Is there a more typical Brian Sabean move than this? He's signed Freddy Sanchez to a two-year, $12M contract.
No, it's not the stupidest thing any GM has ever done. But it's absolutely typical Brian Sabean.
Steven Rubio has the goods here; Steven, as usual focuses right away on the clear fact that Sanchez doesn't earn walks, and therefore has to hit .300 (BA) in order to get on base enough, and that it's not real likely that Sanchez will hit .300. I certainly agree with that.
Two things to bring to the discussion. One: second basemen tend to deteriorate really quickly. Giants fans will remember Robby Thompson, an All-Star level 2B who was washed up after his 31 year old season. They will also, and with a lot less warmth, remember Manny Trillo -- last good season age 30 -- and, with even more dread, Rennie Stennett (peak season age 26, washed up at age 27, signed by Giants to big contract at age 29). Turns out those (and not Jeff Kent, who lasted really well) are actually typical for 2Bs. Something about the position wears on them.
Two: mediocre 2Bs are one of the easiest things to find. There's a reason for that...teams generally have no use for their second best second baseman. A second-best SS becomes a utility infielder; a second best 3B can shift to 1B, perhaps, and of course outfielders can shift around. So there are lots of second-best 2Bs around...and, on top of that, all of the second-best SS can also play 2B, so they're usually available at bargain prices, too.
Put it all together, and paying full price to a 2B entering his 32 year old season who, if everything goes right, figures to be a league-average 2B for the next two years is a pretty lousy bet. If Sanchez stays healthy and hits around his career averages, he'll be a solid signing. It's almost impossible for him to do better than that, and not unlikely that he'll fall off a cliff.
Anyway, that's not what bothered me enough to post about this. It's what Sabean said in the Chronicle story(by the excellent Henry Schulman):
Sabean said when Sanchez was healthy, "he certainly played up to our scouting reports and expectations. It's unfortunate he ran into not being able to stay on the field, because he really would have helped the ballclub."