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 2010 trade deadline.
After turning a corner in 2009, the San Francisco Giants entered the 2010 season with legitimate expectations for the first time in years.
They had a 40-37 record heading into the month of July. That left them 5.5 games back in the NL West and sixth in a crowded NL wild-card picture.
They began July by selling off a veteran piece but closed out the month by adding a pair of quality arms to the bullpen.
Here’s a look at their July activity:
July 1, 2010: C Bengie Molina traded to the Texas Rangers for RHP Chris Ray, RHP Michael Main
After a brief cup of coffee in 2009, Buster Posey was called up for good on May 29, 2010. After playing primarily first base during his first month in the majors, he was officially handed the starting catcher job when incumbent Bengie Molina was traded on July 1.
Molina, 35, had been one of the Giants most productive hitters during his first three years with the team, averaging 26 doubles, 18 home runs and 85 RBI and 137 games played.
He was hitting .257/.312/.332 for a 77 OPS+ at the time of the trade, and he ended up retiring at the end of the 2010 season.
Chris Ray proved to be a useful addition to the bullpen, pitching to a 4.13 ERA in 28 appearances, while Michael Main. Really, this trade was all about saving a few bucks and clearing a path for Posey.
July 31, 2010: RHP Ramon Ramirez acquired from Boston Red Sox for RHP Daniel Turpen
Ramon Ramirez posted a combined 2.74 ERA in 141 appearances during the 2008 and 2009 seasons before scuffling a bit to begin the 2010 campaign with a 4.46 ERA in 44 appearances.
That didn’t dissuade the Giants from acquiring him in an effort to bolster their relief corps, and he responded to the change of scenery with a stellar 0.67 ERA in 25 appearances to pitch his way onto the playoff roster.
He was excellent once again the following season with a 2.62 ERA and 11 holds in 66 appearances. After that, he was shipped to the New York Mets in the deal that brought leadoff hitter and center fielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco.
Daniel Turpen never ended up reaching the majors and his pro career ended after the 2014 season.
July 31, 2010: LHP Javier Lopez acquired from Pittsburgh Pirates for 1B John Bowker, RHP Joe Martinez
Javier Lopez was one of the most effective lefty specialists in baseball during his time with the San Francisco Giants, and it all began at the 2010 deadline.
He posted a 1.42 ERA in 27 appearances following the trade, then retired 16 of the 18 batters he faced during the playoffs. He was brilliant again the following season with a 2.72 ERA and 20 holds in 70 appearances. That earned him a two-year, $8.5 million extension and he stuck around beyond that on a three-year, $13 million extension.
All told, Lopez logged a 2.47 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 110 holds in 446 total appearances in San Francisco. On top of that, he had a pristine 1.38 ERA and a .119 opponents’ batting average in 25 career playoff appearances.
John Bowker and Joe Martinez both saw time in Pittsburgh and had a combined 0.2 WAR during their time with the team.
This was the beginning of the San Francisco Giants impressive run of three titles in five years.
All three of these moves had major ramifications on their postseason push, and the Javier Lopez trade paid dividends for years.
The front office continued making moves in August with Mike Fontenot and Jose Guillen acquired in waiver trades and Cody Ross claimed off waivers.
In the end, the Giants finished with a 92-70 record to win the NL West title, then bested the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers in the postseason to claim their first World Series title since
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.