The Giants made two deals this week, adding two solid right-handed bats to an offense that was really struggling to score runs to start the second half.
On Monday afternoon, the Giants dealt one of their better pitching prospects in the minors (Scott Barnes) to the Cleveland Indians for their first basemen, Ryan Garko. They followed that move up by sending their number 2 pitching prospect in the organization, Tim Alderson, to Pittsburgh for oft-injured all-star second basemen, Freddy Sanchez. I do like the Garko move, as it brings the Giants a solid right-handed bat that will hit for a respectable average and has developing power. He's 28 years old, just entering his prime, and is quietly putting together another solid season. He's didn't play full-time at first base with the Indians, as they play Victor Martinez there with regularity, and was hitting .285 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI in just 239 at-bats. Those numbers projected out over the course of a typical 600 at-bat season look pretty good (30 HR, 109 RBI) and I expect him to have a nice second half with the Giants. He's also not scheduled to become free agent until after the 2012 season, so he should be around for a while and won't be too expensive. Garko isn't a game-changing offensive force, but a nice complementary player with a continuously developing offensive game.
Freddy Sanchez is also a nice player, but I just don't think he was worth a guy who potentially could become an ace 5-7 years down the line, and Alderson is that type of talent. I could be wrong, but I think the Giants could have used Alderson to get themselves a really good player, someone like Prince Fielder or maybe Victor Martinez. But the deal is done now, and all we can do is hope for the best with Freddy. He is a solid hitting 2nd basemen who's right at .300 for his career. He's also going to pick it clean at second which will strengthen the Giants up the middle defensively. I did feel that the Giants needed at least two solid bats to add to their lineup for the stretch drive, and the addition of Garko and Sanchez does give them the two more sticks that could make the difference. Sanchez is battling a knee injury right now and may not suit up for the Giants until after the weekend, but when he does, he'll likely slot in to the second spot in the batting order with Garko 3 slots behind him in the 5 hole. Another positive on Sanchez is that he's not going anywhere anytime soon, as he's under contract through the 2010 season. The addition of both Garko and Sanchez will help them for the stretch drive and saves the Giants a couple of moves they'd likely need to have made this winter!
Note: We've talked about the Sanchez deal in length over @ The Giants Baseball Blog, so be sure to check there for more in-depth analysis on the deal. Also, I'm going to be on vacation in Southern California until Monday, August 2nd, and there probably won't be any posts between now and then (barring any big news). So check back in on Monday as we get ready to beging talking NFL training camp!