Hazard Pay: Injuries Dictating Giants' Trade Market
The San Francisco Giants sit in second place in the National League West, and atop the NL Wild Card race as well.
Yet there are still many fans out there making noise, wanting the Black and Orange to pull off one more move to make that final playoff push.
But it seems that, whenever the Giants are linked to a player, something goes wrong that takes them out of reach.
And for those (like me) who think the current roster has what it takes to make it to October, that could or could not be a good thing. As the prices for the remaining (AKA healthy) free agents goes up, the Giants become less and less likely to pull the trigger.
This sets GM Brian Sabean up to make maybe a small move or two to simply bolster the roster without shaking up too much.
With every injury, a door closes. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
David DeJesus - Thumb
David DeJesus was an interesting trade prospect for the Royals. He's a corner outfielder that can hit with a little bit of power and consistently hits for a pretty good average. Think Randy Winn but subtract 15 points and five homers from his 2008 form.
Acquiring DeJesus would move Aubrey Huff back to first base, pushing Travis Ishikawa to the bench and probably pushing Aaron Rowand or Nate Schierholtz to the bench as well.
When DeJesus ruled himself out for the season, it shook up the outfield market altogether. The Royals were poised to sell, but now they can't trade their top trade chip because he's not playing until 2011.
That means all of the attention that was being focused on DeJesus from teams like the Dodgers, Padres, Red Sox, and Rays had to be re-aimed.
Kansas City was down an outfielder, which also took Jose Guillen off the market, and would prompt either a blow-away offer or the addition of another outfielder somewhere, which the Giants can't offer.
It also gave those other teams an edge in the market and allowed them to up their asking price, which means it would probably take a lot more than just a Scott Barnes to bring in a major-league contributor.
Corey Hart - Wrist
Corey Hart has been a rumored target for the Giants since they rolled through Milwaukee before the All-Star Break.
But remember, the Giants headed into Milwaukee only one game over .500 (41-40), in fourth place, and were scuffling on all fronts.
Since then, the Giants are 16-4 and have climbed back to within 2.5 games of San Diego and are separating themselves from the NL West on (surprisingly) the offensive front.
Which makes us writers think that Corey Hart is not necessary to this team. Especially at the cost of Jonathan Sanchez. The fact that he is having a very above-average year for him also is a little disconcerting.
But Hart did us all a favor and hurt his wrist.
Not that I condone getting injured, but adding an offense-first outfielder while pushing one of the hottest Giants hitters (Travis Ishikawa) to the bench AND losing the fourth starter on arguably the best staff in baseball was not for me.
Shane Victorino - Oblique
The Giants were not looking at Shane Victorino.
In fact, Shane Victorino is not on the trade market. At all.
But his neighbor in right field, Jayson Werth, is.
Werth is up there as one of the most coveted trade chips on the market, and he was definitely on his way out of Philadelphia at the right price when Shane Victorino strained an oblique yesterday on a routine fly ball.
The Phillies are only 3.5 games out of first place. With your starting CF out of the lineup for a couple weeks, trading your starting RF (and an integral part of your offense) isn't really a good idea.
The Phils know that. Werth is now off the market, which leaves a banged-up Hart and Scott Podsednik as the best outfielders to trade for this summer, as we saw the Dodgers trade for the latter yesterday.
The Giants will not bite.
There have already been some big moves on the market.
Cliff Lee was shipped to the Rangers. Dan Haren was sent to the Angels. And it looks like Roy Oswalt is on his way to Philadelphia.
But with the injuries, it looks like Jayson Werth is staying put, and the asking price for Prince Fielder and Corey Hart is too much to ask.
Look for the Giants to maybe make a move to bolster the bullpen. I think Downs could be that guy, and the Giants would probably be fine parting with a mid-level pitching prospect to get him.
I don't see Sabean making a play for one of the position players our there, as there hasn't been much shortage of offense from this group of guys on the current roster.
If there's one thing that the Giants are familiar with, it's not to get over-excited about fragile goods. And that's not what they're going to do this deadline.