5 Reasons Why the San Francisco Giants Hit a Home Run at the Trade Deadline
The dog days of August are upon us, and with them, comes hindsight of a hectic trade deadline.
The San Francisco Giants were in the thick of things, landing two players (and being tied to many more). When all was said and done, San Francisco had added infielder Marco Scutaro and outfielder Hunter Pence.
The Pence trade was the marquee deal many fans were clamoring for, while the Scutaro swap provided the team with another veteran in orange and black. Of the many players that didn't find themselves moving to the City by the Bay, most would've cost far too much or yielded too little for what Sabean would've been required to pay.
All in all, the San Francisco Giants front office did an admirable job in difficult circumstances. Here are five reasons why.
5. Gary Brown Stayed Put
When Giants fans first heard word of the Hunter Pence deal, the biggest fear was that it came at the cost of top prospect Gary Brown.
When Zach Wheeler was dealt for a half-season rental of Carlos Beltran, it lessened a farm system already running thin. While Pence is a welcome addition to the Giants' team, Brown stands to make a major impact of his own when he finally gets his call to the Big Show.
Perhaps there were bigger players than Pence to be had at the trade deadline, but few would've been worth giving away the jewel of the Giants' farm.
4. Marco Scutaro Is the Good Kind of Veteran
Hanley Ramirez ain't.
Still, Marco Scutaro is a solid player. He's capable of spelling Brandon Crawford at shortstop and giving Bruce Bochy the flexibility to play Pablo Sandoval at first base when the Panda returns from the disabled list later this month.
Scutaro has notched a hit in all six games he's played for San Francisco. He isn't the mythical power bat everyone clamored for, but he's got some games left in him.
For the cost of prospect Charlie Culberson, it certainly seems like a worthwhile trade at present.
3. No Jonathan Broxton
Trading for a player your team has watched implode is always a risky proposition.
While Jonathan Broxton has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence with the Kansas City Royals, fans will always recall him as the shaky closer from Los Angeles.
The Giants were linked to Broxton in the week leading up to the trade deadline, but he ultimately went to Cincinnati to pitch as the set-up man for closer Aroldis Chapman.
Broxton as an eighth inning guy makes a lot more sense than installing him as the closer for a team built around fragile leads and reliance on dominant pitching.
Santiago Casilla may not be the answer for the Giants, but neither was Jonathan Broxton.
2. No Alfonso Soriano
We'll never know how much of a rumor the Giants trying to trade for Soriano was, but thank goodness it wasn't anything more concrete than that.
As the current holders of the worst pitching contract in baseball with Barry Zito, adding one of the worst position player contracts would not have been an inspired move. Clearly, the Cubs would've eaten a lot of Soriano's salary.
Moreover, his reputation as a problematic player is not what the San Francisco outfield needs.
When ESPN's Jim Bowden broke the news that Soriano would not approve a trade to San Francisco, it was a relief for all parties involved.
1. Welcome Home, Hunter Pence
I loved Nate Schierholtz.
He was a class act, an incredibly talented outfielder and a timely hitter, at least in a few quite memorable occasions. It was time for him to go, for his sake, and the trade for Hunter Pence was the perfect chance to give Nate the Great a fresh start.
So far, he's made the most of it.
The player we got back in return was Hunter Pence. Pence is a hitter, can field the ball and also brings a bit of a personality (the good kind) to a team that has made a reputation of housing some rather eclectic players. Perhaps most importantly, Pence is a name. He's a major player, and he's a Giant now.
While prospect Tommy Joseph and Schierholtz is a lot to pay for a morale boost, in some ways, that's exactly what Brian Sabean did. The team had the money, and the fans wanted to see them spend it.
What's the good in selling out every game if you can't afford to better your team? Sabean stepped-up, and now San Francisco is one batter stronger. Overall, a smart, if limited, trade deadline performance.
The bullpen addition can be accomplished through waivers. The Giants made the big move they had to make, and are now a more legitimate National League West division contender for it.