I expected Brian "the Brain" Sabean to bring back veteran ballplayers Jason Schmidt and Randy Winn, exercising both players' options for 2006.
What I didn't expect was for Sabes to re-sign veteran Jeff Fassero.
Should I have expected it? Oh, yes, of course. Why did I not do this? Because I held out hope that the Giants GM would have an epiphany of brain activity and realize that while Fassero was uber-useful last season, the Giants cannot reasonably expect him to repeat last year's performance. Reasons?
- The first reason is broken down into 44 parts, one part for each year of age that Fassero wil have accumulated by Spring Training in 2006.
- Since 1998, Fassero has had two decent/good seasons: 2001, and 2005. Leading up to 2005, Fassero had been poor for three straight seasons. If the trend is poor for three straight seasons, then all of a sudden turns decent again at 43 years of age, do you really think this last decent season is a harbinger of Fassero's 2006 performance?
- Overuse. Fassero was used too much last year, and in some games it showed. At his age, I can't help but think similar use in 2006 will lead to time on the DL for the ol' left-hander.
Combatting all this is the slim possibility that the Giants management will use Fassero exclusively as a long man and spot starter out of the bullpen, in which case things might not be too bad. But with Father Alou, he who is inficted with the rare disease, Usus Too Muchus Bullpenitis, this is a longshot. Fassero will likely find himself pitching well-nigh 100 innings again next year in a myriad of roles, straining his arm to the breaking point again.
While I'd still have rather seen Sabean thank the stars he got as much out of Fassero as he did last season and cut bait on Fassero while the memories were good, if they can keep the old dude down to about 50-60 innings, it could work out.
But you know what they say about expectations...