The San Francisco Giants will push for a Wild Card berth
Few viewed the San Francisco Giants as contenders at the start of the 2019 season, and they entered the All-Star break sitting at the bottom of the NL West standings
However, they are just 5.5 games back for the second NL wild-card spot, so a second-half push is not completely out of the realm of possibility.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, the next two weeks for the Giants are going to be the most important of the year. During this upcoming stretch, the front office will need to assess the current state of the team and decide if a postseason push is not only realistic, but viable within the team’s long-term plans.
More from Around the Foghorn
- Podcast: SF Giants drop pair against Padres, gear up for Atlanta
- SF Giants: Checking in on the Tony Watson trade
- San Francisco Giants fans need this Captain Brandon Belt shirt
- SF Giants: Brandon Belt’s surge has powered winning streak
- SF Giants hitting prospects week in review (8/28-9/10)
If they continue on at a .500 during that time, it will be hard to convince the fan base that right move is to hold their pieces and push toward October. However, with continued July success, it’s not out of the question to think the team stands pat or even looks to add pieces.
To that point, team president Farhan Zaidi recently told reporters (via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle): “I still think there could be opportunities for us to trade away younger players for guys who can help us now. I wouldn’t rule that out.”
While Zaidi may be putting on a poker face in order to garner a better return of prospects at the deadline, there could also be some truth behind the statement.
If contenders are willing to meet a high asking price for Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith, I find it very unlikely that the Giants would turn down the opportunity to flip the upcoming free agents and bolster a thin farm system.
On the other hand, the team could stand pat on those players if the offers are not to their liking, opting instead for a full-throttle push toward the postseason.
Even if they do lose some key pieces, the Giants have always had a “next man up” mentality, and trading away Bumgarner and Smith could wind up creating opportunities for guys like Dereck Rodriguez and Double-A flame-thrower Melvin Adon. Those young players will be motivated to prove themselves, and they too could help the club in a wild-card push.
There is always the possibility too that the Giants take the same path as the 2016 New York Yankees, who had a chance to contend but decided instead to sell for the future.
At the end of the day, Zaidi has made it very clear from Day 1 that this team wants to compete, and if they get within a couple of games of a wild-card spot, I believe that they will approach the deadline with every intention of doing so.
There you have it, five bold predictions for the San Francisco Giants in the second half. Things get rolling again on Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.