There is no question that the San Francisco Giants should be buyers at the trade deadline. With a historic start to the season, and a historic fall from grace, the Giants have somehow remained at the top of the NL West and in a neck and neck race with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants still have a shot of making this season mean something, but only if they are willing to make some moves at the deadline.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Giants are looking at dealing with the Cleveland Indians and acquiring Asdrubal Cabrera or Mike Aviles. That is, if the Indians plan to sell. Both Cabrera and Aviles are middle infielders who can play second base, and could fill perhaps the biggest hole in the San Francisco Giants lineup right now.
Cabrera played second base primarily in his first couple of season with Cleveland, however, he’s moved over to a primary shortshop position now, last playing second base in 2009 when he played just 28 games at that position. This season he’s hitting .247 with 7 stolen bases, 9 home runs, and a .701 OPS (on base percentage + slugging). He’s got a little bit of pop. He’s made 14 error this season at shortstop, which is 4th most in all of MLB. That said, our own Brandon Crawford has made 13 errors. Given that it could be expected Cabrera’s time would be spent at a position he hasn’t played since 2009, I’m not sure defensively how much he would add to the team combined with his below average hitting. He is 28 years old.
Aviles on the other hand, is a utility player who has split his time between second base and third base this season, but also shortstop and outfield positions this season as well. He’s hitting .269 with 8 stolen base and 3 home runs. His OPS is slightly lower than Cabrera however at .643. He’s committed 0 errors at second base in 21 games, and 3 errors at third base in 24 games. He’s probably a more consistent defender and hitter, but with less pop, and less ability to make spectacular plays. He is 33 years old, so age could be a factor.
I can’t imagine either of these guys would cost the Giants the farm, and either could likely be an upgrade over the current options. If the Indians are willing to deal, this seems like a typical kind of Brian Sabean deal.
Zobrist has also gotten attention from the Giants, according to Chris Haft and Ryan Hood of MLB.com. Zobrist can play both outfield and infield, including second base where he’s spent most of this time this season in Tampa. He’s committed just 6 errors at the position, so defensively, he may be a better fit than Cabrera. He’s hitting .264 with 7 home runs and has a .757 OPS, which is better than both previously mentioned options. He’s also 33, but seems to have multiple teams interested in him if Tampa decides to let him go.
Personally, I think Zobrist would do the most of the lineup, both offensively and defensively, and would like to see the Giants pursue him. They’ve also expressed interest in the Rays pitcher David Price, so a package deal of Zobrist and Price may be right up the Giants alley, but they would have to be willing to deal away some top prospects to get either, and especially both. I’m not sure the Giants front office, or fans, would be happy about that notion, but for a shot to win another World Series, it may force their hand.