At the start of the 2013 season, the San Francisco Giants were predicted to not only win their division but make another World Series appearance by following the formula that has won them two championships in three years; dominant starting pitching. However, 2013 has not proceeded as expected, and with the Giants’ ace Matt Cain struggling, Madison Bumgarner has been leading the staff with a WAR of 1.2, good for only 10th in the National League.
Oh, and the rotation has posted a miserable 4.87 ERA.
The Giants pitching staff overall is 10th in the National League base on WAR, and behind three teams within their division. And although the Giants’ offense has been carrying the team through this stretch, they are not expected to drive this team to a World Series. The question becomes, should the Giants acquire pitching at the trade deadline to make a push towards the playoffs?
The answer is not a simple one. With Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito having team options for next year, and Tim Lincecum entering free agency, the Giants may consider picking up a starter with the hopes of signing them long term upon the trade. They would be able to avoid free agency and may be able to get a better price. However, with most of the staff pitching above replacement value (Matt Cain has been terrible this year, but he is the ace and should figure things out), if management can’t find a deal with value, they should stick to the pieces that they have. Possible options the Giants could pick up include Matt Garza, Cliff Lee, Josh Johnson and Jake Peavy.
The relieving corps has been pitching well, and it seems barring injury, that there would be no significant necessities to trade for come July. A possible injury to Sergio Romo or Chad Gaudin could cause management to kick into gear to find a suitable replacement. Possibilities include Carlos Marmol and Huston Street.