At the trade deadline, there are always teams that can be a bit of a shock as far as what they do. There are times when it’s a head-scratcher for what their idea was at this time. The SF Giants decided to stand pat, but was that the right move to make?
SF Giants: Was decision to stand pat at Trade Deadline a good one?
They decided to stand pat at the MLB Trade Deadline on August 1st and you could make a case that both moves were the right one to do.
The names as far as pitching goes that were available at the deadline were Lucas Giolito, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Jordan Montgomery, and Jack Flaherty. It should be noted that Giolito has already been moved to the Cleveland Guardians in a spate of waiver claims.
As far as the bats the best bats that were moved, were Tommy Pham, Jake Burger, CJ Cron, Randall Grichuk, Mike Moustakas, Carlos Santana, and Josh Bell. Similar to Giolito, Grichuk was placed on waivers but went unclaimed.
There was no doubt that the Giants could’ve used some of these players, but in the case of Santana or Bel, there just might have not been a fit. I’ve been a believer in the bullpen games for a while but at some point, these games are going to have to go away. After all, it just feels like they’re just destroying the bullpen. The only reason these aren’t as bad as they could’ve been is the fact that normally there’s a bulk person that eats most of the innings.
Where the Giants could really feel this is if they go into an NLDS or NLCS against teams that are deeper in starting pitching. If the playoffs started now, San Francisco would roll out a starting core of Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, and Kyle Harrison. Would this trio be enough?
It would’ve been great to grab one of Verlander or Scherzer to pair with Montgomery or Flaherty. Then, that would’ve been a great rotation for the playoffs. That said, it bears mentioning that the Mets were assuming nearly the entirety of Verlander and Scherzer's remaining contract so as to maximize prospect capital. It would be a pretty quick turnaround for them.
In terms of the lineup, during the deadline, the Giants were hurting for some middle infield depth after the injury to Thairo Estrada. Speaking of Estrada, the bat just hasn’t been there since returning from the 10-day IL.
The only middle infielder available was Nicky Lopez who was traded to the Braves. He could’ve helped the team thanks to his flexibility as a utility player.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Giants did make one move, which was to trade for AJ Pollock and Mark Mathias. This trade certainly didn’t send shockwaves through the league. At this point, both of these players are on the IL.
Now we must get back to the question at hand here. I think the Giants were wrong to stand pat at the deadline. Sure, it hasn’t hurt them as far as the standings go as they are still clinging to the third Wild Card as of now. But if you think the team has a chance to do something, I am a believer that you need to bolster the roster. And, the roster had worked hard up until that point and it felt like they were not rewarded.
The only reason I believe this is the fact that this young core has shown that they will be able to do some great things in the coming years. By not doing anything, it sends an underlying message that the front office doesn’t believe in them. The bottom line is playoff chances aren’t something that is ever guaranteed. So not buying in on this team is a major mistake.
It doesn’t help that fans are also starting to grow more sour with the front office as the years go on. Buying could’ve changed that.
We don’t know how this season will play out. But if the Giants fail to make the postseason with a team that needed just a few more players at the deadline, that is going to be another strike to the front office. Prospects are great to have and the Giants have been good at developing them as well. Some of the best moves to make can be made with guys that won’t end up panning out.
No matter how you slice this one, we shall see how the cards fall over the final month here.