Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Molina / Posey, Sleepers

The Giants continue to surprise us with their moves the past few weeks, the latest of which has them bringing Bengie Molina back for another year and being patient enough with Buster Posey to give him even more minor league experience.

Molina's return is rather significant beyond the more obvious "sign a veteran to buy time for the top prospect" transaction we're used to seeing.  If the Giants had brought in someone like a Gregg Zaun (who ended up in Milwaukee) or even Jason Kendall (KC), we all could naturally view that as bringing in an established guy to get the team through the first couple of months of the season with a plan to bring Posey up in June or July, much as the Orioles did with Matt Wieters last year.

In this case, Molina's not the kind of guy you sign to play only for the first two months.  All reports are saying that he will earn about $4.5 million on the one year deal.  He's been a fairly consistent RBI guy out of the catching slot and with the deal, the only path Posey has to regular big league playing time in 2010 is if Molina suffers a major injury or if Molina ends up traded, the latter of which is not outside the realm of possibility.

For now, it means that our previously-published Posey forecast (206 at bats, .277, 6 home runs, 28 RBI) will all but disappear, pending further information on how the Giants intend to handle him.  In fact, the reason we had published only around 200 AB in that previous edition rather than 400 AB was to reflect this very uncertainty.  It wasn't so much that our forecast was saying that Posey would become a regular specifically at the midpoint of the season, though that was conceivable.  Rather, the range of possible outcomes here was, and still is, very wide.  In short, though, the Molina signing now moves the likely outcome to much lower big league playing time for Posey in 2010.

On another matter, I'm pleased to announce that our popular "If Sleepers Existed" series will return again for another season, the first part of which will be published by late next week.  There's only one way to get it when it first comes out, though, and that is to be a subscriber to our free mailing list.  When it's first published, a link to the article will be sent out to the mailing list and then, about 3-5 days after that, it will scroll on to the website archives for all to see.  So, if you want to be sure you get it the first day it is published, be sure you're on the free list.  Also be aware that just because you are a subscriber to our paid forecasts, that does not automatically put you on the free mailing list as they're completely separate.

This sleepers series is among our top five most popular traditions every year.  Last year's edition included names such as Ryan Zimmerman, Nelson Cruz, Troy Tulowitzki, Adam Jones, Heath Bell, Chris Carpenter, Yovani Gallardo, Carlos Marmol and Frank Francisco, among others.