San Francisco Giants Rumor Roundup: Heating Up Before the Deadline

MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 05: Eduardo Nunez
MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 05: Eduardo Nunez /

With the trade deadline creeping closer and closer, the rumors will start flying even more fast and furious. Here’s San Francisco Giants’ rumor roundup.

The trade deadline is closing in, with less than two weeks until the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st. Trades have already begun, and the rumors that have started already will only heat up as the deadline draws closer. The San Francisco Giants are involved in a number of rumors, and figure to be at least somewhat busy in the coming days.

First and foremost, the Pablo Sandoval rumors should be addressed. After being designated for assignment earlier this week just halfway through his five-year deal, the Boston Red Sox put the third baseman on release waivers. If Sandoval goes unclaimed (and with that contract, he will go unclaimed), he will be a free agent and available to sign with any team.

On Wednesday, reporter Jesse Sanchez reported that Sandoval was signing with the Giants. However, he can not officially sign until he is fully released. A decision should come Friday, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera. The Giants are an option, and other teams have reportedly expressed interest, but there can be no official word until Sandoval is no longer considered Red Sox property.

As for players that actually are Giants at this time, there have been a lot of rumors going around. Eduardo Nunez seems to be one of the Giants’ most easily-movable pieces, and he’s gaining some traction as a trade chip. Funny enough, the Red Sox have interest in the Giants third baseman.

More from Golden Gate Sports

After Todd Frazier was traded from the Chicago White Sox to the New York Yankees earlier this week, Boston had to shift their focus to another third baseman. Nunez is that guy, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale says. Third base has been a struggle for the Red Sox, with Sandoval earning a DFA and Deven Marrero hitting just .209.

They are not alone in their interest in Nunez, though. The Cleveland Indians, the team against which Nunez hit a walk-off single on Tuesday, are scouting the third baseman. Second baseman Jason Kipnis has been limited to 66 games this season, and is currently on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain. Jose Ramirez has shifted from his regular spot at third to second in his absence, and getting Nunez could fill the gap until Kipnis returns, and strengthen their bench when he does come back.

Nunez is having a strong offensive season, owning a .297/.322/.409 slash-line with a team-leading 17 stolen bases. His 9.7 percent strikeout rate is the third-lowest in baseball, behind only the Red Sox duo of Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts. He has been one of the few offensive bright spots in a bleak season for the Giants.

Another name linked to the Red Sox is right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland. Also within the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays have interest in the burly righty. The Rays are still right in the thick of the race out East, sitting second in the division to Boston and holding the first Wildcard spot.

Strickland has been one of San Francisco’s most reliable bullpen arms, owning a stellar 1.85 ERA even as his walk-rate has jumped up to five per nine innings. His 9.5 strikeouts per nine is the best of his career, and he has allowed just one home run in 34 innings pitched. Strickland has not yet reached arbitration eligibility, and is under team control through the 2021 season.

The Giants’ starting rotation is also garnering some interest. Righty Jeff Samardzija has been on the Houston Astros’ radar as the team tries to bolster a starting rotation that has struggled somewhat with health. Dallas Keuchel is on the 10-day disabled list because of a neck issue, and Collin McHugh hasn’t made a start this year because of an elbow impingement, though he is expected to be activated quite soon.

The Seattle Mariners, who sit at .500 and are 1.5 games out of a wildcard spot, are also interested in strengthening their staff. Samardzija has been the top target in talks with the Giants, but Johnny Cueto (currently on the disabled list due to blisters) and Matt Moore (5.81 ERA) could be considerations as well.

Also on the Mariners’ front, Seattle is working on a deal for a not-yet-named relief pitcher, according to’s Mark Feinsand. He mentions that the team had been working with the Miami Marlins on a deal for righty reliever David Phelps, but it’s not clear if that is the anonymous hurler. It’s fair to wonder if the Mariners asked about a Giants’ reliever during talks for pitching upgrades, but that’s purely speculation.

And finally, center fielder Denard Span hasn’t been mentioned directly in quite a while, but was linked to the Chicago Cubs earlier this month. This isn’t the first time the two have been matched together, as Chicago tried to acquire Span in 2015 while he was a Washington National and attempted to sign him during the 2015-2016 offseason.

Next: Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: Stealing 2 From Cleveland

Span has played much better during his second year by the Bay, owning a .286/.336/.452 slash-line. He has played particularly well since returning from the disabled list on May 11th, hitting .304/.354/.489 with 25 extra-base hits in 57 games. Most recently on Wednesday, Span hit a double and a Splash-Hit home run, already his fourth Splash to move into fourth place on the all-time list behind Barry Bonds (35), Brandon Belt, and Sandoval (both with seven).