San Francisco Giants: Who Can They Trade?


One would figure the San Francisco Giants are hard at work, discussing plans to help their team to get back to the postseason in an effort to capture another World Series championship.

The flame on the MLB Hot Stove is barely crackling right now, but with the annual Winter Meeting right around the corner, that flame should start to burn a little hotter very soon. Things should be heating up for the San Francisco Giants as well. In addition to rumors that have linked them to free agents like Zack Greinke, David Price, Justin Upton, and Chris Davis, the Giants are also said to be busy scouring the trade market.

Obviously, in order to acquire someone through a trade, the Giants would have to give someone up. It’s always difficult to predict what a team would want in return in a trade, but the Giants do have some key players they could use to persuade a potential partner.

More from Golden Gate Sports

One of the most popular names being thrown around as a trade piece is Angel Paganalthough that isn’t the most enticing name. As the Giants’ incumbent center fielder, Pagan is 34 years old, but has the knees of someone much, much older. In 2015, Pagan played 133 games, his highest total since 2012, but played through a lot of injuries over the course of the year. His slash-line ended at .262/.303/.332, all totals that fell well below his career averages of .280/.330/.406. After the season, Pagan underwent a minor arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.

Defensively, he was considered the worst everyday center fielder in baseball. According to fangraphs, he was the worst among qualified center fielders in defensive rating (-12.4), defensive runs saved (-20), and ultimate zone rating (-14.3). His -20 DRS was worst among He did, however, play much better over the final month of the season after a stint on the disabled list for his knees.

So who would possibly take on an aging center fielder who is a defensive liability with an alarming injury history and one year left on his contract? It’s extremely hard to believe that any team would take on his contract worth $11.25 million in 2016 by itself (although the Atlanta Braves seem to have gone a little crazy), but in the proper package, Pagan could find himself wearing a new uniform next year.

More from San Francisco Giants

Andrew Susac also seems like potential trade bait, and could fit in a package. With Trevor Brown‘s emergence in 2015, Susac has seemingly become a little more expendable for the Giants. After injuries to both Susac and Hector Sanchez at the end of the season last year, Brown came to the big leagues for the first time during the last couple of weeks, and performed quite admirably. He handled the bat relatively well, but his biggest contribution came from his defense.

After the season ended, manager Bruce Bochy had high praise for the rookie backstop, saying that “[pitchers] like throwing to him, [he] does a great job and follows the game plan”. Another point in Brown’s favor is his versatility. The former infielder has played first and second base throughout the minor leagues. Having him on the roster would create more flexibility for the team.

Susac has proven to be a solid big league hitter with good power in his time with the Giants, but his defensive game hasn’t developed nearly as well, which isn’t all that surprising, considering the inconsistent playing time he has received as a major league catcher. With Brown proving his worth, and another catcher, Aramis Garcia, coming up through the ranks, Susac’s best value to the Giants could be as a trade piece to a team that could groom him a little more thoroughly than the Giants can right now.

Young shortstop Christian Arroyo, fresh off a very nice showing in the Arizona Fall League, is another fine minor league player that could net the Giants a good profit in a deal. Arroyo, the Giants’ best position player prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is roadblocked on the infield with the layout of the Giants currently.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford signed a six-year deal this offseason, so he’ll be be manning Arroyo’s natural position for a while. Second baseman Joe Panik and third baseman Matt Duffy both have less than two years of big league service time, so they should be holding down their respective positions for the foreseeable future. Kelby Tomlinson‘s breakout performance at the end of the 2015 season likely puts him in the driver’s seat for the backup infielder/utility man job (if he can get the hang of playing the outfield).

With the Giants’ infield well-filled, and with Arroyo’s stock as high as it’s ever been, the Giants may be wise to move the young infielder to bring in the experienced starting pitcher of which they are in dire need. Lucius Fox, another shortstop who was the Giants’ prized international free agent signing from last season, could also be dealt, but he has been projected by some scouts to be a center fielder in the future. That could make him more valuable for the Giants down the road.

Next: Should the Giants Bring Back Lincecum?

The Giants also have some good young pitchers in the system, including their 2014 first-round pick Tyler Beede, 2015 first-rounder Phil Bickford, Clayton Blackburn, Adalberto Mejia, and Kyle Crick (although his stock is likely at an all-time low, currently). With the Giants’ rotation looking as slim as it does now, keeping these promising, young arms on their farm would probably be in the team’s best interest.

With a good amount of money to spend and a variety of ways to spend it, the Giants have a lot of options to fill their needs this offseason. If past history is anything to go on, they’ll be smart in doing so.