Indians are doing some rebuilding

A few semi-random thoughts to open the winter meetings (which I'll be observing from afar)...

• You have to hand it to Brian Sabean: He's nothing if not consistent. Last season, the Giants, with the oldest lineup this side of Dyersville, Iowa, went 76-85 and finished third for the second straight year. Now, the Giants can't help but be younger in 2007, as they've lost 40-year-old outfielder Moises Alou and 41-year-old outfielder Steve Finley, and they might lose 42-year-old outfielder Barry Bonds. It's not easy to replace that many years. Sabean is doing the best he can, though. He just signed 34-year-old outfielder Dave Roberts to a three-year contract and 35-year-old infielder Rich Aurilia to a two-year deal. Neither of them are bad players, but Sabean continues to operate as if the future is now ... and for the Giants, the future probably is the future. They weren't very good this year, and there's a good chance they'll begin next year without their best hitter (Bonds) and their best pitcher (Jason Schmidt). There's been a lot of talk about the Giants having a lot of money to spend this winter, but the funny thing is, they're not linked to any of the top free agents. And if they're not going to sign any good players, what's the point of signing non-good players to multiyear contracts?

• Speaking of apparently pointless actions, to this point the Orioles' have (1) rebuilt their bullpen, and (2) re-signed Kevin Millar. I'm not saying that rebuilt bullpens and players like Kevin Millar aren't good things to have on a ballclub, but I'm not sure those lovely items go a long way toward getting the Orioles out of fourth place (where they've finished in eight of the last nine seasons).