Giants trade deadline: Breaking down potential fits, needs, best targets
The Giants may have a tough time improving their team and staying under the luxury tax threshold
The San Francisco Giants are racing against time. The currently injured Joe Panik is their only regular position player under 30 and top starters Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija have had health problems in recent years. To be fair, Bumgarner's injuries were mostly flukes, but he has endured a large workload in his career.
The core is aging and, truth be told, this season might be the last chance for the Giants to win with this group. Let's break down their trade deadline situation.
The Giants rank middle of the pack offensively and have a clear need for another outfielder. Youngster Steven Duggar recently took over as the regular center fielder, though there's still an opening in left field given Hunter Pence's decline.
San Francisco definitely needs some pitching depth. Rotation and bullpen. Someone who could slot in behind Bumgarner and Cueto and ahead of Samardzija, Derek Holland, Andrew Suarez, and Dereck Rodriguez would be ideal. The Giants need depth pieces more than a cornerstone type.
Possible trade targets
It seems unlikely the Giants will take on a longer term contract. Rentals make the most sense. Jeurys Familia has end-game experience, and there's no such thing as too much bullpen depth. With Hunter Strickland out after punching a wall and Mark Melancon still trying to prove his reliability, Familia would be a welcome late-innings power righty.
Putting Curtis Granderson, 37, in the spacious AT&T Park outfield might not be a good idea, plus the Giants might not want to add another left-handed batter to their lineup, but the man can still crush righties. Granderson gets on base and can sock dingers, and he's a Grade-A clubhouse dude who'd fit in well with any team, especially a veteran club like San Francisco. Plus he doesn't figure to cost much. A cheap, easy upgrade.
Another Grade-A clubhouse player who'd add power. Adam Jones is no longer the defender he was in his prime, and it's been a long time since he played a corner -- it stands to reason the Giants are committed to Duggar in center, and Jones hasn't played a corner outfield spot since 2007 -- but he is kind of quality veteran the Giants have had success with in recent years. Think Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Angel Pagan, Mike Morse, etc.
Seung-Hwan Oh is on a dirt cheap one-year contract and he's capable of pitching in pretty much any bullpen role. Middle reliever, setup man, closer, whatever. He is exactly the kind of low cost depth pickup contending teams look to make at the trade deadline. Oh won't cost a ton and he'd provide stability. It's the sort of move that, even if it doesn't work out, teams won't regret it long-term.
The Giants are facing two obstacles at the trade deadline. One, their farm system is not rich with prospects. Top prospect Heliot Ramos has not had a great year in Class A and others like Chris Shaw and Tyler Beede aren't the type of prospects who can front a package for a star. The Giants cashed in their best trade chips to get Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen this past offseason. There's not a ton of depth left in the system.
Secondly, the Giants are trying to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold, and they don't have much wiggle room. according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. That is nothing. That's barely enough to cover September call-ups. The Giants may have to salary dump more players (Sam Dyson? Nick Hundley?) to afford any upgrades. Unless they blow up their luxury tax plan, the Giants don't have much financial flexibility at the trade deadline in addition to not having many prospects to trade., San Francisco is about $280,000 under the threshold,
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