Jul. 31, 2017
Complete guide to the Giants trade deadline
Oh how time flies. It seems like just yesterday when the Giants 2017 season hadn't started yet, and there were legitimate hopes of making the postseason for the second consecutive year. Just like this years payroll, hopes were high. Yet here we are today, looking at a team that is on pace to lose 100 games for the first time since 1986. This has certainly been one of the strangest seasons ever for the Giants, nothing this season has gone the way anyone expected. If you need further proof of that, consider this, the Giants just signed Pablo Sandoval back onto the team, on purpose. No one could have imagined that San Francisco would have to look at rebuilding at the trade deadline, but that's where they stand.
As with any team on pace to lose 100 games, and being this extremely bad for the first time in a long time, the age old question looms over the front office, "To rebuild, or not to rebuild"? That is the question that many fans are asking these days. However, this particular roster makes the answer to that question a bit more hard to find. There are a lot of players on contracts that would be difficult to sell to other teams, and any players that would bring in respectable prospects, have been deemed untouchable by Larry Baer. What options do the Giants really have?
For starters, they need to remove the "untouchable" label from Posey, Bumgarner, and Crawford. While it would be in the Giants best interest to keep their most elite players, it wouldn't hurt the Giants to at least listen to some offers for their star players. A team could always come out and blow the Giants away with an offer that could really improve the teams future. For example, the Cubs could use a really good pitcher right about now, as their starting rotation has been a huge disappointment for them this season, a pitcher like say Bumgarner would be a huge addition to a staff that recently acquired Jose Quintana from the White Sox. In return the Giants could get some top Cubs prospects and maybe even manage to haul in a major league player. It would at least be something to consider.
The next major part of the Giants trade deadline would be trading Johnny Cueto and Eduardo Nunez. Nunez has drawn interest from many teams because of his versatility and athleticism, which is something every contender would want on their club. Despite his recent hamstring troubles, Nunez should be able to bring in at least a decent haul for the Giants. As for Cueto, there's a much different story. Cueto has had a bad year to say the least. He's gone 6-7 with a 4.59 ERA. Those two stats alone make teams take a step away from Cueto, and now with the recent DL placement, teams aren't exactly going into a bidding war to acquire him. Unfortunately, the Giants are still going to have to ship him. With Cueto able to opt out of his contract this offseason, the Giants at least need to make sure they're able to get something for him.
After the untouchables and obvious trades, the Giants are left with many options. Players like Belt, Panik, Samardzija, and Pence are all on the trading table. While it's difficult to see the Giants going on a fire sale, it wouldn't surprise me to see one or two of those names be sent away. A name that seems to be a hot discussion with Giants fans is Belt. While some believe he is highly over rated others see him as one of the Giants best players. In terms of the trade market, he might be their most attractive asset. While Belt, (aside from home runs) is currently having one of his worst offensive years to date, he could provide a power boost to some teams that need it. Say maybe an AL team in need of an upgrade at the DH position? It could very well make sense for San Francisco.
By the end of the trade deadline, my guess is the Giants won't be in a rebuilding state. Larry Baer has already stated he would much rather reload for the 2018 season. The idea isn't so far fetched, as the Giants still have some really nice pieces, they just need to hope and pray that those pieces pick things up next year and show what they're really capable of.