Hot stove update: AFL wraps up, Barmes almost a Giant, San Jose A’s?
Happy Sunday, Giants fans!
Before you get engrossed in today’s Niners game, a few quick hits from the Hot Stove league to keep you on top of what’s going on this offseason with that other San Francisco team you love.
Arizona Fall League
The Arizona Fall League wrapped things up last week.
Brown left early, due to exhaustion, but the other two position players — Crawford and Panik — finished very strong. In fact, the two middle infielders were named to the 2011 AFL Top Prospects Team.
Crawford batted .276/.315/.414 (0.729 OPS) with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR and 12 RBI in 21 games ( 87 at bats) for the Scottsdale Scorpions (14-22). He had a 16-game hit streak at one point and played superb defense.
Panik hit .323/.394/.473 (0.867 OPS) with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR and 13 RBI in 27 games (93 at bats) for Scottsdale. He hit safely in 18 of his final 21 games and his batting average was second on the team behind the Nat’s Bryce Harper, who batted .333.
Harrold allowed just one run over 14 innings in his last 10 appearances, winning three games, picking up a save and racking up 14 strikeouts. The Giants’ 2010 12th-round draft pick ranked fifth in the AFL with a 1.76 ERA.
Fleet finished the Fall League with an impressive 17:3 K:BB ratio in 18 innings over 11 appearances. He went 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.222 WHIP.
Rosin also looked very good in his nine appearances (all relief). The 6-5, 235-pound Minnesotan, who I ranked No. 8 on my list of Top 22 Giants Prospects last week, allowed just 9 hits and 4 walks in 12.2 innings (1.026 WHIP) to go along with a tidy 2.13 ERA. He struck out nine and held opponents to a .196 average.
The only Giants representative that didn’t impress in the desert was Bradley, who got shelled in the Scorpions’ final game. The 23-year old, who was drafted in the 47th round of the 2006 June draft, could not record an out in the fifth inning of Scottsdale’s 6-2 loss to the Mesa Solar Sox, allowing all six runs in the game. His ERA ballooned to 23.63 — definitely not the way you want to go out.
The one that got away, part 2
Well, it happened again to the club on Saturday, after the Pittsburgh Pirates all but snatched free agent shortstop Clint Barmes away from the Giants by signing the 33-year old to a two-year, $11 million contract, according to Jon Heyman at Sports Illustrated. Barmes batted .244/.312/.386 with 12 HR and 39 RBI as a platooner for the Houston Astros last season.
Supposedly, the Giants had an offer of 2 years and $15 million on the table for Barmes, which makes this particular signing very interesting, to say the least.
San Jose A’s?
Not really “hot stove” action, but worthy of a quick note. It looks like the Oakland A’s are getting very close (closer than we’ve seem them get yet anyway) to moving the team out of the East Bay.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Commissioner Bud Selig is planning to meet with the Giants in the next couple of weeks to talk about relocating the A’s to San Jose.
Selig is supportive of the move but the Giants own the territorial rights to the South Bay area and are not willing to concede the area to their AL counterparts across the bay. A payoff to the Giants by Major League Baseball might change the Giants’ mind.
Rosenthal goes on to say that if the Giants don’t back down from their stance, MLB might buy the A’s and get a new stadium deal done in Oakland. Then, similar to what happened to the Montreal Expos 10 years ago, they would resell the A’s to a new ownership group.
Last week, the San Jose City Council agreed to give the A’s purchasing rights to buy nearly five acres of downtown land for $6.9 million.
B-Weez’s Air Force Scholarship
Giants closer Brian Wilson has publicly mentioned his father Michael a few times over the past two years. His dad died when he was still a teen, and Wilson has said he regrets not telling his father how much he respects him now that he’s gone.
The bearded one did his dad good on Friday at the annual Air Force Ball in Los Angeles. Wilson handed out the first of many future college scholarships to a couple of young ROTC cadets in honor of his father, who served in the Air Force. (Read the whole story here.)