Torturous Spending Pays Off For San Francisco Giants

First off, congrats to Steve Perry and the San Francisco Giants on becoming the 2010 World Series Champions. Not many people outside of the Bay Area expected the Giants to win it all this year, and that just goes to show you that essentially the regular season means nothing once it comes to October.

I think in looking at the 2010 San Francisco Giants, fans of the Toronto Blue Jays can seek solace in the fact that the Giants weren’t a team one would regard as “stacked” like the New York Yankees.

Instead, the Giants were comprised of the proverbial “Island of Misfit Players” featuring many role-players that stepped up when they needed to.


Brian Sabean will be heralded for constructing this winning roster, but he wasn’t impervious to some bad contracts. He may be the World Series MVP, but the fact remains the Giants paid a 35 year old Edgar Renteria $9 million dollars to play shortstop this season.

Sabean was also the genius who signed Aaron Rowand to a 5 year/$60 million dollar contract. And then of course, there’s the man who was left off the playoff roster entirely: Barry Zito. He’ll get a ring this year as well, but it cost the Giants $18.5 million.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to say here, but I think the message I’m attempting to convey is that despite all these bad deals the Giants have on the books, they still somehow managed to win the World Series.

As a whole, the San Francisco Giants organization took some swings and missed on a couple contracts, but the only way to hit the ball is to swing for the fences.

With cost-cutting measures over these past few seasons in Toronto, as fans I think we’ve become accustomed to the Blue Jays keeping a low payroll and not making big splashes in the free agent market.

While that strategy seems to be working, the only way to kick it into overdrive is to spend. That means going after top-quality free agents and willing to pay and in some cases even overpay for them. Because at the end of the day, it’s just money … right?

As this organization has done in the past with the likes of B.J. Ryan and Frank Thomas, contracts have been cast aside. I know this new regime is a little gun shy of delving out big deals to free agents, but I’m afraid it’s something that needs to be done if the Blue Jays are going to make headway within the next 5 years.

It’s not like the cash being saved on salary each year is being put into a jar and is going towards the next season’s payroll. With the Tampa Bay Rays cutting payroll and set to have an off-season fire sale, the window of opportunity within the American League East will only be open for a limited time.

It might be the 12-year old kid in me who discovers a blank cheque, but I say spend it like you stole it. The San Francisco Giants did … and it won them a World Series.


Image courtesy of Daylife

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

7 thoughts on “Torturous Spending Pays Off For San Francisco Giants

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Nav, I think over these past few seasons, we've been trained by the front office to not expect huge contracts to be dealt out. But now that I see what happened with the Giants and other teams, I'm starting to believe you have to go for it.

  • November 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I also think it's a great example of how anything can happen if you can just make into the postseason.
    They were decent down the stretch but without SD imploding, the Giants don't make it in.
    Their pitching was always solid, but the whole team got clicking together at the right time.
    The Jays are in a much tougher division to squeak into the playoffs (maybe easier next year?) but if they can… with our pitching and lineup. You never know…

  • November 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Otto, exactly. Once it turns into October baseball, the slate is wiped clean and it's anybody's ball game. The teams with the Top 4 records in the Majors were taken out in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

    The Rangers picked the absolute worst time to go into a hitting slump, and that's why they lost the World Series.

    I think it goes as proof that EVERY SINGLE GAME counts during the regular season. As San Fran proved, one game can make or break the season.

  • November 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    The Giants didn't win the World Series because of Renteria any more than the Blue Jays won the 1992 series because of Borders. The Giants success has everything to do with drafting Lincecum, Posey and Bumgarner and nothing to do with the likes of Zito, Rowand and even Renteria. The lesson here is that the free agent market provides the worst value in baseball while the draft potentially provides the best. AA already knows about the importance of drafting high upside guys and that's the only lesson to be learned from the SF Giants.

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:31 am

    NoisyFlowers, I'm not suggesting that Renteria was an integral cog in the Giants machine (although he certainly was in the World Series), it's just apparent that their front office wasn't afraid to delve out some big contracts. I know AA is doing the right thing by building from the ground up, but unless they sign some free agents or make some big trades in the next few years, they're going to be constantly rebuilding.

  • November 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm


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