The long-awaited MLB trade deadline is upon us. What can we expect from the San Francisco Giants today?
Happy MLB trade deadline day, folks!
It’s Christmas in July for baseball fans as we’re in store for a flurry of activity on the trade market before the deadline passes at 4 p.m. ET.
What sort of moves can we expect to see from the San Francisco Giants?
A few weeks ago, the Giants were appeared destined to sell at the deadline. Now, thanks to an 18-6 record in July, the Giants could go either way. They sit just 2.5 games back in the NL wild-card race.
In anticipation of today’s action, here are five predictions for what the San Francisco Giants will and won’t do ahead of the MLB trade deadline:
1. Madison Bumgarner stays put
It’s hard to imagine president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi parting with ace Madison Bumgarner when his team is lurking in the shadows of the NL wild-card race.
The southpaw has been a driving force behind the team’s July success. In five starts this month, he owns a 2.70 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. While the team is flush with bullpen depth, there’s no in-house replacement for Bumgarner who is the leader of the staff and unquestionably the team’s best starter. Unless someone is willing to significantly overpay to acquire him, it looks like he’ll be staying put.
2. Will Smith is traded to the Minnesota Twins for Trevor Larnach
The Giants have one of the best bullpens in baseball and All-Star closer Will Smith has been a big part of that success. He’s converted 26 of 28 save chances with a 2.72 ERA and 12.8 K/9 in 46 appearances on the year.
However, he’s not the only capable arm in that bullpen. Sam Dyson, Tony Watson, Reyes Moronta and Mark Melancon have all proven themselves in high-leverage situations, and aside from Moronta, all have experience closing out games.
Smith is a free agent at season’s end and likely headed for a hefty payday elsewhere, so if the team is going to trade from a position of strength, he’s the best way to maximize their return.
It’s no secret the Twins need bullpen help and outfielder Trevor Larnach would be an excellent addition to the San Francisco farm system as a polished outfield bat on the fast-track to the majors.
3. Drew Pomeranz is traded somewhere
Since being demoted from the starting rotation to the bullpen, Drew Pomeranz has been lights out, allowing just one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts in 5.1 scoreless innings.
According to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, that strong showing has him suddenly generating interest on the trade market.
The southpaw likely won’t net the Giants a top-tier prospect, but he’ll be an intriguing option for a number of contending teams that are looking to bolster their bullpen. Since he was signed to a low-risk one-year, $1.5 million deal during the offseason and is unlikely to be back next season, anything they can get for him would be a win.
There’s plenty of in-house bullpen depth to potentially replace him.
4. The Giants do not add an outfielder
A recent report from ESPN’s Buster Olney stated that the Giants could be looking for more outfield depth at the MLB trade deadline.
The Giants could certainly use some additional pop in their lineup, as they’ve hit 109 home runs this season, which is 27th in the majors.
However, the recent emergence of Alex Dickerson and Mike Yastrzemski has gone a long way toward plugging the holes in the outfield.
The Giants will likely discuss acquiring available players like Corey Dickerson, Hunter Pence, Hunter Renfroe and Adam Jones, but no deals will materialize.
5. The Giants do add Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy
We might have buried the lede here.
A multi-piece trade to acquire infielder Jonathan Villar and right-hander Dylan Bundy from the Baltimore Orioles makes a lot of sense for the Giants.
Villar would be an immediate upgrade at second base and he would add some additional pop to the lineup. On the year, he’s hitting .263/.325/.418 with 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 23 steals. Over the past seven games, he’s batting .394 with two home runs and five RBIs.
As for Bundy, his numbers are not great this year, but a change of scenery and a move into a playoff race could breathe life into the young hurler and 2011 first-round pick.
This move likely wouldn’t cost the Giants any of their top-tier prospects while adding pop to their lineup in the form of Villar and a low-risk, high-reward starter in Bundy.
After climbing back into the playoff race with a strong month of July, the Giants now appear likely to both buy and sell at the MLB trade deadline. They’ll be looking to tweak the roster in hopes of making a push for a spot in the Wild Card Game, while at the same time not giving up any future building blocks. These five moves would accomplish exactly that.