Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn are both excellent options for the Giants.
The Mets dealt closer Francisco Rodriguez shortly after the 2011 All-Star Game, leaving Carlos Beltran next in line to be traded. Beltran is in the final year of his massive seven-year, $119-million contract.
Beltran, 34, has played in more games this season than he has the previous two. His stats may say he's in for a big second half, but his knees may say something else.
Carlos has posted a .285 BA, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 28 2B (NL leader in 2B) and a .377 OBP. Without a doubt, Beltran has been on an absolute tear this season. A trade for Beltran might require a lot.
With Beltran up there in age and his knees not like they once were, I argue that there are five better outfield options than the 34-year-old Beltran.
All five options are based on salary (although only half would apply) and what would be needed to trade for that player.
2011 Stats: .293 BA, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 23 2B, .332 OBP and 12 SB
Melky Cabrera is having himself a breakout season in 2011. Melky is set to be a free agent after the season. The Royals are currently paying Cabrera $1.25 million.
Cabrera is not only a lot cheaper than Beltran, but he is also only 26 years old.
Melky has posted career numbers, and is showing that he is the prospect that the Yankees once thought he would be.
Cabrera plays all outfield positions much better than Beltran. Cabrera also brings in nine more SB than Beltran.
This deal might take a prospect or two, but it would be well worth it for the Giants. The only question is where to put Cabrera in the lineup.
2011 Stats: .239 BA, 15 HR, 50 RBI, 13 2B, .325 OBP and 21 SB
BJ Upton was once considered one of the brightest prospects in all of baseball. In 2007, Upton hit .300 with 24 HR and 82 RBI. The only problem with Upton is that he strikes out at a very high clip.
Upton plays phenomenal outfield, which lands him on this list. He also has very good speed and has stolen 40-plus bases in each of the last three seasons.
Upton has seen his average drop in each of the last four seasons since his great 2007 campaign. He has also struck out a total of 130-plus times in each of his last four seasons.
There are times when BJ Upton can be the most frustrating player on the team. But at 26, the kid can still become the great player he is supposed to be.
Upton will be a free agent at season's end, and is only making $4.25 million this season. Upton would require a pretty big trade package, but would be an upgrade as a cleanup hitter.
2011 Stats: .323 BA, 11 HR, 60 RBI, 24 2B, .364 OBP
Hunter Pence ranks lower on this list because of the fact that he is signed with the Astros through 2013 and the Astros would rather not trade Pence.
Pence is blossoming into a great outfielder at the young age of 28. Pence is making $6.9 million this season.
Pence, along with Upton, will require quite a hefty trade package.
The Giants are not a team that makes huge trades, and Pence may not be a realistic option. Pence did have a solid performance yesterday in the All-Star Game because Bruce Bochy placed him in left field.
Do we have a Hunter Pence to the Giants conspiracy? Probably not. It is very improbable that the Giants go out and get Pence, but he would be a great addition to the Giants outfield and the offense as a cleanup hitter.
2011 Stats: .298 BA, 13 HR, 43 RBI, 16 2B, .369 OBP
Cuddyer is the highest paid player on this list. His salary in 2011 is $10.5 million.
The Twins still have a shot in the AL Central, but may be enticed to unload Cuddyer and get what they can for him.
Cuddyer is 32 and has shown some pretty good power in his career. Cuddyer hit 32 homers and drove in 94 RBI in 2009. He is not ideal as a cleanup hitter, but is Aubrey Huff the ideal cleanup hitter either?
A trade for Cuddyer might come easier than any other on this list just based on the salary alone that the Giants would take on. The Giants may need to trade only a prospect for Cuddyer.
Cuddyer is the perfect rental because he is playing for a contract for next season and could provide some much needed power.
2011 Stats: .287 BA, one homer, 27 RBI, 22 2B, seven 3B, .351 OBP and 35 SB
Michael Bourn is 28 and can provide the Giants with some much needed speed. Bourn has produced 60 runs in a total of 90 games this season.
Bourn was signed to a $4.4 million one-year deal early in 2011. The Astros obviously will be a team selling at the deadline, and Bourn would be a perfect fit for the Giants.
A trade for Bourn may not cost an arm and a leg for the Giants. Bourn has a ton of value, but if the Astros are set on keeping Hunter Pence than they might need to trade Bourn for the future.
Bourn, like Pence, is at the ripe age of 28 and would be ideal for the Giants at top of the order. Bourn has stolen 40-plus bases in each of the past three seasons, and is excellent in the outfield.
Michael Bourn is not the power hitter that all Giants fans want, but would provide a spark plug at the top of the order to get eveyone else going.