Article after article and writer after writer has stated the San Francisco Giants must make an impact this offseason.
But the Giants are not done shopping, and they are certainly not done spending. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, the Giants are looking to trade for a much-needed left fielder. He writes:
As for left field? Well, the Giants don’t like any of the free-agent options out there and aren’t planning any grand expenditures. They’ll try to work the trade market at the winter meetings next month, and could end up settling for a platoon partner with Gregor Blanco, I’m told. There are a few left-handed options out there as well, including the Orioles’ Nate McLouth.
While seemingly there are a plethora of free-agent outfielders, general manager Brian Sabean has expressed an unwillingness to go after any free agents who declined qualifying offers. Sabean stated the following in an article by SFGate.com's Hank Schulman:
We’re not going to be interested in giving up our first-round draft pick, so anybody with a qualifying offer with first-round draft-pick compensation attached to that, we’re probably not going to be in on...So that shrinks the pitchers’ list, and quite frankly, whether it’s through trade or free agency, the ability to get the bat is going to be difficult and may just have to happen over time.
That pretty much disqualifies the Giants from any talks pertaining to outfielders such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz.
While securing a fifth starting pitcher is Sabean's first priority, he cannot ignore the glaring weakness in left field. The thrifty GM ignored the problem last season and to disastrous results.
The Andres Torres/Gregor Blanco combination produced little in 2013. Torres batted a subpar .250, while Blanco hardly picked up the slack, batting .265.
Even worse, the Giants have no power in a historically powerful hitting position.
On the flip side, Sabean's logic does have some...logic to it.
The Giants have not been quiet thus far this offseason, re-signing outfielder Hunter Pence, pitchers Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez and staying active in the free-agent pitching market. Still, if they do not want to part with their first-round draft pick and sign a premier free-agent outfielder, Sabean will need to use his savvy to make a trade.