San Francisco Giants: Jonathan Sanchez and 5 Players Most Likely to Be Traded
Some players, like Jonathan Sanchez, might not be on the San Francisco Giants' roster for much longer.
As the trade deadline draws nearer, general managers will begin to field calls more seriously. All sorts of names will be tossed around, but only a few will actually be dealt.
Here are the five Giants most likely to be traded, and the odds that they'll actually leave town.
Pat Burrell got off to a fast start, blasting five homers in the first 16 games of the season.
In the 76 games since, he has hit only two.
Pat the Bat has been a bit of a disappointment in 2011, hitting just .237/.343/.421 in 171 at-bats.
But his one-year $1 million contract makes him a highly affordable option for any team willing to take a chance on a veteran power hitter.
In the long run, Burrell has more value with the Giants as a fifth outfielder with pop who can pinch hit off the bench or start from time-to-time.
Odds (of getting traded): 15:1
Since recovering from his foot sprain, Barry Zito has compiled three quality starts, going 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings pitched.
Most impressively, Zito has shown excellent command, striking out 11 to just four walks. The improvement is a direct result of mechanical alterations Zito made while in Fresno.
Zito and his enormous contract will certainly be tough to move. But the former Cy Young winner is in top shape, and could possibly tempt a pitching-starved team like the Cincinnati Reds or Boston Red Sox to bid for his services.
Nate Schierholtz has taken it upon himself to win every game for the Giants, coming up with clutch hit after clutch hit in the later innings.
Nate the Great has turned it on recently, hitting .421 since June 25th. He has slugged .649 over that span, and is definitely the hot hand in the Giants order.
With a year-to-date line up to .293/.343/.464, Schierholtz is finally living up to his huge potential and is a viable every day option in right field.
However, the Giants reportedly have interest in Carlos Beltran, which could be a sign that Schierholtz doesn't figure into the team's future plans.
If San Francisco wants to sell high on Schierholtz, now is the time. But chances are the Giants keep him around for his exceptional defense and ride out his hot streak.
The recently activated Mike Fontenot might not be needed on the Giants for the remainder of the year.
With Brandon Crawford starting regularly at shortstop, Miguel Tejada has taken on the super-utility infielder role. He has taken starts at third and, for the first time in his career, at second base.
San Francisco also has Manny Burriss on the active roster, who can play either middle infield position.
Freddy Sanchez's future is still up in the air, but the former NL batting champ is optimistic he can delay season-ending surgery and return sometime in August.
Whether or not Sanchez can return will impact what the team does with Mike Fontenot, who will be an extra infielder should Sanchez get healthy.
Though he's hitting just .227, Fontenot is a career .267 hitter and a serviceable fielder. At 31 years of age, Fontenot is an attractive option to any team looking to add infield depth.
Once the prized young left arm of the rotation, Jonathan Sanchez is now the odd man out in San Francisco.
However, it's more than likely that Sanchez's poor June (1-2, 4.91 ERA) combined with Barry Zito's return from a foot sprain influenced the Giants to sideline Sanchez as an easy fix.
Sanchez will certainly expect a rotation spot when he recovers from injury, but it's far from guaranteed. Barry Zito has pitched three great games in Sanchez's stead, going 3-0 with three earned runs in 21 innings.
The Giants may be hesitant to pull Zito when he's pitching better than he ever has in a Giants uniform. And they are certainly not going to put the walk-prone Jonathan Sanchez in the bullpen.
So it seems the best solution is to ship Sanchez out of town.