Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trade Deadline Analysis: Giants

With MLB's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching in under two weeks, trade talk has heated up for both the A's and the Giants. Today we'll talk a bit about where the Giants are, Saturday we'll get into the A's.

The rumors have started to run rampant regarding the Giants and who they could target in the next 10 days. One of those players is said to be in Philadelphia, as numerous sources have them interested in third basemen Placido Polanco. I came to the realization this team needed another infielder when it was clear Freddy Sanchez wouldn't be returning, but I still don't see a terrific fit out there for this club. I'm sorry, but the aging, slow Polanco isn't what this team needs and I can't understand why Sabean would even pursue that target. Didn't he learn anything last year with the Orlando Cabrera deal? Plus, Polanco has been playing third base for Philly, and unless the Giants plan on moving Pablo permanently to first base, Polanco would be moved out of position. I wouldn't be opposed to moving Sandoval across the diamond for the "right" third basemen, but certainly not Placido Polanco. The right third basemen in my mind would be a guy like Hanley Ramirez (who is also apparently on the trading block), someone who will be around for a few years and is right in his prime, but the Giants don't have the minor league depth to pull off those deals every summer.

Infante: A Realistic Target?
Another Marlin's name that was mentioned in the Andrew Baggarly chat yesterday is a guy I hadn't thought about much is Miami's 2nd basemen, Omar Infante. The 30 year-old infielder has the versatility to play 3rd, short and 2nd and is a plus-hitter. He could free up Ryan Theriot to be more of a utility guy and contribute at shortstop as well. Infante is hitting .281 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI and swings from the right-side which is something the Giants desperately need, good right-handed bats. The best part, is he's not a headline player and likely wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to get. The Marlins are clearly open to dealing him too, but the latest news out of Miami has the Marlins attempting to package Infante together with Josh Johnson and deal them to the American League. This is a really tough year for teams looking to add pieces. Too many clubs still feel they're in contention and the ones that aren't are well aware of their situation and the plethora of buyers heading into the deadline. I just don't see the Giants having enough ammo to pull off a big deal for offense, which is why I still think if they add a piece or two, it'll be to the bullpen. They're still trying to assess their own system and figure out just who they feel is expendable, and again, after the moves last season, I have a hard time seeing another blockbuster getting done this July.

Perhaps the most sensible and attainable target I've heard linked to the team the last few days has been Royals closer Jonathan Broxton. It's clear the Royals will deal him at some point, they have Joakim Soria returning next season, but the Royals could be detoured away from the Giants after their luck with the Cabrera/Sanchez deal. I'm not holding out hope for a big bat like I was last summer, even though they could sure use one. However, a closer-type, especially with the inconsistencies Casilla has run into, makes a whole lot of sense.

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