Did the San Francisco Giants make a mistake at the trade deadline?

DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 03: Pitcher Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants throws in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 03, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 03: Pitcher Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants throws in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 03, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants decided against selling their top players at this year’s trade deadline. Is that decision turning out to be a mistake for the struggling organization?

The San Francisco Giants looked destined to sell at the trade deadline for the first three months of the season, but a suddenly hot team surged to a 19-6 July forcing the front office to rethink their plans.

First-year team president Farhan Zaidi was faced with the unenviable task of deciding which direction to take the team in. On paper, the Giants weren’t exactly a great baseball team. But they kept winning games one way or another.

Sure many of those victories were slim one-win margins and not all of them were against the best competition. But a win is a win — at least that’s what the team’s selling point was.

On top of that, legendary manager Bruce Bochy was coaching the last year of his illustrious career which meant that playing competitive baseball in September was even more important to the franchise.

How could you justify trading away longtime ace Madison Bumgarner after the heart and resiliency that the team showed the previous month? Even closer Will Smith would have been difficult to part with.

After all was set and done, the Giants decided to hold on to both Bumgarner and Smith while maintaining their contention for the remainder of the season. Sure, the Giants made smaller moves trading away some of their bullpen depth.

But overall, the primary core remained together.

Unfortunately, the team has once again returned to early-season form since the deadline making the moves — or lack of moves — made all the more questionable.

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Since the trade deadline, the Giants have won just one of their seven games including a three-game sweep at the hands of the wild-card leading Washington Nationals. It was imperative that the team took at least two games in this series to further help their chances at making the playoffs.

Not only did they not take two, they didn’t even win a single game.

The Giants bats have suddenly gone ice cold again in the month of August. The team has scored more than four runs just once this month and has managed two or fewer runs in four of their seven contests.

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The likes of Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano, and Stephen Vogt haven’t been nearly as effective as they were in July. And even players like Brandon Belt and the returning Evan Longoria haven’t done much at the plate this month.

In many ways, the team has regressed. But they haven’t just regressed — they’ve regressed to the norm.

This regression was inevitable even if optimism wholly clouded it at the time. None of this should be considered surprising, as painful as it is to watch.

In all likelihood, this is the Giants that they always were. July was simply an outlier.

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Now, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. There is still time to turn the season around. Even though his return date has been pushed back, the Giants will be anticipating the return of outfielder Alex Dickerson.

Pablo Sandoval continues to rake at the plate even while the rest of the lineup around him struggles. And the team’s pitching has been keeping them in most games, now it’s just on the hitting to follow suit.

But hasn’t that been the story of the Giants for the entire season? Well, most of the season anyway.

As of now, it’s looking like the Giants may have made a mistake holding on to Bumgarner and Smith with the hope that the team could legitimately contend this season. Again, there’s still time, but 1.4% playoff odds aren’t too appealing.

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Perhaps the Giants could catch fire once again and parlay their success into an actual postseason run this fall. But more than likely, this is the reality that Giants fans will have to face for the rest of the season.

It sure was fun while it lasted.