San Francisco Giants: Five outfield trade targets the Giants must look at
Why?: Despite his steroid past, he’s actually been a very good-player while playing (presumably) clean. Since his suspension in 2013, Ryan Braun has posted a .284/.349/.499/.848 OPS, hit 81 homers, and brought in 275 runs. For comparison, we fired up the Baseball Reference Play Index machine and checked to see where that line would rank on the Giants over the same time frame. He would have the highest OPS, highest slugging percentage, the most home-runs, and tied with Buster Posey for the most RBI. He would also have the third highest wRC+ on the Giants over that time, behind Posey and Brandon Belt (for all you Belt bashers).
Why Not?: One of the big reasons as to why I wouldn’t take him, is the Giants already have a significantly high payroll. He would be owed $56 million dollars, plus whatever else he’s owed for the rest of this season, from his 33-37 year old seasons. He’s likely to decline and get injured more over that time. That’s a whole lot of money to be giving to someone, for a long time, especially to someone around the same age as Hunter Pence.
What he would cost: At the moment, it’s hard to see whether or not the Brewers are going to be able to prolong their contender status. But, if they’re relatively close, I actually wouldn’t be shocked if they held on to him. However, they could probably learn their lesson from 2014, where they were in the race until the all-star break and fell out of contention, and never capitalized on their opportunity to sell, especially in a huge selling season (lots of teams were buying). wIf they wanted to sell, they’d probably ask for at least one major league ready player, a top tier pitching prospect and a mid tier prospect. Not shocking, considering his value to the team.
Bottom Line: Not sure if he’s the guy I would make the trade for, especially since he’s owed so much money, but he’d immediately be the second or third best hitter on the team.