Which SF Giants could be traded during the 2020 season?

By Kurt Mensching
Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
Johnny Cueto. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /

San Francisco Giants trade possibilities: Johnny Cueto Jeff Samardzija

It’s fair to say most ink will be spent on the Shark, Jeff Samardzija, when talking about San Francisco Giants trade possibilities this season. But let’s not totally rule out the possibility of Johnny Cueto first.

A right-hander, Cueto is projected to be worth 1.8 WAR, second-best among Giants’ starters, with a 4.21 ERA and 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings. That would be a vast improvement on the 5.06 ERA of 2019.

However, he is owed at least $50 million still, with a little shy of $22 million per year in each of the next two seasons, plus an $8 million buyout on the club option for 2023. That’s a lot for a 34-year-old.

Samardzija is in the last year of his contract, with $19.8 million owed in 2020. A Giant since 2016, he has posted a 4.10 ERA (101 ERA+) during that time with 542 strikeouts in 637 innings. FanGraphs’ projection for this season is 1.4 WAR with a 4.60 ERA and 7.3 strikeouts per inning.

That means he’s getting paid rather a lot for the production he’s put up. But you can squint and imagine him rallying a bit in the last year of a contract. You can also reasonably assume the Giants will find a prospect in another team’s system that they feel can be of some use. Either way, 2020 is probably the last year of the Shark in San Francisco.

Next. Why the Giants' farm system is primed to become elite