The trade deadline is fast approaching, and the San Francisco Giants only hold a slim lead over their rivals from the south. The time is now if the Giants want to upgrade their lean offense.
The Giants offense is currently being led by white-hot Buster Posey, who is hitting .513 since the All-Star break with three home runs and 17 RBI in just 39 at-bats post-break.
First-half MVP Melky Cabrera is continuing his 2012 rampage by hitting .421 since the break and has scored 11 runs, primarily due to Posey’s hot bat behind him.
The problem with the others is that Angel Pagan, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, Greg Blanco and especially Brandon Belt (.074 since the break) are all hitting below .250.
Will that trend change with the Dodgers and a healthy Matt Kemp hanging on their backs, or will the Giants trade some of their arsenal to acquire some pop?
The Carlos Beltran for Zach Wheeler trade last year has put the Giants’ front office in a more reticent position about taking that chance when that trade backfired so badly. Beltran is having an All-Star season with the Cardinals, putting up 22 home runs and 71 RBI. Zach Wheeler is dominating in Double-A and is considered a can’t-miss prospect.
Pablo Sandoval’s start at first base has given the Giants a little more wiggle room in looking for a bat. Instead of narrowing their focus to just first base, they can also look for a third baseman, where Placido Polanco of the Phillies is available, as is Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins.
Ramirez has gotten a little too comfortable in his Miami home, as he has been chastised for not giving 100-percent effort and being unprofessional. His stats have declined considerably, with his batting average dropping to .243 last year and .246 this year through 92 games.
However, a fresh start with the influence of Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera surrounding him could fire Ramirez up and get him back on track. Ramirez is on pace for a 20-plus home run season, and not many other Giants are clearing the outfield walls. The Giants would be on the hook for two years and $31.5 million after the 2012 season.
The Giants will need to do a better job at negotiations to acquire the former star. The Giants should offer a rotating backup (Arias, Schierholtz or Burriss), a second-tier minor league starter, and one of the prized catchers in the minor league system (Tommy Joseph or Andrew Susac).
The trade will give the Giants some needed offense and the jolt needed to win the NL West and possibly the World Series.