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The non-waiver trade deadline is tomorrow (July, 31). The San Francisco Giants are expected to make a move, and it’s not likely that it will be Hunter Pence or Tim Lincecum.
The Giants have promoted Brett Pill (will be starting tonight at 1st) and Roger Kieschnick (will get the start tomorrow night in LF). In counter moves, they’ve sent down Kensuke Tanaka and placed Tony Abreu to the DL (Left knee bursitis).
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com says (via Twitter) the Tigers are among the many teams that have talked to the Giants about lefty reliever Javier Lopez. In another tweet, Knobler says the Giants would trade Lopez. Pence also is available, but the price is very high. It’s not likely the Giants will trade Lincecum.
The Dodgers have signed ex-Giants closer Brian Wilson, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). After seven years with the Giants, Wilson leaves with a 20-20 record, 3.21 ERA and 171 saves (3rd in Giants History).
“Thank you to the fans in San Francisco. It was an honor to pitch in front of you for all those years… Even though I’ll be wearing a different color your impact in my life will never be forgotten,” says Wilson (via TwitterLinks).
There’s no game today, so the San Francisco Giants are visiting the White House and hanging out with Barack Obama. They’re fresh off a sweep by the hands of the Cubs at AT&T Park. I think it’s safe to say it’s time to really start fielding calls from other teams about possible trades. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says GM Brian Sabean will entertain trade offers for veteran players at the non-waiver deadline. Ideally, the Giants would like to keep three of their potential free agents, Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez. At this point, club officials feel they must listen to any reasonable proposal.
Lincecum has seemed to fallen back to earth since his two Cy Young Awards. However, he has shown signs of his dominate self with his no-hitter earlier in the month. He’s still owed nearly $8 million of his $22 million salary this year.
Pence departure would mean the Giants would be adding another hole to their outfield needs. He’s hit .257 with 21 homers, 96 RBI and 83 runs scored in 163 games in a Giants uniform. His average could be a little higher, but that’s the kind of production any team would want from their right-fielder. I’m sure you’ve thought about the possibility of trading him for prospects and then re-signing him at the end of the year when he hits the free agent market. That sounds like the perfect plan, but once you let him go, you just never know if he will end up coming back!
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Giants have told teams that they’d rather re-sign Pence than trade him. But they’ll think about it if they get “blown away” with an offer. Not likely.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says (via Twitter) the Reds have inquired about Pence. “Doesn’t look like a match so far”, says Heyman.
With all the rumors swirling about Brian Wilson showcasing his arm, the San Francisco Giants have been involved in the process and seem to be showing a lot of interest. Let’s not forget that Wilson is not just a pitcher. He’s a marketing director’s dream! When you sign Wilson, you’re not just adding a bullpen arm. You’re adding ticket sales, t-shirt sales and bringing in a guy that fans love to follow.
Chris Haft of MLB.com tells SF Giants Rumors that the Giants could sign Wilson for the pro-rated minimum salary. However, that doesn’t mean Wilson would sign for that low of a salary. Unless there’s some big performance bonus thrown on the side, says Haft. I do believe Wilson will sign a contract to finish the remainder of this season to showcase himself in games. Then hit the free agent market again after the season for a much bigger deal. Only time will tell, if the Giants will re-sign him or if Wilson will take his services elsewhere.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tells us (via Sulia) what it comes down to for GM Brian Sabean at the trade deadline. He says if Sabean can get difference-making prospects for guys like Hunter Pence and/or Tim Lincecum, then he’d be wrong to stand pat. If he can fill multiple holes going forward by dealing closer Sergio Romo(not in a contract year), then do it. But you don’t just trade a guy for the sake of trading a guy “because you don’t let him walk away later for nothing.” You can always get something, even if it’s a draft pick next June.
Pitcher Clayton Blackburn was nearly perfect last night. He retired 20 hitters in a row to begin his start, reports Joe Ritzo of the San Jose Giants (via Twitter).
Javier Lopez – Photo by Marko Realmonte (GiantsInTheYard.com)
The recent series loss to the Reds makes the San Francisco Giants playoff prospects pretty clear: not terribly likely. Given this disappointing situation, one might feel trading their marketable soon-to-be free agents (Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence, Javier Lopez), or other players who might capture some interest and strong prospects at the trade deadline (Sergio Romo, Pablo Sandoval) would be a good idea.
