The Giants have been one of several teams in the running for Carlos Beltran. As the trade deadline approaches, one of these teams will get the slugger, while the others must figure out other ways to improve their lineup.
Yesterday David Lennon tweeted that there was “increasing chatter” Beltran may be headed to San Francisco. By no means is that indicative that a deal with the Giants is imminent, however. Peter Gammons also tweeted, saying the front runners also include the Phillies and Braves.
If San Francisco isn’t able to obtain Beltran, they have a few other possibilities. Their needs range from outfield to catcher to the middle infield. These are a list of options the Giants may have instead of Carlos Beltran.
The 25-year-old shortstop would be a promising young addition to the Giants’ lineup. His batting average of .228 is underwhelming but this is only Desmond’s third year in the majors. He might heat up and would be a nice member of the Giants’ infield.
The Giants might still be looking at Desmond’s teammate. They called Nationals GM Mike Rizzo in early June to discuss Ivan Rodriguez.
Nothing new has really come of that, but in a recent article, Andrew Baggarly brought up the idea again.
While Rodriguez is 39, he has a good attitude that would fit well in the Giants clubhouse. His offensive numbers wouldn’t be a big addition to San Francisco’s lineup but his experience and skill behind the plate is something the Giants need in a catcher.
As the conversations about Carlos Beltran get more intense, other options begin to present themselves.
B.J. Upton could be one of those options. He might even be more attractive to teams in the long run. Ken Rosenthal says Upton is not as impressive a hitter as Beltran, but he’d still be an upgrade to the Giants offense. He’d be another great center fielder to put behind Tim Lincecum and Co.
Buster Olney speculates that Upton could be a good fit for the Giants. One of the things that separates Upton from Beltran for the better is the fact that Upton is under club control through next year.
San Francisco doesn’t want to lose one of their prized prospects for a rental player. Someone who will be around for more than two months might have a better chance of being traded to the Giants.
Hunter Pence is one of the names that has been heard around the league. He’s a skilled outfielder with a .290 batting average and 11 home runs so far this season.
The Astros have been shopping many players on their team but Nick Cafardo notes a source saying Houston will be hanging onto Pence. If the Giants cool their Carlos Beltran hunt, they’d have more available to offer the Astros in return for Pence.
It’s not likely he’ll be moved at this point, but that same Astros’ source also said Pence could be moved in the offseason. If he isn’t a definite long-term piece in Houston’s future, there’s a chance management could change their mind within the next week.
If the Giants don’t end up getting Hunter Pence, they might want to look to his teammate. Michael Bourn has a batting average of .298 with 32 RBIs so far and has a fielding percentage of .992 after 96 games.
Several writers have brought up Bourn’s name throughout the month but Stephen Goff says that’s the reason he’s even part of trade talks. While it’s unknown whether the Astros plan to trade Bourn, he’d definitely be an upgrade for the Giants.
Kosuke Fukudome would be a cheaper alternative to Carlos Beltran. The $4.3MM left on his contract is less than that of Beltran’s.
Fukudome is 34. He’s a bit older than Beltran but is hitting .272 on the season with 3 homers and 13 RBIs. Jason Churchill says four teams are looking at Fukudome, and San Francisco could be in the mix.
He was a home run hitter in Japan, though his numbers don’t show it during his time in the MLB.
Josh Willingham has been the center of trade rumors for weeks now. He could be helpful to the Giants with his .241 batting average and 13 home runs on the season. The 32-year-old does well in right field, but with Nate Schierholtz out there, the Giants might want to move Willingham to left.
Either way, Willingham is highly sought after for a reason.
Francoeur has been hitting .269 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI so far this season, which would be a tremendous upgrade to the Giants' flailing offense. He would be a free agent after this season, like many other available players.
Earlier this month, Henry Schulman tweeted that the Giants were interested in Ramon Hernandez. The 35-year-old could be a suitable replacement in 2011 for Buster Posey and has been hitting .306 with ten home runs on the season.
They might be more willing to trade Hernandez, though, if the Giants were to offer more than they could with Carlos Beltran on the line.