San Francisco Giants: 5 Players the Giants Should Acquire to Increase Depth
In 2010, the Giants ignored all the pundits screaming for a big bat and made no blockbuster deals at the trade deadline.
Instead, they accumulated depth in the form of Pat Burrell, Jose Guillen and Cody Ross over the course of the year.
Not all of them ended up being good decisions. Jose Guillen, the costliest to acquire, ended up tanking spectacularly, but his failure has been masked by the successes of Ross and Burrell.
The message is clear: Gathering depth can be just as effective at shoring up weaknesses as investing in a big star. And it's a lot cheaper.
Here are five players the Giants should consider adding to their roster to improve their chances of repeating.
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Currently playing for the Chicago Cubs, Baker fills the utility role that Mark DeRosa should have. He can play third, second or first.
A career .279 hitter, Baker is currently batting .376/.391/.494 in 85 at-bats in 2011. As recently as 2009 Baker hit .305 for a season.
The 29-year-old could fit in nicely for the Giants, providing a solid bat off the bench in the infield.
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Perkins has been one of few bright spots in Minnesota this season.
In 22 appearances, the lefty has logged a 1.59 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP. He's struck out 22 to only nine walks, and has yet to allow a home run this year.
Lefties Jeremy Affeldt and Dan Runzler have been anything but consistent this year. The duo has combined to give up 25 runs in 36.1 innings of work, good for a 6.19 ERA.
Javier Lopez, the other southpaw in the pen, has been stellar with a 1.06 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. But he cannot be the only reliable lefty for Bruce Bochy.
Perkins burst onto the major league stage in 2008 when he went 12-4 for the Twins, but has since regressed and was demoted to the minors, where he was converted into a reliever.
His history as a starter should be advantageous to San Francisco. Lopez, though extremely valuable, has been used historically as a lefty specialist and is ill-equipped to go more than one inning.
Perkins could compliment him nicely as a middle or long reliever.
The Red Sox opening day starter has been supplanted by youngster Jed Lowrie and his hot bat, relegating Scutaro to a backup role.
If the Giants can give the right offer, they could land the 35-year-old veteran. Scutaro, a .266 career hitter, could help shore up the Giants infield woes by giving Bruce Bochy another alternative to Miguel Tejada.
While definitely not a long-term option, Scutaro could be a very cheap rental player that could come off the bench. We can expect at least serviceable production from him with near certainty, with the possibility that a change of scenery gives the guy a boost for half a season.
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Another left-handed reliever, Marshall has been putting up solid numbers for the Cubs in 2011.
He's notched a 1.42 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in his 19 innings of work. He has also struck out 19 to just five walks.
For the fifth place Cubs, Marshall could be deemed an expendable asset if the season doesn't improve, as they will look to build for next year. If the Giants could negotiate the right price, they could land another dependable arm in this 28-year-old southpaw.
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Aviles, now 30 years old, is an intriguing option for the Giants.
A versatile player, Aviles can play second, third or short. He feels most comfortable as a middle infielder though, with a .976 fielding percentage at either second base or shortstop. His career mark at third is a frightening .912.
The Royals' top third base prospect, Mike Moustakas, is currently hitting .264/.344/.484 in Triple-A Omaha, with eight homers and nine doubles.
Kansas City is in the driver's seat here. There is no need to rush 22 year-old Moustakas, since Wilson Betemit and Mike Aviles are performing fine for the third-place Royals.
But the team is slipping out of the race. Moustakas will be in the big leagues soon, which will force either Betemit or Aviles out (Betemit, the current third baseman, can play second as well.) If the team feels like Moustakas is ready, and are intent on getting him big-league experience this season, they could be interested in dealing one of their veterans sooner rather than later.
Keep in mind that that Aviles is a traditional slow starter. His current .242/.275/.447 line may not look impressive. But the Giants would not complete this deal sooner than the deadline. With a .320/.352/.460 post All-Star break line, Aviles should be one of San Francisco's top trade targets.
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It is very possible that the Giants ultimately decide they like what they have and do not make any deals at all at the deadline.
I would be surprised, however, if they did not address the shortstop position. Tejada is still batting only .220, and his .522 OPS looks like an average slugging percentage.
Before the deadline though, look for Bochy to experiment with the in-house option of playing Emmanuel Burriss at short. If he can hold down the fort defensively, the team will most likely just stick with him rather than go out to grab a guy like Jose Reyes, an improvement not worth the price.