Well, the 2020 trade deadline, such as it is, has come and gone and the Giants did basically nothing. In fact, most of the beat writers spent the day tweeting about former Giants who moved around (most immediately Derek Rodriguez, but also Kevin Pillar, Josh Osich, and others).
Now, on the one hand, doing basically nothing doesn’t mean a lot, especially this year. This was always going to be tricky given the COVID constraints on the season. How are teams supposed to know what to do after 30 games and with only 30 games left?
The Padres went all in on this deadline, and that makes sense (something I hope to explore soon because it is an interesting comp with the Giants).
But most teams are in much murkier waters.
As we said last week, the Giants might be good?! They certainly have some good things going on right now, and a stable of exciting young players on the way. While they could add more good players (FOR SURE) there isn’t a compelling reason to bet the farm on the players that were most readily available.
And so, it sure seems like they are going to give it a good go with what they have and see how it plays out.
On the other hand, you have to think that there were some opportunities to exploit. The Padres, once again, are a great example. They got Mike Clevinger, a young, relatively cheap, stud of a pitcher who they will have for next season as well. And they got him because he was an idiot regarding the COVID policy.
I’m not trying to make any sort of point there, other than to say weirdness creates weird opportunities, and the Padres took advantage.
But weirdness also makes it hard to get stuff done, which I totally get at many levels.
I don’t think we can pass too much judgment on the Giants or make any declarations (Zaidi will NEVER do anything big). The big moves are coming, at some point, now was not the time to force the issue.
But you do have to wonder.
So, for the final month we have basically this same team, with a slightly easier schedule, competing for either the 7th or 8th seeds and a chance to make some noise in the playoffs.
This also allows the Giants a little while longer to evaluate guys like Kevin Gausman and decide if he’s worth keeping into the future.
And it mostly (and this is my point of today’s article) allows Giants’ fans to appreciate a few players a little bit more.
Evan Longoria is a very good major league baseball player who, in his 30s, has struggled with injuries. But, let me reiterate, he is a good player. And Giants’ fans have not had the opportunity to appreciate that fully until now.
The data driven nature of today’s baseball has squelched some of the personality out of the game. But there are still some gems and maybe the biggest gem of all is Johnny Cueto. He’s an artist and we need to appreciate him more.
Brandon Belt is eternally frustrating and I get all the reasons why he’s been hard to watch for many people. But the base line skills for a dominant modern player have always been there, and maybe, in 2020 bizarro world, we are finally getting to see what a lineup with a good Brandon Belt looks like. (It looks pretty good.)
Giants treaded water this week: 3-3, but the first game of the week may turn out to be the game of the year. They Giants came back several times and finally walked it off in the 11th
Then they dropped 3 in a row, then won 2 nice ball games to end the week.
And now, on to the final 24 games. The Giants are a half game out of the final playoff spot. If nothing else, can 2020 please give us a Giants-Dodgers playoff series, short and strange as it may be? That’s what I’m rooting for!
Added after original post: a couple of clarifying tweets: