Jul 1, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez (27) slides safely across home during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The “maybe this could work” group
Yovani Gallardo (Rangers), *Mike Fiers (Brewers), *Andrew Cashner (Padres)
None of these mid-tier starters have been directly linked to the Giants, but all of them represent an upgrade over Tim Hudson (and probably Ryan Vogelsong). More importantly, all of them are young-ish arms (ages 28-30) on expiring deals that San Francisco could try to strike a long-term deal with in the winter.
All due respect to Bags, I like both of my guys a little better due to Gallardo’s massive $14 million contract. Both are a bit unproven, but Fiers is a huge bargain at half a million this year, while Cashner is just above $4 million. Cashner’s rotation-mate Tyson Ross, also on an expiring deal, could be in play as well.
Wild Card: *Zack Wheeler (Mets)
I suppose this final spot should go to Ross or another starter who can contribute down the stretch, but wouldn’t it be a nice story if the Giants brought back their top pick, in turn redeeming themselves (sort of) for the Carlos Beltran flop? The Mets are reportedly willing to part ways with the rehabbing righty, and the Giants will clearly need to revamp their rotation next year with Tim Lincecum, Hudson and Vogelsong as good as gone. Too bad the Mets want a big bat in return…could Andrew Susac entice them?
Carlos Gomez (Brewers), Cameron Maybin (Braves), Austin Jackson (Mariners)
Of these three center fielders, Jackson has been tied to the Giants the most, but I don’t see the team moving on a player whose best days could be behind him. Maybin is another on-the-fence proposal, as he has driven up his stock with very strong play of late (.282, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 42 R, 17 SB overall) and remains somewhat of a question mark due to shaky play in the past.
Believe it or not, I like Gomez the most out of this trio, and I don’t just mean in terms of talent. He’s having a down year, to be sure, but I don’t foresee an Aaron Rowand-like drop-off in the near future, and the Giants could definitely afford $12 million over the next season-and-a-half. Of course, the Brew Crew would have to be willing to take Pagan (and a prospect or two) in return.
Next: On to the final group