Ranking the top 3 SF Giants needs for the trade deadline
3. The bullpen
The bullpen is not an area that really needs to be upgraded. I was debating between this and backup catcher. I feel like the Giants are comfortable with Joey Bart's defense behind the plate, so they may not even need to address that area.
That said, I would not be surprised if they targeted a veteran catcher at some point whether that is on the trade market or the free-agent market.
That leaves the bullpen. The bullpen has been quite good as it has posted a 3.80 ERA, which is the 10th-best mark in baseball. Since May 1, they have been the best in baseball with a 2.97 ERA. The Cleveland Guardians have the second-best mark during that stretch with a 3.35 ERA.
If the Giants are not able to address the rotation, then they should look to upgrade the bullpen to bridge the gap between a flawed rotation and a quality bullpen. Having as many effective relievers as possible helps to bridge that gap.
The Giants had one of the best bullpens in 2021 and still worked out a trade for Tony Watson from the Los Angeles Angels. It is not necessarily a need, but the type of move that competitive teams make at the trade deadline.
Upgrading the bullpen at the deadline is generally a low-cost move. There are typically plenty of options available. For example, Jordan Hicks and Chris Stratton of the St. Louis Cardinals are both free agents at the end of the year, meaning that they are rentals. The cost to acquire either one would be low. There are plenty of examples of this.