Every team turns to the trade deadline to improve, and this year, not many teams are looking forward to the deadline as much as the Giants.
San Francisco has had a successful start to its season, but it isn't in first place. It's no secret the Giants are trying to improve their team, and there are guys out there that would help them do just that.
The Giants have had amazing pitching and solid hitting, especially from their outfield. More importantly, the team is heating up and gaining ground on the Dodgers, who have been amazing this year.
To pass the Dodgers, though, the Giants will need to make some moves to bolster their roster. Here are four realistic trade targets for them.
Kelly Johnson leaps to make a catch in Toronto's game against Baltimore on April 25.
This shouldn't be surprising to Giants fans.
Johnson has a lot of power, and he drives in runs frequently. He plays second base, a position of need for the Giants. He doesn't have a very high batting average, but his power and success with runners in scoring position could definitely benefit San Francisco.
Ryan Theriot, San Francisco's current second baseman, could move over to shortstop, while Johnson would assume second base. Brandon Crawford would either be traded in the deal or take a pinch-hitter/bench role.
If they decided to start Crawford for a game or two, Johnson would be very valuable off the bench. As I said, he knows how to go yard and drive in runs, which is a key area of need for the Giants.
Overall, Johnson would be a good fielder, a great pinch-hitter, a great power hitter and a solid hitter in the two or six hole. Pursuing Johnson would be just one of the moves San Francisco could make.
Jhonny Peralta tries to tag out a runner trying to steal a base.
At the beginning of the year, even the thought of trading Jhonny Peralta was ludicrous.
Now, he definitely could be dealt.
Peralta has started the 2012 season slowly, and his Detroit Tigers are struggling. While they can (and should) win the AL Central, they could definitely move Peralta, and one of the teams he could land with is San Francisco.
The Giants desperately need a shortstop, as starting Brandon Crawford every day isn't helping the team. Peralta is a tremendous defensive shortstop, and he has lots of offensive value and would be a huge upgrade over Crawford.
Peralta would definitely help a struggling defense, and he would improve the team by getting on base and driving in runs. He has four homers and 16 RBI, but he knows how to get clutch hits and hit for power.
San Francisco should be able to find someone to trade away for Peralta, and the Tigers would probably agree to a deal if the Giants gave up Crawford and another capable player. If they could pull off this trade, the Giants would immediately be a better team.
Matt Garza throws a pitch as the Cubs play the Brewers.
While the Giants seem to be stacked at Garza's position, they could certainly find space for him. San Francisco could trade Tim Lincecum, and they could give him up for Garza and Darwin Barney, or even Starlin Castro.
Barry Zito has always started the first half of the season strong, but he has always struggled in the second half. If Zito started to struggle, Garza could take over. Plus, a deal for Garza probably wouldn't be reached until late July, so in the case of injury or struggles, Garza could definitely be a trade target.
If the Giants really wanted Garza, but there was no room in the rotation, he could even be moved to the bullpen. San Francisco has good relievers, but without Brian Wilson in the 'pen, he could be used.
Garza has a 3.99 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP, and opponents bat just .218 against him. If one Giant starter starts to struggle, or if Tim Lincecum continues to struggle, Garza could be a valuable addition to San Francisco's rotation.
Kevin Youkillis connects on a pitch during a game against the Brewers.
Before you get mad at me about how the Giants already have a third baseman, please hear me out.
Boston is trying to trade Youkilis, and the Dodgers have emerged as the top contender, while the Giants are a secondary contender. While they may not land Youkilis, here's why they should go after him.
Pablo Sandoval, who is expected to return on Tuesday, has had trouble conditioning and is being investigated in a sexual assault case, according to USA Today. Though we don't know if the allegations are true or false, it seems like Pablo isn't ready to play like his old self.
If Pablo ends up too overweight or if he just isn't hitting the ball well, Youkilis would be a good replacement at third. He could also play at first, and he could mentor Brandon Belt and Brett Pill, both struggling youngsters.
If Bruce Bochy decided to sit Youkilis, he would be very valuable off the bench. Youkilis can easily hit homers and drive in runs, as he has 133 homers and 563 RBI in his career.
Bringing in a proven veteran in Youkilis would benefit the team because he could mentor young players and get hits for himself. If Bochy doesn't like what he sees in Sandoval, he could call the Red Sox and make an offer for Boston's third baseman.
Right now, the Giants need to establish themselves as a contender for Youkilis, and within the next month and a half, they need to pull the trigger on a trade for him.