Tomorrow is July 1 and that means 30 days until the non-waiver trade deadline passes. Today the Giants lost their second straight game they could have won if they had anything resembling a major league offense.
What this means is start paying attention to MLBTraderumors! It’s going to happen. Sabean always makes moves in July. The question is what will be the philosophy behind the moves that he makes.
The two schools of thought, as I see them are:
- Make a big move and cash in some chips for a player who can make a dramatic impact at a position of great need. Sabean and the Giants did this memorably in 1997 and 2003 (though there are other examples). In 1997 the team desperately needed pitching and they added Wilson Alvarez, Ramon Hernandez, and Danny Darwin. It was a significant deal. The 2003 trade for Sidney Ponson can easily be mocked in retrospect but he was the prize of the trade season that year and no one was complaining when the deal was made.
- Make a series of small moves and hope that enough of them work out. In other words win a war of attrition. This is the philosophy the team followed last year, adding Burrell in late May, calling up Posey, trading Molina, acquiring Fontenot, Ross, Ramirez, and Lopez.
Here is a very unthorough list of some names that have come up in conjunction with the Giants:
- Jose Reyes SS
- Alfonso Soriano OF
- A whole bunch of catchers including, most recently, Ramon Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba
- Michael Cuddyer OF/1B (he also appeared at 2B this year for the injury plagued Twins)
- Carlos Pena 1B
- Carlos Beltran OF
- Juan Uribe SS/2B/3B
Here’s my opinion of each option:
- Jose Reyes fills a huge need in just about every way for the Giants. He is clearly the best example of the first philosophy. The cost will be exorbitant: a new ownership group in NY might think they can re-sign him and he’s having a career year. I’d love to have him but the package the Giants will have to put together to get him would cause us all to vomit and might not even be enough to do the deal anyway.
- Soriano is interesting because he represents a different deal than I described above and different from what Sabean typically does. I can’t, without doing some research, remember him engineering a bad contract for bad contract deal (Matt Morris doesn’t count). The only way to really get this done is to make it a Zito for Soriano swap. As evidenced this week, the Cubs could use some pitching help, but I just don’t have any confidence Sabean can get this kind of a deal done. I also don’t really like the trade period: Soriano doesn’t represent enough of an upgrade at this point in his career to carry his contract for 3 more years.
- Of the catchers I’ve read about Ramon Hernandez is the most interesting because of his bat. How do the Reds trade him while they are contending though?
- Cuddyer is a good player but is he really an improvement over Nate/Cody/Pat and Belt (when he comes back)? Probably not.
- Pena is super intriguing because he is a great fielder, he gets on base, and he hits home runs. He’s like the player Pat Burrell was last year but probably better. I also don’t know how the Giants could not afford to take on the rest of his salary considering it’s only for the remainder of the season. No idea what it would take to get him, but the most interesting on this list.
- Lefty Malo floated the idea of Beltran the other day. In some ways he’s a good example of a combination of the two philosophies. However, I think the Mets will want some players for him (and Rowand probably won’t be one of those players) and he will have the highest price tag over the remainder of the season.
- OOOOREEEEBAY. Sabean quickly shot this one down which actually makes me think there might be something to it. Makes a ton of sense for the Dodgers to get rid of him, and though he’s been super stinky this year, maybe coming back to the Giants would revitalize Juan. That said, the issue remains about his contract over the next two years. It was too much for the Giants at the beginning of the season and it still doesn’t make any sense now. If it was a rental for the rest of the year I’d say do it yesterday, but two years of a fat, terrible Uribe won’t be good for anyone.
This would be my plan for the rest of 2011:
- Trade for Torrealba
- Trade for Mike Aviles (he’s fallen out of favor in KC and they have plenty of younger prospects to sort out…we’ll take him) and cut Bill Hall
- Get healthy: particularly Brandon Belt and Mike Fontenot…quality and depth
It’s not perfect and it’s also probably not what will really happen, but I do think that Sabean will follow the plan from last year and make some smaller moves and try to use the teams depth to its advantage.
i’d also suggest reading this post by splashing pumpkins, similar but with a nice twist: http://www.splashingpumpkins.com/2011/07/putting-things-in-perspective-some.html
I still like the idea of George Kottaras from the Brewers, but Torrealba or Hernandez would be great, and I actually think the Giants could swing a Hernandez trade.
Reyes I wouldn’t trade for, not unless an extension is guaranteed but I would rather the Giants wait until Free Agency and try their luck then.
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