Despite the San Francisco Giants’ recent slump, they are still in a prime position to pursue another World Series. Whilst the Giants have been quality, quantity is a real issue. Several injuries to key players like Matt Cain, Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt have exposed the weakness of the bench, and consequently the lack of depth within the franchise. Thus, the Giants will be buyers prior to the trade deadline, and will likely be moving for a couple of players to strengthen their chances of securing a third ring in only five years.
The Giants are in desperate need of two things: a starting pitcher and a second baseman. When Cain cut his finger making a sandwich and hurt his hamstring winding up against the Rockies, Yusmeiro Petit was forced to fill in, in the rotation. Petit is a solid option as an emergency starter and long reliever, he isn’t, however, a prime candidate to have to start multiple games down the stretch. He does have decent stuff, but lack of a go-to pitch, and not having constant control for his ‘mediocre’ pitches, make him simply not good enough to start for a team looking to win a World Series.
Hence, San Francisco will need to look at adding a starting pitcher. Possible options include; Jeff Samardzija, David Price, Jason Hammel, James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Brandon McCarthy among others. To rule some options out, it is unlikely the Royals, whom after a good winning spell find themselves in the thick of a division battle will move Shields. Furthermore, the Padres are unlikely to move Cashner to a division rival, and the Diamondbacks are unlikely to move McCarthy to San Francisco for similar reasons.
That leaves three excellent options; Samardzija, Hammel and Price. With teams like the Angels and Yankees looking to add some starting pitching, despite having a very thin farm system, Hammel may be the best option for one of them. Given the depth of farm the Giants own, they may well be looking to move for an ace, with the view of extending him in the future.
That leaves Price and Samardzija, and a move for one of the two could be very likely. Price started the season very slowly, raising questions over his diminishing velocity and consequential stats. He has now, however, started to pick up the pace, recently notching his 1000th career strikeout, whilst posting two consecutive lights out performances. Samardzija has been superb all season long, and given that the Cubs are struggling so mightily, will almost definitely be moved. Both pitchers will not become free agents in the offseason, giving the Giants at least one year and a half of contractual control.
Which of the two the Giants will move for ultimately depends on who the Giants or willing to move. With prospects like Kyle Crick, Adam Duvall and many others potentially on the move, San Francisco can easily muster up a rather nice package to fetch either Price or Samardzija. Regardless of who they move for, they will still need to trade for a second baseman. With Brandon Hicks and Ehire Adrianza struggling in the place of injured Marco Scutaro, if the Giants are serious about winning a World Series, they will need to look at adding a second baseman.
Joe Panik was recently called up from Triple-A-Fresno, however, despite showing much promise, isn’t quite ready for starting every day in the major leagues yet. After batting .154 in his first five games in the big leagues, I doubt he can be our saviour at second. Once more, there are a plethora of players the Giants can trade for. These include; Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley, Daniel Murphy and Gordon Beckham.
All four would make for a magnificent upgrade, however, I feel that Beckham is the best option. When Belt and Pagan return from the DL, essentially, we would only need for a new second baseman to be batting in the seven or eight hole in the lineup, which Beckham would be perfect for. Furthermore, with a superb defensive team, we just need someone who won’t make too many errors, which, again, Beckham can bring us. According to Henry Schulman, the White Sox are looking to move Beckham in return for a good catcher. The Giants picked catcher Aramis Garcia with their second overall pick in the 2014 draft, and also have a Andrew Susac, a great catcher in Triple-A.
Evidently, the Giants and White Sox would make perfect trade partners, and Beckham could be the answer at second base. Overall – the Giants are definite buyers. They will need to add a starting pitcher, whom will hopefully be either David Price or Jeff Samardzija, and need to move for a second baseman. Despite a large number of choices in this department, Beckham makes the most sense. While the July 31st, Non-Waiver, Trade Deadline may seem a long way, away, the Giants will have to start thinking about potential trades.