San Francisco Giants To Make A Play For David Price or Cole Hamels?


Now that the first domino has fallen – Reds’ standout Johnny Cueto being dealt to the Kansas City Royals – San Francisco Giants’ fans may be getting a little antsy. With the Giants just a handful of games behind their bitter rivals in Los Angeles, San Francisco may need to make a move to bolster their roster for the stretch run – specifically, many believe they need another starting pitcher.

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Of the pitchers believed to be on the trading block, the most coveted – and the ones most likely to make a difference to a playoff contender – are Detroit Tigers ace David Price and Phillies standout Cole Hamels.

As of this writing, the Tigers are still unsure whether they are going to be buyers or sellers come the trading deadline on the 31st, but given the way their season has gone – and by virtue of them being 11 out in their division – it’s more probable than not that the Tigers will be holding a fire sale here shortly. With Price being a free agent after this season, it makes sense for them to get something with which to begin their rebuild.

Hamels, on the other hand, is being actively shopped by the Phillies as they are set to host what is become an annual purging of their roster. Though the Giants and a fair other number of teams like the Cubs, Red Sox, and Yankees, have expressed interest in making a play for the 31 year old ace, it is the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers who appear to have the lead in the Hamels sweepstakes – it is believed that as of now, only the Rangers and Dodgers have the pieces Philadelphia covets to foster a trade.

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  • Of the two, Hamels is the more attractive option only because he is under contract for another three years and the team has an option for a fourth. So, far from being a mere rental for the stretch run of the season, if the Giants were able to pony up and make a play for Hamels, they would have a strong arm in their rotation for a few seasons yet.

    Not only that, but if they were somehow able to backdoor the other teams and make the trade for Hamels, they would be denying their most hated rivals to the south the chance to land a pitcher they want more than anything. So, if they were able to pull it off, it would be a double win for the Giants.

    The reality is, if the Giants want to stay in postseason contention, they will very likely need another arm. Though they’ve recently gotten Matt Cain and Jake Peavy back from the disabled list, and rookie Chris Heston has been a nice surprise this year, the only reliable constant in the Giants rotation this season has been Madison Bumgarner. And unfortunately for them, you can’t run him out every single day.

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    To make a push for the division – or a Wild Card spot at worst – San Francisco is going to need another arm. As they say, you can’t have enough pitching. Especially come the postseason. But the balance that needs to be struck is what they will have to give up to get one of those top shelf guys like Price or Hamels.

    Are they willing to give up a portion of their future by trading prospects? The presence of Buster Posey and his overall durability means that absorbing the loss of an Andrew Susac might be tolerable. But would a trade to make a push to win now be worth it if the price tag included prospects like Kyle Crick, Tyler Beede, Keury Mella or some combination of those players?

    Perhaps if they were getting Hamels, whom they’d have for multiple seasons, the loss of a pitching prospect or two might be more manageable. Or at least, an easier pill to swallow.

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    But for Price, who can walk away after the season, the Giants might want to stop and think about it for a minute. Depleting their farm system for a guy who yes, will make a difference now – and perhaps even help propel them to another title – but who can bail before the ticker tape even stops falling, it might not be worth it. Not when those young arms the Giants may potentially have to give up to acquire him, could be up with the big club making a difference next season.

    The Giants could feasibly roll with what they have right now. Though a rotation that included either Hamels or Price to go along with Bumgarner, Heston, Peavy, and Cain would be far more fearsome, San Francisco needs to be smart about it. The last thing they want to do is mortgage their future and long term success.

    If it’s Hamels, San Francisco should make a stronger push only because it would deny the Dodgers the chance to acquire him, and he’s under contract for a few more seasons. If it’s Price, San Francisco should be very wary of giving up too much for a guy who can walk in a few months.

    San Francisco has had a knack over the last few years of finding guys who step up huge when the lights are the brightest. They’ve had some unlikely heroes help propel them to their playoff successes. But the Giants do need some help in the rotation this year. They need another strong arm to go along with what they do have if they hope to be holding another parade in San Francisco after the season.

    But they must also walk that fine line of not giving up so much that they sacrifice their future success.

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