was on the field. No knock on Mike Bush, who's playing well in DMC's absence and is good enough to start in this league, but he doesn't catch the ball like DMC or have that game-breaking speed. Also, Denarious Moore and Jacoby Ford, arguably the two most vertical threats on the roster, who also have great rapport with Carson Palmer (who we'll analyze more since the trade soon!), have been non-existent the last month. Even so, the only game this team lost that they really shouldn't have since the bye was the game vs. Miami in week 13. They could have played better vs. Green Bay, but they weren't winning that game with Rogers having the year he is. All in all, the Broncos are in better shape right now, as they both have pretty equal ending schedules, but Denver hasn't lose a game since October!
49ers: Since we do so many 49ers posts here and this blog has become a psuedo-49ers Blog, this post will be 49ers-free. Just scroll down for plenty of current Niners talk, including thoughts on Sundays rough loss here?
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