Looking At The Giants Playoff Foes Trade Deadline Moves
By Bryan Rose
With the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline come and gone, it’s time we not only look at what the Giants did but what their potential playoff foes did as well. Unfortunately for the black and orange, overall, it was quite well. Let’s start with the most likely first round playoff opponent (assuming the Giants make it), the Atlanta Braves…
- Acquired Micheal Bourne from the Houston Astros in exchange for Jordan Schafer, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemems, Juan Abreu – Really, to be short and sweet, the Braves probably made the best trade from a pure value standpoint in all of the Major’s. No, Bourne isn’t as talented as Beltran or Pence but his impact, especially towards the Giants, could be equally as devastating. Assuming the Braves, Phillies or Giants don’t go on a significant winning or losing streak and Arizona doesn’t overtake San Francisco in the West, the Giants and Braves will match up yet again in the NLDS and we all know how well the Giants pitching staff holds on runners. Combine that with two current catchers who struggle to throw out runners, it’s safe to assume Bourne would run wild on the Giants IF he can get on base. Given how important a single run or two is in the playoffs, especially to the Giants – it’s a scary thought. Now, it’s rumored the Giants attempted to get in on the Bourne trade but Houston preferred Atlanta’s package which seems questionable to me, given the fact that all the prospects involved are extremely borderline and while Schafer is young and talented, I don’t see him peaking at anything more than an average MLB regular. You can’t do much better than that for a player under contract next year who’s a routine league leader in stolen bases and a top defensive center fielder. A fantastic trade for Atlanta and one that scares the black and orange pants off of me.
- Acquired Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros in exchange for Jarred Cosart, John Singleton, Josh Zeid and a PTBNL – This deal tears me up for a few reasons. First, from a prospect standpoint, the Phillies did pay a hefty price. That’s not to say Pence wasn’t worth that, but I don’t know if Pence is really the piece they needed to put them over the Giants or any other challenge they could encounter. It addition to the highly touted prospects, the move also sends Dominic Brown back to the minors where he has little left to prove. He could platoon with Raul Ibanez come playoff time, but it just strikes me as an odd move. Now, don’t get me wrong – odd move doesn’t mean bad move at all. The Phillies clearly added a high quality player who will only make them better (especially in the short term), but I really think sewing up their bullpen would have been a bigger priority and potentially more devastating to NL foes. I nearly vomited with the Heath Bell to Philly rumors – thankfully for non-Philly fans, he stayed with the Padres. Either way, the Phillies certainly improved and added a needed right handed bat in a lefty heavy lineup. I would say from a Giants stand point that the Braves acquisition of Bourne has more of a chance to directly hurt the Giants, but the Pence move wont go unnoticed if the Giants and Phillies re-match in the League Championship.
- Acquired Brad Ziegler from Oakland in exchange for Brandon Allen and Jordan Norberto – Arizona GM Kevin Towers has quite a reputation for building bullpens so when he makes a move that involves the pen, you take notice – including this one. Ziegler really helps a questionable Arizona bullpen but the cost was high as they shipped out former high ranking prospect Brandon Allen to get it done. Allen wont be confused with Albert Pujols anytime soon, but he could very well turn into a young Adam Dunn with MLB playing time down the road. Arizona did/does have some 1B talent to replace Allen with (most notably yesterday’s call up Paul Goldschmidt) – so Allen was expendable, but still a hefty price for a reliever.
- Acquired Jason Marquis from the Nationals in exchange for Zach Walters – For Arizona, I love this deal. No, Marquis isn’t a world beater and pitching in Arizona is like playing in Coors Field part two but Marquis is a notorious Giant killer. In twelve career games versus the Giants (11 starts), Jason holds a 2.47 era with a 0.97 whip. Outside of his stats versus the Dodgers, he doesn’t come close to replicating those against any other team. In addition to his mastery over most of the NL West, Marquis has fantastic numbers at AT&T Park – a career era of 2.61 with a 1.01 whip. For the price? Great deal.
Other NL West Trades:
- San Diego trades Mike Adams, Colorado trades Ubaldo Jimenez, Los Angeles trades Rafeal Furcal and Trayvon Robinson – I’m not going to break these down individually, but, all three teams in the NL West took quite a hit for the remaining part of the 2011 season and as well as 2012 and possibly 2013. The Padres, despite moving Adams who is filthy, made quite a haul picking up two pitchers who should thrive in Petco. Neither will be ready for a season or two, but when they are, you’ll hate them. Trust me. As for Colorado, I’ve never been a big Jimenez fan so I don’t really think moving him was a poor decision. It’s a bit odd given their current circumstances (Tulo/Gonzo on long deals during a rebuild) – but Alex White is a fantastic return. The Furcal deal for the Dodgers was pretty worthless and I really don’t understand the trade of Robinson, so not really sure the purpose of either. If there was a loser in the NL West for trades, the Dodgers headed that monster pretty easily.
The direct competition of the Giants (current and future) all had very solid trades, outside of the Dodgers which the jury is still out on…so things wont be getting any easier for the black and orange now or down the road. However, the Giants didn’t do so bad for themselves either – we’ll touch on that in our next post…
So how say you, Giant fans – who had the best deadline, excluding the Giants?