San Francisco Giants: 5 Under the Radar Options to Help Offense
The Giants have one of the worst offenses in baseball.
This is not news but it is something that needs to be improved if the Giants hope to advance to postseason play and advance once there.
But just because they need significant help does not mean they have to go out and break the bank for a slugger or an elite player.
The clear needs are an outfielder or two and a shortstop but who is available and are there contenders that could use an upgrade in the bullpen or rotation?
San Francisco has excess arms in the bullpen and in the rotation that could be very helpful to other teams.
The names won't be huge but they are players who could provide the pop and consistency that the Giants have desperately needed all season.
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Zack Farmer is a freelance reporter who has written for the San Francisco Examiner, Patch.com, Bay Area News Group and CSNBayArea.com.
Laynce Nix, LF, Washington Nationals
2011 Stats: .286 BA, .851 OPS, 12 HR, 30 RBI
The Washington Nationals are starting to slip in the standings and will probably be sellers by the deadline.
There are better, younger options on the Nationals team but they will not part with the likes of Ian Desmond or Danny Espinosa.
That said Laynce Nix could provide much of what the Giants need.
Nix's 12 home runs would lead the Giants and he could be an Eric Hinske-type hitter for the Giants as either a spot starter or a solid pinch hitter.
It would not take much to get him from the Nationals as he has a low price tag with an expiring contract.
Michael Cuddyer, UTL, Minnesota Twins
2011 Stats: .283 BA, .799 OPS, 10 HR, 30 RBI
Versatility is a trait Giants GM Brian Sabean has liked with his recent acquisitions and Michael Cuddyer fits that mold.
He is a player that could be in the lineup near everyday as you give certain players rest.
He can play second base, leftfield, rightfield, third base, mascot. Okay, we'll leave the mascot part out.
He is in the last year of his deal in Minnesota and the 32-year-old veteran would take a bit more to take him away from the Twins but is a very valuable piece with the struggling Twins.
But this is all dependent on whether the Twins get back into the race in the AL Central.
If they fall off more, they could look to move Cuddyer.
This move might take Jonathan Sanchez to complete.
Yunel Escobar, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
2011 Stats: .289 BA, .801 OPS, 9 HR, 29 RBI
The Giants have a huge hole at shortstop and Yunel Escobar could be the guy to fill the void.
His production to this point has proved that point but if they continue to slip, they could look to ship him away if they could get another arm in return.
Other than Sanchez, another pitcher that could be dealt is Dan Runzler.
He would fill the offensive void at the position and not much would be lost defensively by removing Brandon Crawford.
He would also be under control by the Giants into 2015.
Escobar is not Jose Reyes but he is still a very good shortstop and one of the top 10 in baseball.
Melky Cabrera, CF, Kansas City Royals
2011 Stats: .277 BA, .744 OPS, 9 HR, 43 RBI
Melky Cabrera is nowhere in the future plans of the Kansas City Royals.
He is having a solid year and could become available as the Royals fall farther and farther behind in the AL Central.
Adding another versatile outfielder would allow Bruce Bochy to mix and match the lineup defensively and also give him a reliable hitter.
He immediately becomes a better option than Aaron Rowand and Andres Torres, who has started reverting into the proverbial pumpkin this season.
Cabrera will be a free agent after the season.
Brennan Boesch, RF, Detroit Tigers
2011 Stats: .302 BA, .837 OPS, 10 HR, 38 RBI
The 26-year-old outfielder may be the hardest to get.
The Detroit Tigers are in first place in the AL Central and have a significant need: pitching. San Francisco has a surplus of something: pitching.
This could be a solution for both teams.
Brennan Boesch has tremendous power and would be a homecoming of sorts for the former Cal Golden Bear. But it will be a matter of how much will the Tigers want and whether they are even willing to part with him.
Guys like Guillermo Mota or Runzler could be options here but the price could be as high as Sanchez.
He will be arbitration eligible in 2013.