With announcement of the new rules in major league baseball today, one rule stood out for all San Francisco Giants fans.
Beginning this season, there will no longer be August trades. July 31 will be the only trade deadline in baseball, and there are several ramifications from that. If there is one thing all San Francisco Giants fans remember about the pennant races in the Brian Sabean era, it is all the trades the team made and how many key pieces were added even after July.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic laid out some of the unintended consequences of changing the rule. Most notably, what if a team loses a key player to injury in August and cannot replace them through trade. This could also lead to veteran players simply being released in August, essentially doing the same thing as the NBA with buyouts.Ultimately, it forces teams to make tougher decisions much sooner despite 60 games still left to be played.
Players who played key roles on the Giants championship teams were added in August.
In 2012, the Giants only made one move, but it helped solidify an already strong bullpen. Jose Mijares was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals on August 6. The left hander was an important piece for a bullpen that had specific roles for lefties Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez and needed a third lefty for when they needed a big out earlier in the game. Mijares delivered and helped the Giants win the World Series.
In 2010, the Giants made two trades. The first was for Mike Fontenot. The Cubs traded Fontenot to the Giants on August 11. He became a key bench piece throughout the 2010 playoff push.
The next trade was for Jose Guillen. He was traded on August 13 from Kansas City. While with the Giants, he was popped for performance enhancing drugs and did not make the postseason roster.
The man who did replace him was also an August addition.
Ross was claimed off waivers from the Florida Marlins on August 23. The Marlins did not want to pay the remainder of his salary, and offered him to the Giants for nothing in return. He did not have a terrific September for the Giants, but after the loss of Guillen, the Giants did not have much choice in the outfield.
However, once October arrived, so did Ross. He slashed .294/.390/.686 for an incredible 1.076 OPS in the playoffs.
Like many Giants in 2010, this was Ross’ first trip to the postseason in his career and he took full advantage of it. His five home runs and ten runs batted in set the tone throughout the playoff run.
It especially mattered how and when he hit his first three home runs of the playoffs. His first was off Derek Lowe in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves. Not only was Lowe pitching well, but he was pitching a no hitter into the sixth inning at the time Ross took him deep.
It happened again in Philadelphia. Ross broke up another no hitter, but this time, he was facing Hall of Famer Roy Halladay. It was only the third inning, but Halladay has already pitched a playoff no hitter that season. Not only did Ross break up the no hitter, but he hit a second home run off Halladay in the fifth inning.
Ross would win the most valuable player award in the National League Championship Series and his bat would help lead the Giants to their first World Series championship in the city’s history.