Let’s start with the latter case. Romo and Sandoval are both under team control through 2014, which makes them even more desirable as trade bait. The Giants could expect to receive top-tier talent for either of these players. In my opinion, however, a trade like this only makes sense if the Giants are willing to concede the 2014 season as a rebuilding year — It takes time for prospects to make it to the majors and there is no one in the Giants system to immediately plug the holes a Romo or Sandoval trade would create. There are already holes in the pitching staff and outfield that need plugging. Creating more holes is counter-productive if you are looking to win in 2014.
The Giants possible rental players are less of an open and shut case. They would likely bring in mid-to-low-tier prospects, and most likely none of these prospects would be of value to the 2014 Giants. The other aspect to take into account, at least when it comes to Lincecum and Pence, is qualifying offers. Given the cost controls the new CBA has placed on draft picks, the draft is more important to a team’s long term success than ever. Any possible trades would have to be measured against the value of theoretical compensatory draft picks.
Lopez is one of the few Giants’ players that make sense to trade away: He wouldn’t generate a qualifying offer, so that concern isn’t in play. A lefty specialist can be replaced cost-effectively in the off season and a proven playoff stopper (clutch and grit!) like Lopez could generate some interesting prospects, even as a rental. But trading for prospects at the deadline says one thing to fans, and one thing alone: “We are out of it.”
Fans are myopic. Especially in August, I know this from personal experience. In August of 2011 I bought a playoff-ticket package, after the Giants had a good series against the Rockies.
“WE ARE STILL IN IT! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN BASEBALL! TAKE MY MONEY!”
In hindsight, this was the most wishful of thinking. If the Giants had dealt for prospects in July of 2011, I wouldn’t have had that glimmer of hope. And without those ridiculous glimmers of hope, ticket (season and otherwise) sales fall off… And that money directly influences how much the team has to spend on free agents in the off season.
So no, don’t trade away anyone at the deadline. Despite the poor showing this year, the Giants have a strong core and can be contenders in 2014. No realistic iteration of deadline dealing helps the Giants in 2014. Except for Lopez, go ahead and trade him. I love me some “Night Train” but he’s the only one it makes sense to trade away.
If anybody wants to debate that Andres Torres and Chad Gaudin are marketable, I’d love to hear it. I’m always looking for a good laugh to drown out the aching disappointment of the 2013 campaign.
Chris Stratton attended Mississippi State where he was the SEC Pitcher of the Year in 2012, his senior season. After a transition from the bullpen to the rotation, Stratton posted an 11-2 record, 2.38 ERA, and 127 strikeouts. Scouts loved his arm strength, four-pitch repertoire, and projectable frame; though he wasn’t considered in the same tier as other college righties like Mark Appel and Kyle Zimmer, he was projected to be drafted near the end of the first round, which is exactly where the San Francisco Giants took him.
Stratton sports a low-to-mid 90′s fastball with a sharp slider and an average curveball and change up. It was reported that Stratton attracted the Giants’ attention pitching in the Cape Cod League, which has a reputation for generating Major League talent, where he managed a 2.18 ERA and 12 strikeouts to only 2 walks in six appearances. The Giants loved his diversity of skills, and Stratton was very excited about getting drafted by San Francisco.
“That’s the kind of organization I want to be a part of, one that puts an emphasis on pitching,” Stratton said (link).
Sadly, after just 16.1 innings in short-season ball at Salem-Keizer, Stratton was struck in the head during batting practice, resulting in a concussion and overnight hospital stay. This injury kept Stratton from participating in the fall instructional league, slowing his development somewhat. Fortunately for the Giants, Stratton is a polished college power-pitcher, so he was able to pick things up quickly at Single-A Augusta this year, winning his first four starts.
Up to this point, Stratton has posted a 7-3 record with a 3.66 ERA. He’s been plagued with a bit of inconsistency as he further develops as a four-pitch hurler. But after a rough start at the beginning of June in which he gave up 6 runs on 11 hits in 5 innings, Stratton went on to give up only 6 hits and 1 run in each of his next two starts. Oddly enough, Stratton finished June with the same stat line he began the month, giving up 6 runs on 11 hits in his June 30th start. He fared much better in his next two starts in July, giving up only 4 runs in 13 innings.
Stratton currently has a solid 9.1 SO/9 rate, though he’d do well to cut down on his 3.2 BB/9. The high number of hits that he has allowed (70 in his last 10 starts) and poor walk rate have contributed to a WHIP score of 1.319. Currently, hitters are batting .294 against Stratton, and he posses an inflated ERA of 4.12 against right handed batters. It stands to reason that getting righties out with runners in scoring position and cutting down the walks (9 in his last 3 starts) will be Stratton’s focus to finish the season at Single-A.
