Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets
The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants have struggled offensively all year.
After the offseason departures of shortstops Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria, the Giants signed Miguel Tejada, who has not filled in capably. Then second baseman Freddy Sanchez went on the disabled list with a dislocated shoulder making the Giants desperate for a productive middle infielder.
Also the Giants star catcher Buster Posey went down with a season ending injury, leaving another huge hole in the lineup. That being said, the Giants biggest targets on the trade market are good hitting catchers and middle infielders, both of which are difficult to find.
The Giants outfield is a bit crowded right now, but they will not look past a power hitting corner outfielder as they are that desperate for offensive improvement, and neither Cody Ross, Pat Burrell or Aaron Rowand have played well enough so far to lock down left field.
Here are five trade options the Giants could seriously consider.
The contract is not an issue for either team, and the Reds could use some pitching help, of which the Giants have plenty.
At age 36, Hernandez is hitting .322 with 10 home runs midway through the season. He would certainly be an improvement offensively for the Giants at catcher, and as a twelve year veteran, he could provide valuable experience down the stretch.
Being a free agent at the end of the year makes Hernandez a perfect temporary replacement until Buster Posey returns from his injury next season, that is if he does in fact catch again.
The Giants have been linked to a few different trade rumors with the New York Mets this year.
First there was much speculation about shortstop Jose Reyes possibly heading to San Francisco, but his recent trip to the disabled list seems to have slowed the rumors circling around the 28-year-old star. Now more recently it is outfielder Carlos Beltran who the Giants may be targeting.
Beltran is having an All Star year in 2011, batting .285 with 13 home runs and 58 RBI. He also leads the league in doubles, which would work well in the power allies of AT&T Park.
The Giants general manager Brian Sabean publicly announced that he is willing to pick up a "rental" player if he is a game changer, such as Beltran who becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
The Mets do not seem to be as reluctant to give up Beltran as they are with Reyes. However, the Giants will most likely either have to give up some prospects or take on most of the money still owed to the 34-year-old outfielder this year. The Giants would probably choose the latter of the two should they make the trade.
For what its worth, Beltran traveled to Arizona for the All Star game with the Giants party and said he would waive his no trade clause if the Mets and Giants work out a deal.
Yorvit Torrealba played in San Francisco for over four seasons at the beginning of his career, which included a trip to the World Series in 2002.
After watching the Giants win the NL West last year over his San Diego Padres and eventually beat his current team, the Texas Rangers, in the World Series, one would think Torrealba would be willing to rejoin his former team by the bay.
Torrealba will still be under contract next year, which would be beneficial for the Giants as he would be a viable back up for Buster Posey if/when he returns as the every day catcher.
Though he is only hitting .261 with three home runs, Torrealba has some pop and would be another weapon in the Giants lineup.
If the Giants were to make this trade, GM Brian Sabean would need to make at least one more trade to bolster the offense without giving up too much, which could keep him from pulling the trigger on Torrealba.
As if Reyes and Beltran were not enough, the Giants also appear to have interest in Mets catcher Ronny Paulino.
At age 30, Paulino could be a good addition to the Giants not only for the remainder of the 2011 season, but maybe even for years to come should they decide to trade for him and then resign him at the end of the season.
With a .320 batting average, Paulino would bring some consistency to the Giants lineup every day and provide capable defense behind the plate.
Sitting at 46-45 and trailing the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies by 6.5 and 11 games respectively, the Mets could become sellers at the deadline, especially if they slip below .500 with Reyes on the DL. In fact, they already appear to be on that track after trading away their closer, Francisco Rodriguez.
This one is a bit more of a stretch, as JJ Hardy and the Baltimore Orioles are hoping to get a contract extension worked out over the All Star break. However, should the Giants start asking about the 28-year-old shortstop, which has not yet been the case, surely the Orioles would at least listen to an offer.
Hardy is making $5.85 million this season, and will be a free agent in 2012 if Baltimore does not resign him. After targeting him last year, and with their current middle infield situation, there is no reason why the Giants would not be interested in him again. His 13 home runs on the year, including seven in the month of June are more than all Giants shortstops this year have combined.
No one has reported talks between the Orioles and Giants about Hardy, but if Baltimore does not extend his contract soon, and Freddy Sanchez hits a snag in his shoulder rehab, it is possible the Giants could look into acquiring Hardy.
Although the talented young shortstop has expressed some desire to stay in Baltimore, he surely would not mind joining a competitive team like the Giants rather than being stuck behind the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays every year.
Plus the Giants could consider Hardy as a rental player should they decide to stick with Brandon Crawford as the shortstop of the future.