It's no secret that the San Francisco Giants will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs this season, but that's no reason to start a fire sale and disband the team.
General manager Brian Sabean has reportedly set some steep prices on players that other teams have inquired about via trades.
Among the players most talked about as being potentially moved before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline on Wednesday are outfielder Hunter Pence, starting pitcher Tim Lincecum and reliever Javier Lopez.
The Giants, however, don't really want to let Pence or Lincecum go.
Pence is one of the team's consistent producers on offense and although Lincecum's prowess has waned the past two years, he's still a guy who the Giants counts on for production.
As noted by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Giants are hoping to not only keep both players this season, but to also retain them after their current contracts run out by offering each "the roughly $13.8 million tender."
At least one MLB insider, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, believes Lincecum is "very unlikely" to be traded:
Giants would trade Lopez. Hunter Pence also available, but price very high. Very unlikely Lincecum is traded.— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnoblerCBS) July 30, 2013
Of the three players mentioned, Lopez appears to be the likeliest to be traded with Sherman of the opinion that Lopez "definitely" will be moved.
But the Giants aren't pressing to make a deal. Assistant general manager Bobby Evans highlighted that point, via Sherman, by saying, "We are not in ‘let’s make a deal’ mode just to make deals.' That is not who we are and how we are constructed."
Will Javier Lopez be traded?
Lopez would be a prize catch for a playoff-contending team lacking a premier left-handed reliever. Posting an ERA of 1.42 with a 1.18 WHIP in 25 innings this season, he has averaged 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings and is a phenomenal situational pitcher.
Sabean understands the value of such a player, and he's not going to let Lopez go for anything less than top dollar, as noted by ESPN.com's Buster Olney:
Asking prices on Javier Lopez and Josh Outman said to be really high.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2013
Sure, things haven't gone according to plan this year for the Giants, but it's refreshing to see that the franchise isn't panicking about its present troubles.
This is a San Francisco team that is fresh off of two World Series titles in the past three years, and while losing is never fun, it's really difficult to stay at the top for very long.
By taking a strong stance about how much their most trade-attractive players are worth, the Giants are ensuring that they either get a significant return or retain their players—a smart approach to a difficult scenario.
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