The San Francisco Giants’ season is over.
After losing 3 of 4 to the Cincinnati Reds and falling to 3 and 4 on their current 10 game home stand, the Giants don’t look like the team who made magical runs in 2010 and 2012 that led them to World Series titles. The Giants have the look of a team who knows their season is over and that is rubbing off on the very passionate fan base.
The proof of this showed in the Reds series. After watching every game of the series, I knew the game was over once they fell behind; the Giants comeback gene of last year just isn’t there. The fire that they played with last year is gone and the clutch hitting, pitching and good fielding of last year is nowhere near playoff standards. After the Reds series, the Giants are now 46-55 and 7 and a half games behind the red hot Los Angeles Dodgers, who are by far the best team in the division right now. That’s not debatable. So what’s next for the Giants?
The answer: becoming sellers at the trade deadline. The Giants have valuable assets that would satisfy some playoff teams needs, for example, Hunter Pence. The Giants have already stated that it’s doubtful that he will be traded unless they get a big offer; but really he should be traded if the Giants can get back a couple of blue chip prospects in return. A team like the Texas Rangers are desperate for another bat to possibly replace Nelson Cruz who might be suspended as part of the Biogenesis scandal. Pence is one of the guys the Rangers are looking at, according to John Paul Morosi of Foxsports and the Star Telegram. Also, Pence is going to ask for a contract of at least $10 million a year for 4 or 5 years, if not more. After seeing Pence play the whole season, I realize that he’s not worth that, so the Giants are more than likely going to overpay for him or lose him during free agency. They aren’t going anywhere this year, so trade him while they can get something for him.
Another trade the Giants should look to explore would be trading one of their bullpen arms like Javier Lopez or Santiago Casilla to the Detroit Tigers who are looking for bullpen help. Out of the two, Casilla might be shipped off to Detroit because he has shown the ability to close games, which is the one glaring weakness the Tigers have.
The Tigers have said that they would be willing to part ways with their top prospect outfielder/ third baseman Nick Castellanos if they get the right offer. The Giants could provide Detroit with what they want as well as get a young prospect back in return who could play next year in left field, which has been a black hole for the Giants the entire season.
There’s other possibilities out there. I’m sure more will surface as the Giants continue to lose ground and become sellers. If the Giants are going to become sellers they need to take advantage of it and get back good players like Milwaukee did last year when they traded Zack Greinke to the Angels in exchange for Jean Segura who became an All- Star this year. The Oakland A’s have also done a great job of trading away proven talent to get even more talent back and that has put them in a prime position to make a run in the postseason. I don’t see the Giants going all in and trading guys like Pablo Sandoval and Tim Lincecum because the Giants want to be good next year and compete. That’s possible if they make the right trades with the right teams and get back quality prospects who will be part of their immediate future.
Finally, the Giants have to take a small market approach, even thought they have the sixth-highest payroll in baseball. They aren’t going to compete with the Dodgers by trying to outbid them. The Giants have to draft well, get the right free agents and make the right trades that will ultimately put them in position to challenge LA for years. Also, the Giants ownership has acknowledged that they aren’t going to be spending huge money on free agents like LA will, so that’s where July 31st comes into play.
Will the Giants trade away some key guys in exchange for quality prospects or will Brian Sabean choose to stand pat and let the season play out, getting in return? The answer will happen soon enough.