For the second year in a row, the San Francisco Giants made no major moves at the trade deadline. San Francisco did, however, make major moves in 2011 and 2012.
Infamously, Brian Sabean and company traded for Carlos Beltran by parting with prized-prospect Zack Wheeler. That decision was a major failure — perhaps Sabean’s biggest as general manager of the Giants; San Francisco missed out on not only the playoffs, but also re-signing Beltran, who later signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
One year later, Sabean made another splash at the deadline. This one was a huge success. San Francisco sent Nate Schierholtz and a few minor leaguers for All-Star Hunter Pence. Schierholtz has since moved from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs while Pence — who led the Giants to the 2012 title — re-signed with San Francisco just last offseason.
This season, the Giants were linked to many players. Their main concern was upgrading at the second base position. None of Marco Scutaro‘s replacements (Brandon Hicks, Joe Panik, Ehire Adrianza, Dan Uggla, and Matt Duffy) have performed well enough to provide stability.
San Francisco was also linked to a few starting pitchers — even though they had traded for Jake Peavy earlier — to bolster their rotation. Obviously, the talks fell through as the Giants didn’t make a splash.
Many fans expressed their discontent with Sabean after realizing no moves were made, but was it really a bad thing he didn’t pull the trigger?
Kyle Crick, Andrew Susac, Christian Arroyo and others are still in the Giants’ organization. If San Francisco made a move and acquired Zobrist or a top-tier starter, many of the Giants’ top prospects would be gone. Their minor-league talent would be at an all-time low.
It’s not as if San Francisco couldn’t make any moves. They have plenty of attractive prospects that teams would love to take in return.
Coupled with the belief that Brandon Belt (who returned to action on Saturday) and Angel Pagan would soon return, the Giants’ front office came to the conclusion that conceding possible future stars was not worth the risk.
Sabean told John Shea of SFGate:
“We just couldn’t execute the deal based on what the ask was,” Sabean said. “A lot of that had to do with too many buyers in the market, and we’d do the same thing if we were on the other side of the fence. (Teams) held out to the very end to get what we weren’t willing to give up.”
Sure, the Giants were disappointingly quiet at the deadline. I wanted them to make a move for Zobrist. But, knowing the Giants didn’t lose a top-prospect (like in 2011 with the Beltran-for-Wheeler trade) is calming.
They didn’t make a move that draws the attention of the rest of the league (like trading for Pence did in 2012), but did they really need to? Despite their recent struggles, this team is a playoff team.
They are within striking distance of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West crown and currently hold the top wild card spot in the National League.
The Giants also are looking much similar to the team that got off to a scalding 42-21 record. Matt Cain is presumably done for the season, but Belt is already back and Pagan could return to the orange and black in Milwaukee.
With these reinforcements on the way, no trades were needed. Sabean made the right call not making any moves. He showed confidence in the team the Giants are now. If they are able to avoid serious injuries, they won’t let him down.
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