This isn’t an original pet peeve, but it’s a pet peeve nonetheless. I hate it when people call sports talk radio and bring up trades without any thought whatsoever to why the other team would make the trade. You know, the whole, “The Giants should get a guy like Miguel Cabrera. You know, give them a package with like … John Bowker, Eugenio Velez, Joe Martinez and Matt Downs. MAKE IT HAPPEN, SABEZ!!!”
No, YOU make it happen, dumbass. Because you can choose any KNBR caller and he’d have just as good a chance at getting something for the Giants’ Quadruple-A players as Brian Sabean or any other front office exec would.
So even with David DeJesus now out for the entire season, everyone is in agreement that the Giants are:
1. Looking for a slugger
2. Don’t want a “rental”
3. Don’t want to “give away the farm”
We know who the available sluggers we’ve been hearing about are: Corey Hart, Jose Guillen, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, Jose Bautista, Jorge Cantu, Prince Fielder, Randy Winn … I’m probably missing a couple but that’s pretty much the group. Now, if the Giants are serious about not trading for a guy who’ll be a free agent this winter, then they shouldn’t be interested in Guillen, Dunn, Werth or Cantu. Apparently the Brewers are asking for either Jonathan Sanchez or MaddyMaddyBumBum for Hart, which means they’re probably asking for Sanchy AND Maddy for Prince.
Problem: there isn’t much point in going after anybody but Fielder, actually. All the guys getting bandied about (isn’t “bandied about” a great phrase?) have flaws so obvious it’s tough to see how they’d be monumental upgrades over what’s already on the team. Once Bruce Bochy figures out that Travis Ishikawa’s job should be “pinch-hitter extraordinaire,” not “starting first baseman three or four times per week,” the Giants should go to this lineup as often as possible:
Schierholtz RF (swap Schierholtz and Sanchez when deemed appropriate)
The only guy we’re hearing about who would make this team appreciably better is Fielder, partly because he’s the best player available but mostly because the team isn’t half bad. Dunn never wanted to come to San Francisco and would pout the rest of the season if forced to play here (don’t think winning’s a big deal to him either, as long as he gets his 40 dingerz). Bautista might hit for power like he’s been doing; but after a trade he could just as easily turn into Shea Hillenbrand 2.0 (only with more K’s). Cantu makes Sandoval look like the lovechild of Scott Rolen and Brooks Robinson defensively. Jayson Werth is Pat Burrell is Aaron Rowand is Jayson Werth. Well, maybe not exactly, but did you see what Raul Ibanez did in Philly last season? STAY AWAY.
The thought that the Giants are showcasing Schierholtz in order to trade him doesn’t make a ton of sense these days. “We’re hoping Schierholtz does well, like as well as one of the guys we’re trying to trade for, so we can trade him for one of those guys.” Wait, what? Schierholtz is a regular starting spot away from being one of those guys contending teams hope they can ply away with prospects; why can’t he be a Giant when this inevitably occurs?
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m cool with the Giants standing pat. I really am. I’ve grown to really like this team. Granted, it’s due to the last three weeks almost exclusively, but who says quick affairs have to fade away?
So how about tradin’ some prospects, pardner? Problem is it doesn’t take much to consider a trade “giving up the farm” since the farm is fairly bare now that Posey and Bumgarner are full-time Major Leaguers. And since I don’t think Thomas Neal, Brandon Crawford and/or Brandon Belt are enough to get Fielder, and considering that if the Giants trade Zach Wheeler their cupboard of young stud pitchers in the minors would suddenly be quite bare, Sabean’s either going to have to stick with what he’s got or he’s lying about keeping the farm system viable for the next couple years.
Bumgarner isn’t going anywhere. No 20-year-old with that combination of lefty control and snot rockets (he’s been doing it since the beginning, as that link will show you) is going to be on the table. Jonathan Sanchez, for as maddening as he can be, he’s by any rational measure one of the top 20 left-handed starters in the game. In the last two years his ERA has dropped from 5.01 to 4.24 to 3.42, and his WHIP has gone from 1.45 to 1.37 to 1.27 this season. He’s only 27 and he’s getting better, both in terms of pitching acumen and maturity. Anybody else see a regression coming? And even if he doesn’t start in the playoffs (provided the Giants get there), would anybody be against seeing Sanchez come out of the pen a la David Price a couple years ago?
Most of all, it makes sense to deal from strength when the weaknesses are so glaring. But they aren’t anymore. Posey’s been the best hitter in baseball for about a month now, and in the space of three months the lineup has gone from punchless to having six or seven guys who could either surpass or at least threaten a 20-homer season with 500 PAs. So unless the Giants can kidnap Fielder, or there’s an available slugger who I’m unaware of (let me know in the comments if there is), I’d rather Sabean make the kind of trade he does best: an under the radar one for an excellent reliever. Or no trade at all. Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve said that.