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It’s time to admit the San Francisco Giants aren’t contenders in 2017

Jun 3, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) puts on his jacket after being pulled during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 3, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) puts on his jacket after being pulled during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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The beginning of June is always time to sit and look and see where your team is going to be, especially in the front office. It’s now June 4th and it’s time for the San Francisco Giants front office to decide what they are. So what are they?

After 58 mostly miserable, and incredibly frustrating games, the San Francisco Giants are 23-35. They are not contenders at this point. They just lost a series to, by record, the worst team in baseball. The Padres have a team of mostly AAA players and have the same record as the Giants, who were supposed to be in the postseason according to most.

At the beginning of the season, the Giants were a hot pick to at the very minimum, make the postseason. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these season predictions:

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It’s no longer early. The alarm is, and should be screaming in the office of Bobby Evans. The clubhouse doesn’t seem to be in a good mood, according to Johnny Cueto, who hasn’t pitched anywhere NEAR his price-tag this season, although he is starting to look better in his recent starts. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Giants can still turn it around.

It is still the first weekend in June. We have the rest of June, July, August and September before this whole shindig is over. But the Giants can’t wait until July 1st to start looking for trade partners as sellers. For two months, things haven’t looked good. It’s a pretty good indicator that this is the way things will go this season. But for me, it seems pretty clear to what the Giants should do. They need to do a mini-sale.

The Giants don’t need to blow the entire thing up. Having Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Madison Bumgarner as “veteran pieces” of the team is perfectly fine. Heck, most of their infield is perfectly fine. But, there are other places where they are getting long in the tooth, and need to start turning the page. The outfield is one of those places.

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Hunter Pence has had one good season since the Giants gave him a nice extension in 2013, and it was 2014. Since then, he hasn’t been healthy, and hasn’t performed to his price-tag. Denard Span is another one.  A disappointment is an accurate adjective to describe his time in the orange and black. I would mention a third outfielder, BUT THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A LEFT FIELDER!

The issue is, the Giants don’t have the pieces within their farm to trade for anyone who is a difference maker, at least compared to the teams who would also need to trade for a difference maker-type bat.

So even if they DO have somehow get them selves into contention by the All-Star break, they need some pieces. Which is why an early sell might help the cause, but not a full-blown fire sale.

One thing is for certain though, the Giants will entertain any legitimate offer for Johnny Cueto, and they’d be stupid not too. He’s going to opt-out, and likely would’ve even if the Giants ran the table and won the world series. Now that they are likely not in a contender’s position, the smartest thing to do is sell off that piece. Ty Blach looks like he could be a valuable piece to a rotation for years to come, plus a prospect like Tyler Beede makes Cueto virtually expendable.

I guess my biggest point is the Giants are bad, have a super high payroll, and are long in the tooth. The only way to fix all of those is get younger. And the only way to do that is likely via trades. In free-agency, you’re likely getting players approaching their thirties, and at the end of the prime of their careers. Anyone hitting their prime as a free-agent is likely going to be insanely expensive. Hence the need to do this re-tooling via trades.

Next: Giants drop series to Phillies

It wouldn’t benefit the Giants to trade away players like Joe Panik or Brandon Belt, unless they were getting sure-fire studs, that would likely produce at the level of Panik and Belt or better. But, if Panik and Belt continue their current trends, they might be worth trading anyways.

The Giants have decisions to make though. There is one they should’ve already made at this point and that’s to sell off some of their older pieces. Where they stand on July 1st should just simply cement their status. If they happen to get themselves in contention, they likely don’t even have the pieces to trade for the difference maker in the lineup that they truly need.

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