Uncanny, isn’t it? Rowand has the edge on slugging, but then he’s been playing in the most HR friendly park in the majors. Reed hasn’t “proven himself” because he’s only had one above-average year while Rowand has had two. Rowand plays a great center field while Reed could but has been blocked by Vernon. Whatever. They’re both scrappy, quick-but-not-fast outfielders who have a little pop and play full-out.
The real difference is that Reed is a fringe starter right now. The Blue Jays considered not offering him a contract, but last night offered a one-year, 3-ish million dollar contract for him to platoon in left field next season. The Giants, on the other hand just handed Rowand a 5-year, 60 million dollar contract to bolster the middle of their lineup. The mind boggles.
It should be someone’s job to follow around GM’s with a nerf bat and bludgeon them senseless every time they start signing guys based on “grit”, their last season, or fan appeal based on one play endlessly repeated on highlight reels. Whatever his salary, that guy would be a bargain compared to the ridiculous long-term, big-money center field signings of the last two years (but then I guess Juan Pierre and Gary Matthews Jr. don’t really count as center fielders because they were both replaced in that capacity this very next season).
This signing also officially puts the Rios-Lincecum swap to bed, but then we really knew that for days now, right? Sounds like Sabean was even a little embarrassed by the reaction to the trade:
“With this move, we will no longer listen to any offers for Cain and Lincecum,” Sabean said. “We know the value of both individuals believe me, maybe more so now that we’ve gone through this exercise. They might be the hottest two names in baseball.”
Now if only the Giant’s fan base would mobilize as loud and clear to help him spend money on the free agent market as they did to prevent him from trading away another young elite arm to the Jays, they might climb out of the basement sometime this decade…