Phew, Tim Lincecum threw his second no-hitter.
As Giants fans (presumably, if you're on this page reading Giants-centric articles), let's all take a second to rejoice.
Ahhh. Bask in it, bask in it...
Okay. Now, who should we trade!
The Giants remain in first place in their division but have faltered recently. At 46-32, they're still in good shape heading toward the trade deadline. But as the past few weeks have shown, there is room for improvement.
And, with the team still fourteen games over .500, general manager Brian Sabean will be shopping for a player to push them over the edge and into the playoffs after missing out in a disappointing 2013 campaign.
Well, it's an even year. And after World Series wins in 2010 and 2012, and missing the playoffs in 2011 and 2013, clearly the Giants thrive in even years.
You've probably heard a few that involve the Giants. They are checking out the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox's Gordon Beckham, and given the way they just lost both games of a two-game series at U.S. Cellular Field, it's easy to see why.
Beckham is an intriguing option. He can play second and third base, and the Giants need another anchor with Brandon Crawford in the middle of the infield. While the 27-year-old doesn't hit for average (he's a career .250 hitter), he can hit for power. This season, Beckham has seven home runs along with 14 doubles.
The downsides? Beckham might have peaked too early. After a great start to his career, he didn't even plateau—he declined. His rookie season in 2009 was also his best season, and he only batted .270.
Maybe he needs a change of scenery.
Jeff Samardzija is more of a stretch. Despite Tim Hudson's recent struggles, he's still been a rock in the rotation. He leads the staff in ERA at 2.62. Madison Bumgarner has taken over the ace role brilliantly (111 strikeouts, 2.63 ERA, 1.14 WHIP).
Plus, Lincecum just pitched a no-hitter. His second. All his struggles over the past few years can be put on the back burner until his next start.
But Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong haven't been sharp. Both have ERA's north of 4.00, with Cain's creeping closer to 5.00.
If the Giants want to not only make the playoffs, but make a deep run through the playoffs, they might need a solid number three. It pains me to say this with workhorses like Cain and Vogelsong still involved, but it's a harsh reality.
Samardzija is tied to a lot of teams, so Sabean might have to give up more than he's willing. So who else?
Enter Jason Hammel. He's a veteran with sub-par numbers, but bear in mind he pitched for the Rockies at Coors Field for much of his career. This season with the Cubs, Hammel has a 2.99 ERA and a 6-6 record on a losing team.
Unlike Beckham, Murphy has a career .291 batting average and has steadily improved his game every season.
Here's hoping Sabean can make another blockbuster trade at the deadline. Remember, it's an even year.
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