The San Francisco Giants finally made a trade, just like we all knew they would.
No, they didn't bring in Hunter Pence. No, Shin-Soo Choo isn't coming to San Francisco. And no, Brandon League won't be wearing a Giants uniform today.
However, Marco Scutaro will be. The AP reports that Scutaro has been traded to the Giants (h/t Fox News).
Scutaro is a versatile infielder who will likely fill in at third in Pablo Sandoval's absence. He has solid stats this year and will definitely help San Francisco's slumping offense.
Here are three reasons why this trade makes the Giants the team to beat.
The Giants aren't scoring runs. Luckily, Marco Scutaro knows both how to score and drive in runs.
Scutaro has scored 47 and knocked in 30 runs this year for the Rockies, hitting .271 and getting on base frequently. In San Francisco, he will probably hit first or second, and he will have Melky Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey to drive him in.
San Francisco has lacked a dominant leadoff hitter all year. Gregor Blanco has been slumping and Nate Schierholtz isn't built to hit leadoff. With Scutaro, Ryan Theriot, Cabrera, Posey, Sandoval and Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup, the Giants will be hard to pitch to.
When was the last time you could say that about the Giants' offense?
When Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez got hurt, the Giants lost all the depth they had in the infield.
With the addition of Scutaro, the depth is back.
Right now, the Giants have Scutaro, Theriot, Joaquin Arias, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford in the infield. Scutaro will probably replace Joaquin Arias at third, while Crawford plays short, Theriot plays second and Belt plays first.
If that doesn't happen, Scutaro could even play first while Arias plays third.
The Giants need infield depth, and they can't go on with Arias and Belt starting in the same game. Scutaro will make sure that doesn't happen, and, like I said in the first slide, he will improve the offense dramatically.
As I mentioned in the last slide, the Giants can't go on with Arias and Belt in their lineup.
Belt is an inconsistent hitter who can't make pitchers pay for making mistakes, while Arias is nothing more than a utility player. Belt went 3-for-5 with 2 RBI and a run scored last night, and he will definitely play a lot in Sandoval's absence.
Arias' case is different. The third baseman did a great job filling in for Sandoval when he got hurt, but he has very little power and is mostly a singles hitter. Scutaro is a huge upgrade at third base, and he will be a great bench player or starting second baseman when Sandoval returns.
Sandoval is on the 15-day DL, which means Scutaro will play third for 15 days. It remains to be seen if he will start over Ryan Theriot at second, but for now, it's a great thing that Arias won't be starting every day. He's a good fielder, but he can misplay a grounder. As for his hitting, it's definitely not helping the Giants.
Thankfully, Arias' hitting won't be hurting the team. Now that the infield and the offense are a lot deeper, the Giants are the most complete team in the NL.
They don't seem to have any weakness, which makes them the team to beat in the National League.