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San Francisco Giants: 2002 MLB trade deadline review

Giants outfielder Kenny Lofton. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Giants outfielder Kenny Lofton. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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In the days leading up to this year’s MLB trade deadline, we’ll take a look back at San Francisco Giants deadlines past. Next up, the 2002 trade deadline.

The San Francisco Giants had a 45-35 record entering the month of July during the 2002 season, which left them facing a 4.5-game deficit in the NL West.

While they only made one move during the month of July, it was a big one that helped plug a significant hole in the lineup. However, by the end of the month, they were 59-48 and the gap had widened to six games.

Here’s a look at their July activity:

July 28, 2002: CF Kenny Lofton acquired from Chicago White Sox for RHP Felix Diaz, LHP Ryan Meaux

The Giants acquired Tsuyoshi Shinjo from the New York Mets prior to the 2002 season in exchange for starting pitcher Shawn Estes, and he was expected to serve as the everyday center fielder.

Instead, he hit just .238/.294/.370 over 398 plate appearances, and the Giants entered the deadline looking to upgrade the center field spot.

Well-traveled Kenny Lofton proved to be the answer.

He was hitting .259/.348/.418 with 22 steals in 93 games with the Chicago White Sox at the time of the trade after signing a one-year deal during the offseason.

The 35-year-old batted .267/.353/.406 with 15 extra-base hits and seven steals in 46 games following the trade, then went 21-for-72 (.292) with 16 runs scored in 17 games during the playoffs.

Felix Diaz posted a 6.75 ERA in 18 appearances in his only MLB action during the 2004 season, while Ryan Meaux never reached the majors.

All in all, it was the perfect rental trade.

Summary

With Lofton penciled in as the everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter, the Giants finished 95-66 to claim the NL wild-card spot.

From there, they knocked off the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS to make an unlikely World Series appearance, before falling to the Anaheim Angels in seven games.

Next. 2001 MLB trade deadline review

Check back here in the days and weeks to come for more San Francisco Giants trade deadline reviews, all culminating in what promises to be a busy 2019 deadline.

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