SF Giants Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Hunter Pence's Availability and More
Bruce Bochy's squad has endured a nightmarish season. The club has been steady at AT&T Park, but its inability to win road games has it at 46-58—last in the NL West and 10 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In that sense, there's no reason for the Giants to hinder any part of their future and blindly trick themselves into being buyers. That's how they lost Zack Wheeler.
What should the Giants do at the deadline?
So, sellers it is.
That's a claim that has been backed up recently with names such as Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez being thrown around on the trading block.
Still, this is a team that is less than a year removed from a World Series title, so it's not exactly time to attach a piece of dynamite to the roster either.
As the Giants sit awkwardly in the middle, let's take a look at the most recent chatter surrounding the team's potential deadline deals.
Hunting For Hunter
Unsurprisingly, Hunter Pence is the main attraction for teams looking to siphon from San Francisco's roster.
In 104 games this season, Captain Underpants is hitting .277/.320/.457 with 14 homers and 14 stolen bases. After a scorching start to the season, the summer heat has slowed his production down considerably, but he's still a rock-solid all-around contributor who was a crucial vocal leader during San Fran's World Series run last fall.
A contender looking for a half-season rental (Pence is a free agent at year's end) couldn't do much better.
However, as the New York Post's Joel Sherman notes, the Giants would like to retain the talented outfielder, or at the very least give him a tender offer, so the price tag is likely to be high.
General manager Bobby Evans, via Sherman, made it pretty simple, stating that "you have to be realistic that if you trade a guy, you are not going to be able to re-sign him. That is what history shows."
If the Giants get blown away with an offer for Pence, expect them to bite. But other than that, a deal doesn't seem likely. He is clearly part of their 2014 plans.
Big-Time Timmy Jim Commands Big-Time Price
Much like with Pence, the Giants, according to Sherman, are planning on throwing Tim Lincecum a tender offer with the intention of re-signing him. That way, the team at the very least assures itself a first- or second-round pick as compensation.
And with Lincecum having a far worse season—4.61 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 8.5 hits allowed per nine innings—than Pence, interest in him is likely to be lower.
Combine the high price tag with a second straight inconsistent season, and odds of the 29-year-old being shipped are extremely minimal.
CBS' Danny Knobler confirmed as much:
Giants would trade Lopez. Hunter Pence also available, but price very high. Very unlikely Lincecum is traded.— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) July 30, 2013
Javier Lopez Easiest to Move
Javier Lopez has been solid once again this season, but as a middle reliever, he is far more expendable than the previous two.
Sherman confirms that belief, saying that "the Giants will definitely move" him, and that the Cleveland Indians have shown interest.
However, ESPN's Buster Olney notes that a deal might not be so easy:
Asking prices on Javier Lopez and Josh Outman said to be really high.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2013
In 25.1 innings this year, Lopez has a 1.42 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and has struck out 9.6 batters per nine innings. Contending teams are always in need of lefty specialists out of the bullpen, and the 35-year-old will bring a decent return for a soon-to-be free agent.
The Giants would be wise not to be too stingy in this case.
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