Trade Deadline: Are the Giants Buyers or Sellers?


July 1, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the third inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline approaching, the Giants need to figure out if they are buyers or sellers. Well, buyers or no change is necessary-ers. I know that this seems like a silly question, considering the Giants’ overall record and place in the standings. They will be fighting for either the division title, or at the very least a wild card spot for the rest of the season. It all seems so simple. Except it isn’t.

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Heading in to June, the Giants were 37-20. Coming in to July, the Giants sit at 46-36. That adds up to a 9-16 record in June. The Giants have been a streaky team this season. Because of this, it is hard to decide what the Giants could use. When they’re playing well, they don’t need a boost anywhere. When they struggle, they need one of everything.

This is where the question of buyers or sellers becomes complicated. In 2011, the Giants traded away a prospect with huge potential in Zach Wheeler for Carlos Beltran. Beltran has since moved on, and Wheeler is developing into another piece in the Mets’ stable of aces. The 2014 Giants could be using Wheeler right now.

With the addition of a second wild card team, more teams are willing to stay in the race, which means there are fewer legitimate sellers. That also means there are more teams vying for the players on the market, which, according to economics, drives the price tag up.

The Giants have too many question marks for there to be one piece that could be a cure-all. Is Angel Pagan going to stay healthy? Will Brandon Belt perform at pre-injury levels when he returns? Is Tim Lincecum going to keep pitching like this? 

To gather the necessary pieces, it would cost the Giants some top prospects, again. Arguably 2 of their biggest names are Andrew Susac, who is being called Buster Posey’s replacement behind the plate, and Kyle Crick waiting in the wings for his audition for the rotation. Trading either of these players away could cost the Giants long-term chances of contending.

If it were up to me (and it’s totally not), I’d stand relatively pat. The team on the field has won before. Pick up a cheap utility player that can be an ignitor and see what happens. Just don’t trade away the farm at the trade deadline.