San Francisco Giants Don’t Need A Blockbuster Trade


With less than 24 hours left to go, teams are currently active in talks as the non-waiver trade deadline is close to wrapping up for 2015. For the San Francisco Giants, it is a matter of what they want to do for the franchise for at this point of the season and moving forward.

The defending champions are in good position to make the playoffs once again (sitting at 56-45), and appear in far better shape than they were a year ago. The Giants passed on a deal to get Ben Zobrist from the Tampa Bay Rays last season, and decided to go with the youngster Joe Panik, which paid dividends towards making the playoffs and winning the World Series.

To begin the 2015 season, the Giants were predicted by multiple experts to slide in the division and have a rough season. Worries regarding Madison Bumgarner arose, as people wondered if the amount of playoff innings pitched would effect the next season. For Jake Peavy, Matt Cain, and Hunter Pence, they all had injuries that hindered the start of their seasons.

In free agency, the Giants lost Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse who added pop to the lineup. Casey McGehee and Justin Maxwell were added, but have not boded well for the club. Quickly, after receiving time at third with McGehee’s departure, utility man Matt Duffy has now found himself locking up the third base job for the future.

As the Giants have found solutions to their lineup, their rotation continues to struggle as Bumgarner and Chris Heston appear to be the only ones who can get past the sixth inning.

More from San Francisco Giants

Fans and experts insisted a big pitching move needed to be made, and names like Cole Hamels and David Price were buzzing for the Giants. But the last couple days, both frontline starters were taken off the trade market. Hamels was acquired by the Texas Rangers for six players, and Price was sent Thursday to the Toronto Blue Jays in yet another surprising move.

As forHamels, interest in the lefty-ace went back to last season and once again resurfaced at this trade deadline. With a team-friendly contract, Hamels would have been an instant upgrade, and he waived his no-trade clause to join the Giants, but a mortgage of future players and current players were needed to acquire the Philadelphia Phillies’ starter. The Rangers presented a better offer in the eyes of the Phillies’ front office.

It had been reported by ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Phillies wanted teams “best offers by Wednesday.” The best offers appeared to be turned in, and the Giants offer wasn’t enticing enough to the rebuilding Phillies.

If there was a blockbuster to pursue, it was the Hamels deal, due to the contract that keeps him with the club for three years and then an option the fourth year. San Francisco became a location Hamels considered to join, but the Phillies are in horrible shape as the team struggles at the Major League level and even in the farm system. So the Phillies asked the world of teams to get them out of limbo, and quite frankly, could have received a little more.

Jul 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels (35) waves to fans during batting practice before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies struggles forced the Giants to be on the outside, and nixed the blockbuster trade for Hamels. The Detroit Tigers also shut down the Giants offer of whatever they presented to Dave Dombrowski.

With other big names still out there, missing out on the two premier pitchers on the market, in a sense was a blessing in not losing coveted current players on the roster and future pieces. But now, the Giants should avoid any other blockbuster out on the market.

Why is that?

Hamels and Price were the headliners. When you win three championships in the last five years, the Giants are the cream of the crop of baseball. They are never the flashiest regular season team and remain underdogs despite the three championships. Unlike other teams, the world is in their hands as their style of management has succeeded and worked for them for the time being and quite possibly the future.

Despite having one of baseball’s top payrolls, the owners and Larry Baer are precise how they spend their money. Rewarding the home grown talent is more of a priority for the ball club, then making the necessary fill-ins via trade or free agency. Teams making the blockbuster deal generally lack the team to succeed around the player(s) being acquired.

Over the past five years, Pence was the Giants biggest acquisition, but did not require a hefty return. On a side note, the Giants pretty much screwed over the Phillies in that trade as none of the players sent over is currently on the squad. A high asking price for the Giants seemed like a retaliation to the bluff Pence trade, it essentially became.

For 2015, the panic is the inconsistency from the starters three-through-five as Bumgarner and Heston are having to carry the load. Adding Hamels or Price would have been spectacular, but the Giants just need consistency behind those two to solidify the rotation and stabilize.

Fans can cry that the team did not take a gamble with their farm system to land the big fish, but there are a variety of attractive pieces still out there. While they are not ace material, they would boost the middle of the rotation or other positions in the field, without the cost of too many current active Giants players or prospects departing.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Names such as Mike Leake, Hisashi Iwakuma, Dan Haren, James Shields, Tyson Ross, and Yovani Gallardo are easily pitchers who can enhance the middle of the rotation and give Bruce Bochy‘s ball club the innings needed. This would put less work on the bullpen that seems tired right now. These pitchers would require less in return than if a blockbuster trade was proposed.

Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, Yusmeiro Petit, and Jeremy Affeldt all look on the downturn, but that is probably due to the amount of games and innings they are having to work, due to the inefficiency from the back-end starters. Last season, the Giants had similar starting rotation question marks when Cain went down, and Peavy was brought in a trade that sent lower level farm guys to the Boston Red Sox. Peavy was brought in, and the reward was getting the orange and black back into the postseason.

Was Peavy a blockbuster trade? No, but it had a big impact on the Giants season, along with the call-up of Panik.

Brian Sabean, Baer, and the rest of the organization started a brand in 2010 and have rolled with it to this day. The Giants built a nucleus of Tim Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Buster Posey, and the rest followed. Trades for Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, Pence, Peavy, signing Nori Aoki, and calling up Panik and Duffy have been influencing decisions towards the team earning those three rings in the Bay Area.

Giants are half a game out of first place and hold the second wild card spot by 2.5 games, and seem ready to make a push back to the postseason. The 2015 is in better condition and just need a few tune-ups to add some depth.

How can failing to acquire Hamels or Price be comforting? Just look at the Giants track record and recognize, they’re going to be alright.

Next: Two Giants Making Pushes for Rookie of the Year