San Francisco Giants: To Trade Or Not To Trade

Javier Lopez - Photo by Marko Realmonte (

Javier Lopez – Photo by Marko Realmonte (

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. 


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.

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~ Jeremy Lassen


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  • Jacob says:

    Don’t trade giants have had setbacks but are a ultimately a good ball club, pick back up b weezy Brian Wilson and keep pushing! The bats will wake up, try not to over think or stress it’s not like the giants have horrible players they are just in a slump and haven’t made there push yet, giants were back 7.5 games before making the big push! Don’t count out the giants!

  • Erik says:

    We’ve accomplished the impossible. Now sell high and in a couple of years we could be back in the race.

  • Paul Moore says:

    I feel we should be selective with trades or sales. We do not want to gut it so that 2014 is out of the picture. Hence I would keep Romo and especially Lopez. He is really your best reliever why give him away. You need him as the kinpin of the pen. The one you need to dump is Pablo. He is out of control, he will never amount to much in the long term since he cannot control his plate (food–will not evern try) not at bat. He should be hitting in the 300 category and tons of HRS. But he swings at anying that comes near and it is well know that you pitch him junk and if he gets a hit (batting what .260..what a joke) it will be a dinker. Some one will try to be a savor or the rotton and will bite on him. Dump him for prospects NOW.

  • fast freddie says:

    I think that the best thing for the Giants to do is keep Francouer in left dump Torres [no one wanted him except for our girls and put up 2 mil at that-good grief Charlie Brown] A dump for sure is our third catcher a no talent Quiroz and last of all give the obese kid at third base walking papers to the American League as a D.H. Thunder Theighs must go. Call up Joaquin Arias,Juan Perez, and Hector Sanchez. Perez is a third baseman and if he fails Arias is their ace in the hole….I think they can still do it….GO GIANTS