Brian Sabean

The Giants have to do something, but what?

According to Buster Olney, the Yankees signed CC Sabathia to a seven-year, $160 million deal.

So much for the terrible economy, hometown discounts or my earlier prediction of the Giants combining Sabathia with a trade for Dan Uggla. There have been rumors of a Jonathan Sanchez-for-Jorge Cantu deal this week, but it’s hard to remember the last time Brian Sabean actually pulled off a deal that was heavily publicized before its consummation.

Unless the Giants were to sign Sabathia (or A.J. Burnett, Derek Lowe or Ben Sheets, all of which seem extremely unlikely with the Yankees and Red Sox competing for each pitcher), it’s hard to imagine Sabean trading Sanchez or Matt Cain, especially with Noah Lowry tentatively occupying the fifth spot in the rotation.

Bruce Bochy took the opportunity yesterday (or more likely was forced to by the Giants’ P.R. staff) to go over his opening day lineup, which features a 3-4-5 of Pablo Sandoval, Bengie Molina and Fred Lewis, an announcement which has led to a collective freak-out by Giants State (because a team that hit only 91 homers in 2008 hardly deserves its own nation).

Larry Baer and the boys announced cuts of $2 to $5 per seat on (some) ticket prices, showing the Giants know filling AT&T Park isn’t going to be easy in 2009. Still, the team has money to spend (obviously, if they were even thinking of bidding for Sabathia), and going into next season with the same lineup Bochy chatted up yesterday would be met with as much local enthusiasm as if Jeff Kent replaced Gavin Newsom as mayor of San Francisco.

So they got to do something, but what can they do? Signing Mark Teixeira or Adam Dunn is absolutely impossible given the ballpark the Giants call home. Manny Ramirez is a possibility, but not only would the Giants would have to out-bid everyone in order to get him, but Manny would probably suffer one of those fake knee injuries immediately after noticing that he was hitting between Sandoval and Molina.

I was clearly wrong about Sabathia signing with the Giants (although I did realize I was being a little unrealistic earlier in the week), so take this with a grain of salt — but here’s my latest prediction: the Giants sign Randy Johnson for one year to hold down the fifth slot in the rotation until Madison Bumgarner is ready for the Majors (I can’t be alone in figuring Noah Lowry never starts another game in the bigs), and Pat Burrell to play left field and move the Giants ever-closer to recreating the 2007 Phillies outfield (you never know, Randy Winn and Tim Alderson could net Shane Victorino!).

Hey, if the Giants couldn’t sign the biggest left-handed starter in baseball, at least with the Unit they’d have the tallest. Sheesh. The Giants are sooooooo lucky they’re in the NL West.

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