The San Francisco Giants are falling well short of defending their World Series championship, and the team has reportedly prepared itself to be sellers as the trade deadline looms.
At 46-58, the Giants are in last place in the NL West and 10 games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. They are an even further 12 games back in the wild-card race.
So, you will find no arguments from me on this team being sellers. I won't be shedding any tears either.
Having won two World Series titles since 2010, the Giants were due for a rough stretch. Injuries were bound to catch up with this team, and they have. So the recent report of their willingness to deal is no surprise.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports, citing major league sources, that Giants general manager Brian Sabean is open to listening to trade offers for its veteran players.
Rosenthal singles out three men with expiring contracts, right fielder Hunter Pence, right-handed starter Tim Lincecum and left-handed reliever Javier Lopez, as players they'd like to hold onto. However, Rosenthal notes that the Giants know "they must listen to any reasonable proposal."
All three players will certainly garner some interest on the trade market.
Left-handed relievers are always perfect rent-a-player candidates, and Lopez is a good one. He has a 1.42 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 25.1 innings of work. Also, as Rosenthal points out, lefties are hitting just .172 against him.
The Giants should be able to grab a nice prospect for this specialist.
Lincecum has been an erratic pitcher, but he's been solid the last two months. He's made 10 starts since the beginning of June and worked 62 innings. He's allowed 28 earned runs and has 69 strikeouts to 20 walks.
However, Lincecum does have a large contract, and there are questions as to how he will hold up down the stretch. The market on "Big-Time Timmy Jim" is a tough one to predict.
Meanwhile, with a lack of available bats, Pence should also be in high demand. The outfielder has 14 home runs and 51 RBI. He also is slashing .277/.320/.457.
Pence will be difficult for the Giants to part with. They are hurting for outfield depth. However, at the right price, it seems pretty clear he will be available.