May 26, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) follows through on a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants have some work to do. Thankfully they’re still sitting at the top of the NL West with a record of 43-29, still four games up from the Dodgers. They no longer hold the best record in baseball (that belongs to the Oakland Athletics who are 45-28), and no longer hold the best record in the NL (that belongs to the Milwaukee Brewers who are 44-30). The Giants have lost 8 of their last 10 games.
I had a long Twitter conversation last night about what the Giants need to do to regain control and start winning games. Some think that trading for Jeff Samardzija is the the answer and others think second base needs to be addressed since it’s doubtful Marco Scutaro will be back, and if so would probably be a utility infielder according to Sabean.
The Giants’ pitching staff holds a 4.60 ERA in the month of June with the following having a difficult month:
Samardzija (2-6, 2.60 ERA) recently turned down a 5-year $85 million extension with the Cubs and is likely to be traded by the deadline. The 29-year old RHP has spent seven seasons with the Cubs and is 31-41 with a 3.96 ERA.
In addition to the Giants, the Blue Jays, Orioles, Angels, Indians, and Reds are all interested.
David Price (5-6, 3.93 ERA) is also another starting pitcher rumored to be available around the trade deadline. The 28-year old LHP won the 2012 AL Cy Young Award and also finished second in the voting in 2010. His career stats are impressive, he’s spent seven seasons with the Rays and holds a 76-45 record with a 3.26 ERA. The Rays are currently 14 games back of the Blue Jays who lead the AL East.
The Giants’ second base offense is also struggling. Brandon Hicks holds a .140 batting average in the month of June with 19 strikeouts in 43 at bats. Ehire Adrianza has gotten out of his early season slump, he is batting .350 the month of June in 20 at bats. Joaquin Arias holds the highest batting average of the month at .353 with 17 at bats. But is this enough for the Giants to keep a platoon going as these three players go in and out of slumps?
The following second basemen are reportedly available but not much more is known at this time.
Ben Zobrist – The Rays’ 33-year old second baseman can also play outfield and shortstop if needed, which might be a draw for the Giants. He’s spent nine seasons with the Rays/DevilRays and has a career .262 batting average. This season he is batting .248 with five home runs and 15 RBIs. He has 30 strikeouts in 234 at bats. To compare, Hicks has 72 SOs in 192 at bats.
Chase Utley – The Phillies’ 35-year old second baseman as spent 12 years in Philadelphia and holds a .288 career batting average. This season, he is batting .305 with five home runs and 33 RBIs. He has 38 strikeouts in 266 at bats.
Daniel Murphy– The Mets’ second baseman has spent five years with the team and holds a ,291 career batting average in NY. This season he is batting an impressive .297 with five home runs and 26 RBIs. He has 38 strikeouts in 296 at bats.
So what options are there? What are the Giants willing to part with at the July 31 trade deadline? None of these teams will settle for a draft pick, they’re going to want prospects in return. Is it worth it for the Giants to potentially part with another Zack Wheeler (aka Kyle Crick or another similar pitching prospect) to trade for a veteran player that might help take the team all the way to the World Series?
Would love to hear your thoughts on who you think we should acquire and who you would be willing to give up in a trade. Feel free to express your opinions in the comments section below.