When did it occur? After the trade deadline.
Big-name players Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett were all shipped off from Boston in what was assumed to be the blockbuster trade of 2012. That was until the Giants acquired Marco Scutaro, and the rest is World Series history.
Players, teams and fans alike should all buckle their seat belts this baseball season. Some monumental moves are still to be made.
While the Giants allowed the trade deadline to quietly pass with little to show for their efforts, their roster is not necessarily set in stone for the remainder of the season.
Pitcher Barry Zito officially cleared waivers on Aug. 14, effectively becoming eligible to be traded.
Although no teams may bite this season, it appears unlikely that Zito will return to the Giants in 2014. He has had a rocky career in San Francisco despite his best efforts. Zito has gone 62-77 with the Giants over nearly seven seasons while posting a mediocre (at best) 4.57 ERA.
The 2013 campaign has not been kind to the left-hander either, as he has a dreadful 5.40 ERA and was demoted to the bullpen in early August.
Manager Bruce Bochy said that Zito's recent struggles and the decision to remove him from the starting rotation were tied together, according to John Shea of SFGate.com:
We’re not going to go to a six-man rotation right now. Barry will help us with the bullpen, and we’ll try to keep him fresh until I find him a start. He’s such a great teammate. He wants to be out there starting. He’s a competitor. He’s got a lot of pride. But I’ve got to make the call, so I’ve got to go with the five who are throwing the best right now, and that’s why Barry will help us out in the bullpen. He’s itching to get out there. You like to see that.
Regardless of Zito's fate, Giants fans will remember his 2012 postseason heroics, when he pitched beautifully in Game 5 of the NLCS with his team on the brink of elimination. In the World Series, Zito bested Tigers ace Justin Verlander in Game 1, tipping the scales immediately in favor of the eventual World Series champion Giants.
A series of players have also recently cleared waivers:
Still, the Giants are unlikely to bite on any of these players. Pitcher Josh Johnson remains an injury risk and is struggling this season with the Blue Jays. With the Giants out of contention, picking up a possible offensive sparkplug like Jimmy Rollins, Michael Young or Adam Dunn makes little sense.
So while the San Francisco roster is not entirely permanent just yet, odds are against it changing drastically any time soon. The team will ride out this season and look toward the future, which will begin with locking up free agents Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence.
The organization still believes in this team and feels it can win with the same faces next season. Good things come to those who wait and, right now, the Giants are waiting patiently.