They say desperate times call for desperate measures. In San Francisco, desperate times apparently call for sane, resonable, and rational measures. Today, the Giants have designated Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada for assignment.
The Tejada decision was an easy one: he was on a one-year deal and simply never showed MLB ability this season, posting a .239/.270/.326 line. The Rowand decision, on the other hand required more than simply dumping an aging veteran who would be gone at the end of the season anyway. Designating Rowand for assignment at this juncture is that decision we so often see general managers (or ownership) shy away from at the most important times: cutting bait on a big, long-term contract.
Rowand is currently in the fourth year of a five-year, $60 million dollar contract. He is still owed roughly $2 million for the rest of 2011 and $12 million for the 2012 season. But with Rowand contributing only 0.7 WAR in 2011 and 4.8 WAR from 2008-2011, it was increasingly difficult for Brian Sabean and the Giants to justify his spot on the roster. Hindsight, of course, is simple, and Aaron Rowand was once a very good baseball player. Did Sabean whiff on the decision to pay Rowand, or was the ill-fated deal more about the player failing to live up to his value?
Read the rest of this entry »