SF Giants Trade Deadline Primer: Will They Buy, Sell, or Get Creative?

By Marc Delucchi
Johnny Cueto of the SF Giants. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Johnny Cueto of the SF Giants. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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SF Giants Trade Deadline Primer: Buying

The SF Giants place in the standings may suggest there’s a path to contention. Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports analyzed the team’s remaining schedule and came to a significant conclusion: the Giants have a very clear path to the postseason. That’s normally a position that leads a team to buy.

However, some different issues come up for the Giants on this side of the equation. The only spots where it would make sense to make a significant addition would be on the pitching staff. The only problem is they’re one of the biggest potential sellers of pitching left. If they change directions, the options become abominably scarce.

Furthermore, the Giants window to contention is a byproduct of the unique playoff expansion, not a massive increase in their championship chances. So the better rental options, like Dylan Bundy, don’t really make sense for the Giants unless the cost is essentially nothing (which isn’t going to happen).

That could shift the Giants to target controllable pieces like Cleveland pitchers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac. Both are legitimate rotation arms who were optioned following their blatant violations of the team’s COVID-19 protocol. While I wouldn’t be particularly interested in adding players who’ve exhibited such reckless behavior, it’s easy to see the Giants making some phone calls.

According to Chad Porto over at Factory of Sadness, Cleveland’s needs are in the outfield and at backup catcher. Sure Austin Slater and Chadwick Tromp fit those categories, but it’s impossible to imagine other teams not topping those offers. The Giants would probably have to add a prospect like Heliot Ramos on top of Slater and Tromp. Could I see it happening? Yes, but I hope it’s not in the cards.

If Cleveland were actually trying to feign shopping Clevinger and Plesac to create leverage to trade young righty Triston McKenzie though, I might be inclined to make a stronger offer.

Still, cheap controllable pitching is always hard to come by. The Giants won’t be the only team interested.

The fact is, a traditional “buyer” move probably doesn’t really fit the Giants plans either. Much like in 2019, it seems like the Giants will be more creative if they make any moves.

What could that look like?