Earlier in November, the Giants decided to exercise an option in Jeremy Affeldt's contract that kept the left-handed reliever on the roster for 2012.
It cost the team $5 million for next year, which makes it really bizarre that he might now be on the trading block.
That's according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who reported on Wednesday that the Giants are trying to trade either Affeldt and reliever Ramon Ramirez to "reduce the heavy investments in its bullpen." (Ramirez is expected to make around $3 million in 2012, his final year of arbitration.)
Yes, this seems as ridiculous as it sounds, primarily because it makes no sense, if you're concerned about over-investing in your bullpen, to invest heavily in your bullpen.
That's what the Giants did, apparently, without any foresight.
And now they're stuck in a situation where either:
- a) They can't sign a free agent to provide offense because of a limited budget that was used on a pitcher they don't want, or
- b) They trade Affeldt and still pay part of his salary, which wasn't necessary in the first place.
Now, it's possible that Affeldt and a package of other players will fetch something the Giants couldn't have otherwise acquired via free agency. And if that's the case, well, hats off to Brian Sabean for shrewdly analyzing the market for relievers and investing in trade bait.
But it's unlikely that happens and for a team with a limited budget, it really seems like an unnecessary risk, especially with so much riding on an improved offense that could really stand to add another piece or two that isn't a 30-something left-handed reliever who was knocked out of the season after stabbing himself with a knife while trying to pry frozen hamburgers apart.