With the MLB trade deadline quickly approaching and division rivals actively making moves, the San Francisco Giants need to make improvements in some areas to maintain their lead in the NL West throughout September.
Giants GM Brian Sabean has a history of being active at the deadline, last year obtaining Carlos Beltran.
The following are guys the Giants should look into acquiring in an effort to return to the World Series for the second time in three years.
If the Miami Marlins continue there fire sale, the Giants should inquire about Heath Bell in an effort to shore up their bullpen.
Santiago Casilla, who became the closer in April when Brian Wilson underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery, has been a strong replacement. But a recent stretch of five blown saves in eight opportunities is extremely concerning.
Bell is only months removed from a remarkable three-year stretch with the San Diego Padres. From 2009-2011, Bell had 42, 47 and 43 saves respectively, making the All-Star team each year.
The problem with Bell is the contract he signed last offseason that'll pay him $27 million over three years. That's a pretty large hurdle to overcome, especially with the struggles Bell has had this season.
All that said, a change of scenery back to the NL West could see Bell return to his 2009-2011 form.
Freddy Sanchez, who underwent another back surgery in early July, is all but finished for the season.
This is significant because Sanchez's return was supposed to relieve pressure to an already thin Giants infield. Then, the infield took another hit this week when Pablo Sandoval tweaked his hamstring.
Therefore, the Giants need to look to acquire one of the more established infielders and add a veteran presence to the young group.
Chase Headley, the third baseman for the San Diego Padres, is an option the Giants could obtain and plug into the lineup as an everyday player.
Headley, who just finished a series in San Francisco, went 3-for-12 with one home run. The pop in his bat along with a consistent glove are reasons why Headley would be a logical piece to trade for.
For the same reasons why Headley should be on Sabean's radar, Aramis Ramirez should also be considered.
Ramirez is in his 14th season and is having a strong year for the struggling Milwaukee Brewers. While his average is down about 20 points from 2011, he still has runs in his bat as evidenced by his 11 home runs and 59 RBI.
That said, the San Francisco Giants shouldn't be scared away from taking on some extra money to shore up what could be glaring weaknesses. This team has the potential to win another World Series—don't endanger that by being cautious at the trade deadline.