The benefits of being sellers:
Like I mentioned earlier, the San Francisco Giants have the worst record in baseball and their offense has been absolutely atrocious. The offense currently ranks second to last in the MLB in runs scored with 117, trailing only the Kansas City Royals.
As a team, the Giants rank 26th with a batting average of .229, and 20th with a .238 batting average with RISP. It is also no surprise that the Giants are not hitting for power, but they rank dead last with only 25 home runs thus far. It is completely acceptable to not have a team built around power, in fact none of the Giants World Series winning teams had power, but when you are not a power hitting team, you cannot hit .229 and expect to win. This lack of offense, especially from their core players, has been detrimental so far in 2017.
Pitching and defense have been the backbone for the Giants over the years and even they are struggling this year. As a staff, the Giants have a 4.76 ERA, which is way too high for the rotation they have assembled. In fact, only the Atlanta Braves have a higher ERA than the Giants. I know Madison Bumgarner is hurt, which is a significant loss, but no other starter has an ERA below 4.50.
The Giants have done a number of different roster shakeups to try and ignite a fire under this team, but nothing is working. From shuffling the lineup, to calling up Christian Arroyo and Michael Morse, moving Eduardo Nunez, and sometimes Brandon Belt to left field, nothing has worked. The number of changes in the outfield this season has been ridiculous and is something that should have been addressed.
Maybe something more drastic needs to happen at this point, like a roster shake up. If the Giants were to be sellers at the trade deadline, now is the perfect time.
Lack of offense and depth is killing this organization currently, and the prospects that are supposed to be outfielders of the future are a number of years away. The Giants have the pieces to trade for some prospects that are closer to major league ready, which could help the organization tremendously.
The main piece the Giants could consider trading is Johnny Cueto. This pains me to write because Cueto has been a great Giant and without a doubt a fan favorite, but he could bring back the biggest return. The reason why the team could possibly consider this is because of his contract. There has been speculation that Cueto may opt out of his contract after the season ends, making himself a free agent. He also said how he wants to finish his career in the AL, which leads me to believe he will not be back with the Giants next season regardless.
If the Giants could get a couple solid prospects in return for Cueto that would be huge. He is a phenomenal starting pitcher and teams would definitely be willing to overpay for him. Top prospect Tyler Beede should be major league ready next season, so he could potentially fill Cueto’s void. The best scenario for the Giants would be if they could trade Cueto mid-season, and then sign him again during free agency after the season ends. I am not sure of the likelihood of this, but it would be legendary if that ends up happening.
Another expendable player on their team is Eduardo Nunez. Although he is having a disappointing season thus far, he still has some value. He made the all-star game last year as a member of the Twins and when his swing is right, he is capable of hitting in the .270-.280 range. Pair that with his ability to steal bases, and versatility around the field and you are talking about a player that some team may want to acquire for a playoff push. The only problem with the Giants is that it just has not worked out, unfortunately. He looked incredible for the first few weeks of the season, but has been in a slump for quite some time now.
The idea of the Giants being sellers is difficult to fathom, but it could really help the team in the long run. The team is hurting offensively and could even use some solid young pitching to compliment the rotation/bullpen. Like any scenario in life, there are pros and cons. Now let’s look at why the Giants may not become sellers at the deadline.