There remains an outside possibility that Stratton could be promoted to Double-A Richmond before the end of the year, but the Giants may opt to let him develop further in Augusta due to the time he lost to injury last year. He remains one of the bright starting pitching prospects that may join Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner in the big league rotation someday.
Check out what Mississippi State State coach John Cohen told SF Giants Rumors about Stratton.
Brian Wilsonis set to start doing the rounds for interested major league teams. The San Francisco Giants have recently seen a rash of injuries in the bullpen and have not seen the dominance we have grown to love and admire by the entire staff. Part of that staple used to be Wilson aka ‘The Beard.’
The Giants have missed his presence just as much as his arm during this tough season. They have had no reliable set up man with Sergio Romo taking over as the closer. Jeremy Affeldt has been inept in close situations allowing over half of inherited runners to score and going 0-4 in save opportunities.
Jose Mijares has been better and Santiago Casilla has so far been lights out but the Giants can still use a dominant arm, or at least one that does not give the Giants fans jitters.
The Giants are not going to overspend for help since they’re on the edge of buying or selling. With the Dodgers current pace of play it will take over 90 wins to win the division. Just to get to 90 wins the Giants will need to go 46-15. Signing someone like Wilson makes sense financially and for the publicity.
He will come much cheaper than last season in which he was paid $8.5 million and he has something to prove. More importantly, the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Rockies can all use some bullpen help and remain atop the Giants in the standings.
If for no other reason, sign Wilson to keep him off another NL West team.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the San Francisco Giants have been linked to the Marlins’ Justin Ruggiano. This is only a possibility if the Giants are in buy mode. The trade deadline is one week away, and GM Brian Sabean will have to make his mind up soon if they’re going to buy or sell. Outfielder Hunter Pence could be on his way out if the Giants decide to sell. Sabean isn’t looking to trade Pence. However, that could change if a desperate team comes in and blows Sabean away with an offer that he can’t refuse.
Congratulations to manager Bruce Bochy for 1,500 career wins as a manager. He got this win in the second game of last night’s doubleheader. Yes, that’s the game where the Giants were wearing their road uniforms and batting first at AT&T Park. I’m sure that will become a Giants trivia question somewhere down the road.
The Giants will visit the White House on Monday July 29 for the second time in three years. Then everyone will be traded away two days later at the trade deadline (just kidding). Let’s hope the Giants can find a way to keep visiting that White House every couple years. That would make a lot of people in the Bay Area very happy!
CSNBayArea.com reports that Brian Wilson will be in Los Angeles Thursday to showcase himself for some teams. Andrew Baggarly says (via video in that article) he was told that Wilson looked really good Monday when he threw for pitching coach Dave Righetti and Giants bullpen catcher Billy Hayes at the University of San Francisco. He topped out at 93-94 MPH and threw his cutter with movement. Baggarly also added that the Giants would like to have Wilson back if something can be worked out.
The San Francisco Giants weren’t able to close the door and sweep the D-Backs. However, they were able to start the 2nd half off with a series win over the first place NL West leaders.
Reliever Jeremy Affeldt has a strained groin and will be out 4-6 weeks. Jean Machi is taking Affeldt’s place on the roster.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) is hearing that the Giants’ focus if they’re buyers remains rotation help. One name Schulman’s been told to watch for is the Royals Ervin Santana.
In another tweet, Schulman says Santana would be a rental, but could be a lesser-prospect deal if the Giants pick up the rest of the $13 million contract.
Schulman also points out (via Twitter) that Jake Peavy is a possibility for the Giants, but he’s not necessarily a prime target.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum has a limited no-trade list. Two teams not on that list are the Tigers and Red Sox. It’s also not clear which teams are actually on that list.
“I expect Timmy to be in a Giant uniform,” Sabean said. “I find it hard to believe he’ll pitch elsewhere this year.”
“That’s good,” Lincecum said after the Giants’ workout Thursday at AT&T Park. “I try not to think about it. It’s actually kind of easy not to right now (because) of the All-Star break. It’s not a concern on my mind, especially when I hear something like that to kind of knock down any would-be rumors.”
Lincecum is fresh off his no-hitter performance in San Diego. His overall record is 5-9 with a 4.26 ERA. This means he hasn’t exactly been tearing it up all season. However, his trade stock is as high as it’s been all season, so this would be the best time for the Giants to trade him if they’re going to do it.
With that said, I don’t see them trading Lincecum at the deadline. They will let his contract run out and risk losing him and getting nothing in return. I know they would love to resign the fan favorite despite his struggles. The Giants are hoping that this no-hitter will get Lincecum back on track!