Brian Sabean

Sabean speaks: Giants face reality with Cain, Peavy excited for NL return, sights now set on position players

Matt Cain 600 1

Matt Cain is sort of like a younger version of Jake Peavy, but the main reason why they became teammates today is due to Cain’s elbow injury. Neither Brian Sabean nor Bruce Bochy said explicitly that Cain’s season is over, but it sure sounded that way.

“The impetus to execute the trade was probably simply accelerated by some of the news we got yesterday on Cain’s situation becoming more and more tenuous. And as such, this deal was the most presentable. Earlier in the day, I didn’t think it could be fast-moving. But once certain things happened, first and foremost, the willingness for Boston to buy the contract down,” said Sabean.

“We went late into the night to try and agree on the player exchange, and then more so, looking at the medical thing.”

There were no specifics on the “medical thing” Cain is dealing with, but the reports that elbow inflammation possibly related to bone chips have been out there for about a week. The Giants were pressed into action today because Cain’s condition hasn’t progressed at all, and they’re running out of time.

“The longer he goes in this dormant stage, the more we’re probably going to have to seek second opinions, more diagnostics. Thus, the timeline gets stretched out. There may be a worst-case behind the scenes. We haven’t gotten to that point yet,” said Sabean.

“We really felt he was going to be out for a while no matter what, and we didn’t want to stay as constituted.”

Why Peavy?

Sabean mentioned twice how eight different scouts believed Peavy would be a valuable fourth starter for the Giants, with all eight recommending that the Giants acquire him from Boston. Both Sabean and Bochy mentioned how happy Peavy sounded to return to the National League West and play for his first big league manager.

“You know I’ll die for that man.” Yes, that’s actually what Peavy told Ken Rosenthal in reference to his former manager. But what if Peavy actually did sacrifice his life for Bochy this season?

“That’d be a hell of a mess,” Sabean deadpanned.

“He’s as tough a competitor as any pitcher or player I’ve ever had. That’s how hard he goes for you. He’s a great teammate. These guys are gonna love him,” said Bochy.

Why trade Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree?

“Both the players that we traded, we think are major league pitchers. They were both traded because they didn’t end up on our no-trade list and we had them down on our own prospect list,” Sabean said.

“When there were opportunities to have someone start for Cain or Hudson, we chose Petit over Escobar. There were times that we needed someone coming up from the minor leagues, we chose Kontos. Both of these guys, in our estimation, needed more time.”

What’s the next move?

If the Giants were to make another trade before the deadline, more than likely it sounds like they’d be adding a second baseman.

“Positionally, (the market is) probably equal to or maybe not as good as the pitching choices. Having said that, because of the relief that we got because (Boston) bought this contract down to about $2 million, we do have more financial room. So that helps. There just aren’t enough players on the table, but that’s where we shift our focus,” Sabean said.

I asked Sabean about the “no-trade list” he mentioned, and whether dealing away two minor league pitchers alters their willingness to deal more prospects this season.

“The good thing from the pitching department, the reason why we thought these two were expendable was that’s (where the system is) deepest. I think the rest of the teams that we’re dealing with have proven that. When coming up with names, we’ve probably got 15 different pitching names we’ve been asked (about). So that’ll tell you how deep we are there. So that’s interesting and bodes well,” Sabean said.

“We have depth in pitching. We also have guys that we won’t trade. Theoretically everyone’s in play, but it’s going to take a hell of a trade or a real big piece to trade certain people.”

Since Boston’s willingness to send about $2.5 million over in the Peavy trade is so important to what the Giants can do in terms of another deal, it sounds like trading for a player who’s making significant money now and in future years (for example: Chase Utley) is highly unlikely. That’s probably why the Giants are so interested in Ben Zobrist, but the Giants probably aren’t too excited about parting with Kyle Crick and the catcher they brought up today to get Zobrist for the rest of this season (he does have a $7.5 million team option for 2015).

Andrew Susac’s role

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