With the trade deadline approaching, the San Francisco Giants find themselves in a bit of a predicament.
Back on June 8, the club was 42-21 and ruled the baseball world. Since, the Giants have suffered through a huge collapse and lost their 9.5-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
Now, at 49-40, general manager Brian Sabean has a decision to make.
Should he make some moves to help his club get back on track? If so, what positions should he look to target? Or do the Giants already have the right pieces to make a playoff run?
Here is the strategy the Giants should take leading up to the deadline.
Improve Top of the Order
With Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro both out with injuries, the Giants have not gotten much production from the top of the lineup. The Giants need to bring in table-setters to help spark the offense and score some runs.
Ben Zobrist could be a great addition for the Giants. He can play all over and hit virtually anywhere in the order.
As a switch-hitter with a little bit of speed, Zobrist would be a perfect fit in the 2-slot.
If the Giants really want to make a splash, they would look to acquire Daniel Murphy.
Murphy is hitting .294 this year with a .344 OBP and 11 stolen bags. He would be a nice No. 2 hitter and help to move runners over for the heart of the order.
The Giants desperately need some reinforcements to come in and give the Giants a lift. Dealing for Zobrist or Murphy could be the solution to the offensive woes.
Bolster the Bullpen
With Sergio Romo blowing saves left and right, his days as a closer may be long gone.
During their “June Swoon,” the Giants pitching staff turned in a 4.31 ERA as the typically reliable bullpen began to crumble. The Giants couldn’t hold a lead, as Romo blew three saves and finished the month with a 9.72 ERA.
Sabean has added pieces to the bullpen in the past, and that is exactly what he should do again this year.
The San Diego Padres, at 40-49, are sure to be sellers before July 31 and could deal their closer, Huston Street. The Padres have a great bullpen with Joaquin Benoit and Street as the eighth- and ninth-inning guys. However, according to Hayden Kane of Fansided, the Padres won’t trade both relievers and are more likely to keep Benoit.
If Street is available, the Giants should go for him.
Street is 22-for-23 on saves this year, with his only blemish coming against the Giants this past weekend.
Trading within the division can be tricky. If the Giants can’t pull it off, Steve Cishek of the Marlins would be another solid option.
The sidearmer has converted 19 of 21 saves opportunities this season and allowed just one home run, a big improvement from the seven that Romo has given up.
The bottom line is the Giants cannot afford to give up leads late in the game. Cishek would be a great addition to the back end of the bullpen and help put up zeros late in the game.