If the San Francisco Giants decide to buy at the trade deadline, they’ll be searching for controllable talent that can help now and in the future. Infielder Franklin Barreto fits the bill.
The San Francisco Giants can approach the MLB trade deadline as buyers without mortgaging their long-term plans of building for the future.
In a recent discussion with the media, San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi suggested the team would be targeting prospects close to the major league level in their deadline deals.
Second base is one clear area of need for the Giants for both the present and future.
Incumbent Joe Panik has hit a punchless .235/.309/.318 for a 69 OPS+ that ranks 155th among 156 qualified hitters, ahead of only Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (63).
The 28-year-old Panik is making $3.8 million this season and he has one year of arbitration, but given his current level of production, he’s beginning to look like an offseason non-tender candidate.
With limited options in the upper levels of the farm system at both middle infield spots, the Giants will likely need to go outside the organization to find at least a stop-gap solution at the position.
However, there’s a potential trade with the Oakland Athletics that could net them their second baseman of the present and future.
The A’s are right in the thick of the AL playoff chase with a 55-42 record that leaves them tied for the second wild-card spot.
While Franklin Barreto has earned the start at second base in nine of the past 13 games, Jurickson Profar has manned the position for the bulk of the season and the team paid a steep price to acquire him during the offseason.
With a need for controllable starting pitching, would Oakland consider a one-for-one swap that sends Dereck Rodriguez across the bay?
Even if the Giants have to throw in a low-level prospect or two to sweeten the deal, it’s a move worth exploring.
The trade wouldn’t be selling off a key piece of the current San Francisco Giants team, and at the same time, they would be upgrading the keystone for the present and future.
Barreto, 23, was hitting .296/.379/.549 with 24 doubles and 12 home runs before he was called up to the MLB roster.
He earned a spot on the Baseball America top 100 list four years in a row from 2015 to 2018, peaking at No. 36 prior to the 2016 campaign.
If the San Francisco Giants are going to be buyers at the trade deadline, this is the type of trade that would make sense. It improves the roster now and gives them a long-term piece since Barreto is under club control through 2024.