Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
The San Francisco Giants were sitting on top of the baseball world not too long ago. Then the wheels fell off, culminating in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers this past weekend.
The pressure has been mounting for some time. So has a sense of relegation to the fact that the options to improve the club are limited. Per the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea in early July:
Like the A's, who have the Angels on their tail, the Giants' main competition comes from Southern California. Though in the Giants' case, it's more about their own collapse than the Dodgers' rise. Sabean called it ‘an impossibly frustrating place to be in,’ suggesting on Comcast SportsNet that if the Giants don't start winning, ‘I guess turning into a pumpkin was bound to happen.’
Sabean looks to next season and sees no third baseman, second baseman, left fielder or closer, considering the contracts of the men with those titles are expiring. With his team losing regularly, trading prospects to upgrade the roster could be pointless.
Strong words from general manager Brian Sabean. But the reality of his roster’s shortcomings is harsh.
To be sure, it is not an enviable position to be in, and making matters more difficult for Sabean is that he is chasing the same thing almost every other contender is—offense.
Heading into play on Wednesday, the Giants sat in the middle-ish of the National League in most offensive metrics and had large holes at second base, shortstop and in center field.
The eventual returns of Angel Pagan and Brandon Belt should help, of course, but the team needs an impact bat, or two.
As such, the Giants are going to surprise many and pick up both Asdrubal Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians and Emilio Bonifacio from the Chicago Cubs.
Regarding Bonifacio, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman noted on Wednesday that the Giants were one of three teams taking a long look at him, and he would certainly provide the type of versatility at the plate and in the field that manager Bruce Bochy needs.
Also, Cabrera has been on Sabean’s list for some time, per Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi.
Think the Giants can’t add them both? Think again.
Sabean will use the considerable pitching depth in the minor leagues to land each player. It stands to reason that No. 1 prospect Kyle Crick is safe given the fact that neither Bonifacio nor Cabrera is a superstar.
However, guys like Adalberto Mejia (No. 4), Ty Blach (No. 6) and Clayton Blackburn (No. 7) will certainly be used to leverage each player away from his organization.
Simply put, Sabean is going to put the Dodgers on notice with two phone calls.