At 56-48, the SF Giants are in the midst of the Wild Card race. The team has played well enough to be buyers at the trade deadline and I think they will do so. That said, they should target players that not only better position them for the rest of 2023 but beyond that as well.
The type of player the SF Giants should target at the trade deadline
The Giants' roster has some quality components. The bullpen and defense have been strengths as well as the front end of the rotation consisting of Logan Webb and Alex Cobb. For a while, I have been saying that the lineup is good enough to win games, but that just has not been the case lately as they have averaged 3.8 runs per game in 14 games since the All-Star break.
Injuries to players like Mitch Haniger and Thairo Estrada have shortened the lineup. Plus, the rest of the key contributors such as LaMonte Wade Jr., J.D. Davis, and Joc Pederson seem to all be in a slump at the same time.
The Giants have been connected to middle infielders ahead of the trade deadline. Players like Davis, Wilmer Flores, and Mike Yastrzemski have been contributors, but they might need more than what the trade market has to offer.
Of course, there is the back end of the rotation as well. The Giants clearly need another starter or two who do enough to keep them in games. Lately, Anthony DeSclafani, Sean Manaea, Alex Wood, and Ross Stripling have not done that consistently enough. The Giants hope that at least one of those pitchers can help buck the trend.
Though, it might not come. So, the Giants are in a position where a large part of the rotation needs to be reworked as well as a good portion of the lineup. Can they achieve those goals at the trade deadline? Absolutely, and I think the front office will look at all opportunities to do so.
As a whole, the roster has performed well enough where the front office should reward them by being buyers at the trade deadline. That said, the more I look at the roster, the more obvious the splinters and cracks become.
The Giants can patch these up through trades. However, I would caution against targeting solely rental players for a run this season. It just does not make a ton of sense. That is not to say that they should not be buyers. They should.
The Giants need to find a balance between bolstering the current roster and ensuring that the future roster remains intact. This is to say that they should look at players with multiple years of team control. That quality tends to be expensive at the trade deadline, but if they can find a player who can help them down the stretch this year and for future years, then it makes a little more sense to invest the necessary prospect capital.
Teams do not generally target just one type of player or the other. This is on a spectrum and the Giants could pursue some mixture between rentals and players with multiple years of control. However, following one approach where they go all-in on rental players just does not make sense from a cost-benefit analysis.
The roster might still have cracks and splinters even after the trade deadline. Even after any potential trade or trades. The Giants have put together a good team, but the roster's flaws are becoming more apparent as the season progresses. They should look at the trade deadline as an opportunity to help the current and future team.