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Should the San Francisco Giants push to contend or rebuild?

Nick San Miguel
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 29: Manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants looks on from the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the seventh inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oracle Park on June 29, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 29: Manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants looks on from the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the seventh inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oracle Park on June 29, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Once again, the San Francisco Giants are facing a tough question of whether to focus on rebuilding efforts or push for contention.

The question the San Francisco Giants have faced the last few summers has been whether to go all-in on a rebuild or push for short-term contention.

This year’s team appears to be facing the same question with the July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaching.

In 2017,  the team was hopelessly bad, but there was a reason to believe it was worth keeping the core intact. In 2018, they were hovering around .500 and playing respectable ball at the deadline, so blowing things up was not an obvious move.

Now, in 2019, they appear to be stuck in the middle once again.

With a 45-49 record, they are 17 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, but they are just three games out of the second wild-card spot after their recent hot streak.

At 9-2 in the month of July, they are playing their best baseball of the season right now, so the decision facing the front office is far from an easy one.

Questions of nostalgia vs. the future or trying to contend vs. rebuilding are ones that many have tried to tackle in the past few years. The difference with this discussion is that the San Francisco Giants are actually, legitimately fun to watch for the first time in a long time.

The players look like they are having fun too, and how can you not when you score 19 runs in a game?

As a fan of the team, I am truly torn.

My head says the smart move is to take what you can get for Madison Bumgarner, the various bullpen pieces, or even someone like Pablo Sandoval, but my heart sings a different tune.

My heart wants this team to stay exactly how it is. To let them play the season out and see if they can ride this hot streak all the way to October. To give Bruce Bochy one more shot at the postseason.

My heart doesn’t want to see Bumgarner in any other uniform, but my head reminds me that my heart thought the same thing about Hunter Pence and him moving on was probably better for both sides.

This is not necessarily a binary choice of contending or rebuilding.

The team could always opt to sell off a few pieces for either prospects or big-league talent, while still trying to make a playoff run. Call it a strategic rebuild.

Who knows what the wisest path is?

Next. MLB-ready trade deadline targets (Part 1)

What I am sure of is that my heart and my head, just like many other San Francisco Giants fans, will do battle for the next few weeks while the team tries to stay hot and the front office tries to continue planning for the future.

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