Trade Deadline Overview: San Francisco Giants
Buyers or Sellers
The Giants have won two of the last three World Series, but now find themselves with one of the worst records in the National League and nearly ten games out in the Wild Card Race. Sellers, right? Not so fast.
Playing in the National League West, the Giants are only a handful of games out in the division race. Though they do trail the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Rockies, the silver-lining is that the Giants are coming off of a season where they had a dominant second-half to the season (48-28). No team this year can match that winning percentage (.632). All told, the Giants aren’t playing great baseball, but might not be far from it. Another Division Championship is well within their reach.
Right now, the Giants are undecided about what they’re going to do. The next couple of weeks may prove me wrong, but they should approach this deadline as buyers.
What They Need
The Giants lost starting CF Angel Pagan to a hamstring injury and his return is – at a minimum – still over a month away. The Giants have signed OF Jeff Francoeur and plan to work him into their outfield rotation. Obviously, Hunter Pence is going to continue to play RF every day, but the outfield production as a whole has been subpar.
Another position in the lineup that could use a tune-up is first base. Brandon Belt has strung together a good couple of months since a really slow start, but Belt has always had a short leash and seems to constantly be skating on thin ice.
There have been rumors that the Giants are looking to improve their bullpen. They seem set with lefty relievers (including former Twin Jose Mijares), but may have interest in adding another right-hander.
What Might Work
For as up-and-down as Brandon Belt has been, Justin Morneau wouldn’t be a clear upgrade. Buster Posey is Belt’s primary backup (or at least, Posey plays 1B when he isn’t catching). Would the Giants have interest in Ryan Doumit? That would allow Posey to not catch as much. The knock on Doumit’s defense/pitch-framing might prove costly, though, if he’s put on the market (especially in the DH-free N.L.).
Besides closer Sergio Romo, the Giants only have one right-handed reliever who has appeared in more than 30 games. (Conversely, the Twins have four.) Casey Fien could make sense for the Giants. The cost would probably be minimal and he would provide a right arm that could step up in the 6th
Martin Agosta – RHP – Low A – 22 years old
The Giants have a number of quality arms. Agosta isn’t one of the premium ones, but he’s not far off. A 2nd
-round pick out of St. Mary’s in 2012, Agosta is dealing with the stigma of being a short, right-handed pitcher (6’ 1”). He’s striking guys out (11.1 K/9), but can’t shake the stereotype that he may be best suited for the bullpen. In part because of his size, in part due to his lack of a changeup. He does throw a slider and a cutter, so there’s still a chance.
Adalberto Mejia – LHP – High A – 20 years old
Mejia proved to be pretty advanced after signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. He made his full-season debut in 2012 and struggled in his first go-around as a starter, but after being shifted to the bullpen, came on as a starter later in the year. Mejia barely touches 90, but has a good slider and a changeup. Mejia has been in the starting rotation all year in High-A and has put up decent numbers: 8.1 K/9, 1.12 WHIP, 4 HR (in 45 IP).
Angel Villalona – 1B – AA – 22 years old
Villalona might be a name you recognize. It’s either because you remember him being a Top 50 prospect before the 2008 and 2009 season or because you heard the story about him being investigated on a murder charge and missing the next two seasons because of that and visa issues. Obviously, there are some flaws with Villalona, but if you’re looking for someone that might turn out better than expected, why not?
Kyle Crick – RHP – High A –20 years old
Crick ranks #49 in Baseball America’s recently released Midseason Top 50. He’s a big-time power arm that missed some time earlier this year with an oblique injury, but still has a ceiling as a front-of-the-rotation starter.
Crick was the 49th
overall pick in the 2011 draft and has only allowed two home runs in nearly 150 professional innings. Equally impressive, in those 148 innings, Crick has struck out 180 batters.
Of course, after dealing prospect Zach Wheeler to the Mets for a rental, Carlos Beltran, in 2011, there is a slim-to-none chance that the Giants will repeat that mistake. In fact, there’s now something in the league known as the “Zach Wheeler Syndrome,” which is when a team will hold out until the last minute and make a panic trade.