It is no secret that the Giants need a bat, or three. Imagine having Washington National's first baseman Nick Johnson, but before that, let's picture having Dan Uggla.
The Giants automatically would gain a true clean-up hitter. Uggla has averaged 30 home runs and 90 RBI in the last three years. He also had a career high of 171 strikeouts last year. His career stat line sits about .250/.340/.480.
Uggla would be a nice upgrade comparing to Emmanuel Burriss, Kevin Frandsen or Eugenio Velez. His defense is not the best out there, but the Giants need to have some sort of pop in order to contend.
The Giants have been in too many low scoring games, and no matter how good the pitching is, the Giants need to score runs in order to win. It would be a shame to have one of the best pitching staffs in the league and not be able to win games because the Giants can't score runs.
At some point, the Giants will burn their pitching, from starting pitching all the way to the bullpen.
My suggestion for the proposed trade:
Dan Uggla for starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and outfielder Fred Lewis
The Giants will have control on Uggla until 2011. He is salary arbitration eligible for the next two years, and they could help pay him with the expiring contract of Randy Winn. This would be no issue for the Giants.
Uggla will be eligible for FA after 2011. Even if he walks away, the Giants should have a Type-A Free Agent status on Dan Uggla, so that would help the club.
The Marlins will receive Jonathan Sanchez, and although Sanchez has not pitched well, Florida's coaching staff have turned many players to studs, and studs into superstars. Sanchez should perform much better pitching in Miami.
As for Fred Lewis, many Giants fans don't want to let him go, but they don't want to see Nate Schierholtz sit on the bench either. Fred Lewis' departure would set the Giants free with an infield position, and automatically pushes Andres Torres to fourth outfielder.
Although Lewis still has an upside for more power, steals and all around outfield skills, let's be frank—the outfielder position is easier to field than the infield.
Not to mention, this opens a signing for Matt Holiday during the offseason. Matt Holiday is familiar with the NL West, and as buyers, the Giants will have the lineup they have always wanted, with an additional bat.
If for some magical reason, the Giants fill the first base slot with Nick Johnson, the batting order looks much stronger without losing too much.
With the loss of Sanchez, my suggestion is to bring up Kevin Pucetas from AAA Fresno. He was in a battle with Sanchez during Spring Training for the fifth spot on the rotation.
If something dramatically changes, and perhaps the experiment with Pucetas does not work out, the Giants could call up Madison Bumgarner or Tim Alderson from AA. Pucetas owns a 4-1 record with a 3.86 ERA currently in Fresno. If Sanchez doesn't start winning, the Giants would surely be going for a change.
If this was to happen, the Giants would be in position to improve and compete in 2009, and if the Matt Holliday signing happens end of the season, get ready Giants fans—we're out to win it in 2010.