The SF Giants are in an outstanding position as they approach the final months of the 2021 season. They lead the NL West and are getting great performances across their roster. Despite this, many fans want the team to go out and land a big name via trade. If history has taught us anything, this may be the wrong approach.
The Giants have been connected to several superstars over the past few days. Rumors have swirled around the idea of them targetting Cubs slugger Kris Bryant, possibly going after Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, and even building a trade to acquire Max Scherzer. However, while it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the possibility that the Giants could land one of these stars, it is important to remember how the Giants won their three championships from 2010-2014 and how Zaidi has build such a formidable contender.
The SF Giants can add a superstar via trade, but should they?
As Kerry Crowley recently detailed for the Mercury News, Zaidi is not typically an executive who trips over himself chasing after the flashiest names at the deadline. That is not how he operated when he was in Los Angeles, and it is not how he has operated thus far with the Giants. Instead, he has added strategic contributors that were anything but big names like LaMonte Wade Jr. and Mike Yastrzemski.
It is also telling that Zaidi told reporters earlier this month about valuing team chemistry sometimes over trades that look good on paper. This instantly reminded me of the Matt Moore, which cost the Giants prospects alongside Matt Duffy in 2016. It was a trade that looked good on paper but in reality, may have disrupted the team’s chemistry with Duffy being one of the most well-liked young players on the team.
That is not to say that the Giants would have won another World Series in 2016 if that trade had not been made, but it is to say that moves that look good on paper do not always pan out.
The Giants have not been a team that tries to make a big splash at the deadline in recent memory. Even during the stretch from 2010-2014 they rarely went out of their way to deal for big names. Of course, there are some exceptions like Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence but other than that the Giants were able to win by picking up guys like Cody Ross, Javier Lopez, Marco Scutaro, and Jake Peavy.
None of this means the SF Giants will not acquire a superstar before the MLB trade deadline on July 30th. However, fans should brace themselves for the front office to go in a different direction, possibly adding some less well-known pieces. Before they get upset, they should remember the long track record of San Francisco teams finding success, despite losing the headlines at the deadline.