Brian Sabean

Sabean on Sandoval, Scutaro’s “confounding” back problems, why Romo extension would be one long-term deal too many

Brian Sabean San Francisco Giants

Brian Sabean went on KNBR with Tom Tolbert and Ray Woodson yesterday, and after discussing the current state of the team he talked about several different personnel matters.

On the Pablo Sandoval negotiations, or lack thereof:

Well, it was an impasse, and it probably was almost from day one because they stated a position that they never really came off and negotiated off. Maybe that’s why I phrased it the way I phrased it. I thought that we had shown good faith and our willingness to tweak our offer up, add bells and whistles to it, and they were just dug in. I can understand why, because of the age of the player. And I can understand how they are going to try to predict the free agent market, but that doesn’t mean it has to be to our liking right now.

Who knows what’s going to happen from here on out. We like Pablo as a player. And obviously we would hope to get a chance to re-sign him at some point. But where it goes from here, it’s really up to him to play good baseball and have the season play out first.

I’m never strictly opposed to (negotiating during the season). But to this point, we’ve both stated our case and I don’t see either side moving off that. So why keep the pressure on, so to speak. Especially for the player. It’s our money, and it’s the agent representing him, but the player has to do it. Pablo is the one who has to be comfortable, and he knows that his agent’s going to handle it. I think in the best interests of everybody, just table it and see what happens.

Summary: Not much new here. The Giants are in the “if this is what you think you’re worth, prove it” stage.


On Marco Scutaro’s injury status:

It’s really confounding because we’ve got second and third opinions on what’s going on with that lower back. He has an ability to do baseball activity, but he can’t crank it up to major league level, output or exertion. It’s kind of confounding, because structurally the back’s in pretty good shape.

There are a couple issues that cropped up that we didn’t see at the end of last year. Why, we’re not sure, because he had a good offseason of resting and then rehabbing. We thought he was prepared to come to Spring Training and it just didn’t turn out that way. Once he started doing the activity he needed to be ready and participate. We’re being overly cautious and getting him to the best people in the country to see what’s going on.

Summary: Scutaro’s back situation isn’t getting any better, and it may not get better this season (or ever). It’s never a good sign when the GM uses the word “confounding” twice to describe a player’s condition.


On whether Edwin Escobar could be the first guy the Giants look at if they need another starter:

You know, I’m not sure. I thought that going into Spring Training and he really struggled in Spring Training. He’s been a strike-thrower in the past and kind of didn’t show that ability, especially with his fastball … We were expecting to see more in Spring Training and we just didn’t.

Summary: The Giants got spooked after Escobar walked eight and struck out only three over 8.2 innings in the Cactus League. In two starts (8.2 innings) with the Grizzlies, Escobar has walked three — while surrendering 15 hits and seven earned runs. He’s still a ways away.


On why they haven’t discussed a contract extension with Sergio Romo:

In Pablo’s case, we chose to go forward because he’s a position player and he’s very vital in the middle of our lineup. In Romo’s case, I think one of the reasons we haven’t engaged is that you can only have so many long-term contracts. At the end of this year we’re going to be at a pretty significant number against our current payroll and you don’t want to choke yourself off from being able to do other things.

We like Sergio. We think Sergio’s very competent as a closer in the big leagues, and he’s shown that in ’12 and he had a snapshot at being able to do it last year in a year that we only won 76 games. But I think we still need more information on him as a closer, because he’s not prototypical as far as body type or style. That’s one of the reasons we’re being cautious, or a couple reasons.

Summary: This is probably the last year we’ll see Romo in a Giants uniform, and the team’s 2015 payroll is a huge concern — which is something I mentioned as a potential stumbling block in the Sandoval negotiations earlier in the week.

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