There isn't a Major League Baseball franchise with any interest in dealing talent in return for John Bowker, Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz. Here are some other thoughts as trade deadline talks begin...
The Giants need a fifth starter, but adding a No. 1 starter such as Roy Oswalt is utterly nonsensical. He's being paid $10 million this year and is owed $16 million in 2011. Throw in his no-trade clause and a team option for $16 million (or a $2 million buyout) in 2012 and ... c'mon! Really? The Giants should have legitimate interest in filling Brad Wellemeyer's spot in the rotation at the cost of a bit over $20 million?
Lee in a package deal?
The soft spot for left-hander Cliff Lee grows and grows. He's just 31 years old and will become a free agent at the end of this season. The Yankees claim they won't try to steal Lee from the Seattle Mariners. The Dodgers are interested. The Dodgers interest makes it imperative that the Giants, at least, consider this rent-an-ace option.
If Los Angeles adds Lee, they become the prohibitive NL West favorite. If the Giants add him, they pay for a half-season of, arguably, the top left-hander in baseball. Then, who knows? AT&T is a pitcher's park, so perhaps the Giants could make a longer-term deal with Lee.
A Lee deal would have to be multi-player and, hel-lo, would cost the Giants players fans don't want to trade. The names of those Class AA prospects (outfielders Roger Kieschnik or Darren Ford), young catcher Tommy Joseph and veteran starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez come to mind. (Did somebody say Velez, Bowker, Schierholtz and Molina for Lee? Be serious.)
Would a half season of a starting rotation including: Lee, Cain, Lincecum, Zito and the fifth guy be worth trading Jonathan Sanchez (or Ma..Ma..Madison Bumgarner) and 3 prospect?
Everybody had a chance to think about trading for Lee?
It's a terrible idea, but feel free to call and float the idea to Marty Lurie on KNBR.
Royals DeJesus makes sense
David DeJesus is a .300 hitting center-fielder who can play all three outfield positions. He's just 31 years old and, well, it's hard to imagine 32-year-old Andres Torres producing over 3 1/2 months as he has in the last eight weeks. So, now that the Giants have 2/3 of the outfield I called for two months -- Burrell and Huff on the corners -- it's pretty important to make sure there's a legitimate defensive outfielder, with some punch, playing between them.
DeJesus will be paid just under $5 million this year. He has a $6 million club option for 2011 and, yeah, I hate thinking about salaries, too. This guy's a career .285 hitter with 45 career homers and 45 career steals in 3,277 MLB at-bats.
The Royals will want more than he's worth. But, Giants' fans are thinking of Aaron Rowand and, likely, very much considering a Bowker, Molina, prospect deal they figure the Royals will fall all over to accept.
Think a big-time prospect (pick your favorite). OK. Now, pick another one. Great. Now, throw in a pitcher with big league stuff.
Still like DeJesus playing the outfield in San Francisco?
Set-up men: Aardsma?
Anyone who claims to have an idea which set-up man is on the market and available for the right price is probably preparing to appear on Comcast Chronicle Live right now.
Set-up men are a dime a dozen. The Giants are, actually, just as likely to get Jeremy Affeldt or Guillermo Mota hot down the stretch as they are getting a journeyman set-up guy without dealing from a position of weakness and having to give up a player with promise.
The Giants should be looking for a closer off of a team that's out of contention.
When the Giants need help this time of year, they usually start with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Octavio Dotel has 14 saves for the Bucs. He's making $6 million this year and entering free agency. The Pirates never want much. They coughed up Freddy Sanchez for highly-overated pitching prospect Tim Alderson.
David Aardsma has double-digit saves for the lowly Mariners. The former Giants prospect is making about the minimum now. In 24 appearances this season he has posted a 1.23 WHIP, a 22/8 K/B ratio and 15 saves. He's only 30 years old and, while he's arbitration eligible, won't be a free agent until 2013.
The Giants should take a look at Aardsma while the Mariners are holding their fire sale.
Hitters: How about Matt Kemp?
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal makes a compelling case for the Dodgers to trade Matt Kemp.
The ownership's floundering in red ink. Brian Sabean and Ned Colletti are close friends. It's far-fetched, but maybe pick up a phone, ya know?
Kemp's a middle of the order guy and, well, some of us dream bigger than others.
The Florida Marlins could be convinced to trade shortstop Hanley Ramirez. He's got a rich contract, but he's an MVP-level hitter and defender.
That leads to the question most Giants fans couldn't even bring themselves to ask ...
Would you trade Buster Posey for Hanley Ramirez?
The Marlins didn't inquire, it's just mentioned so that we can all wrap our minds around the type package it would take to get a legitimate hitter and everyday star player.
Posey, Bumgarner, Renteria (somebody has to play shortstop in Florida)...for Ramirez?
I am not...not...absolutely not suggesting this deal should be presented to the Marlins. And, I certainly don't think the Dodgers would trade the Giants Matt Kemp.
Did I mention that I'd make that trade for Ramirez? Yeah. I would. Posey and Bumgarner...for an MVP shortstop who turns 27 in December. (And, before someone mentions it, we sort of admit that Barry Bonds-like malcontent who might not give 100 percent every day -- except at the plate where he'll deliver like clockwork.)
The point is that...at some point, the Giants are going to want a young, proven star. (You go ahead and wait for the Double-A prospects. I mean, we're done waiting on Bowker...right? Right?) They won't get a middle-of-the-order impact guy without dealing the prospects fans have been brainwashed into thinking are can't-miss-don't-trade guys.
There are a number of .270 hitters who can fill a hole, add some pop off the bench. One who look like a steal last year, based on his career and 2009 numbers, was Ryan Garko.
How'd that work out?
Keep a level head
Did anyone else flinch when all the insiders swooned through his fast start and immediately said, "Buster Posey's a big leaguer. He'll never spend another day in the minors?"
He's a fine young player. He started hot. He has cooled off. But, there aren't any can't-miss prospects and if Posey's 2-for-27 slump becomes 4-for-54, he darn well might wind up back in the minors.
We enter the summer trade season knowing one thing -- we don't know anything.
Perhaps the Giants should put Posey behind the plate every day, put Huff back at first base and go after DeJesus (or someone like him). Acknowledge that Posey's value throwing out would-be base stealers will compensate for down times with the bat.
Torres isn't the everyday, 162-game answer in center. Get used to the idea of Aaron Rowand playing a fair amount. In fact, Rowand's very likely the type veteran other teams are offering in trade.
Ted Sillanpaa is a Northern California sports writer and columnist. Reach Ted at: email@example.com
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