Brian Sabean: Matt Cain Not on Giants Trading Block

Danny PenzaSenior Writer INovember 6, 2008

For those of you who were dreaming about the San Francisco Giants trading Matt Cain to the Milwaukee Brewers for Prince Fielder and JJ Hardy: You might want to curb those hopes of seeing the Prince blasting shots into McCovey Cove.

At the GM meetings in Southern California this week, Giants general manager Brian Sabean declared the team has no plans to deal the 23-year-old right-hander for any offensive help.

So, Mr. Sabean, does that mean Cain is completely untouchable?

"Yes. Clubs know that," Sabean told the San Francisco Chronicle. "That hasn't necessarily discouraged clubs from inquiring or making suggestions of offers. But we don't see anything out there that gives us a net gain by losing him."

So now we add Cain, who was also rumored to be on the move last winter, to the list of untouchable pitchers that already included Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson.

"We have a list of very definitive untouchables for various reasons," Sabean said. "After that, if someone wants to get creative and we could find a way to do something, even if it takes more than one prospect, we're willing to do it."

While Cain may not have a great record over the past two seasons, keeping him isn't such a bad idea.

Yeah, he's had his problems—walking too many batters lately, to name one. But how much of it has to do with knowing that he basically has to pitch a shutout every time he takes the hill?

People tend to forget that while Cain has been around for just over three full seasons now, he is still younger than Tim Lincecum. And while obviously he has more Major League experience than the potential Cy Young winner, he still has a lot to learn about the tools of the trade.

Add to that the fact that the Giants have two of the best pitching prospects, Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner, on the way in the next few years, and the team's rotation could be filling out the strikeout column.

Also, according to the Chronicle, Sabean has been told by new general managing partner Bill Neukom to seek offense in different ways, hoping to build around youngsters Pablo Sandoval and Emmanuel Burriss.

So by keeping Cain around and keeping the emphasis on the younger position players, Sabean is not doing what he has done in the past. It obviously shows the signs that he is commited 100 percent to this youth movement and that Cain is an important piece to the Giants' puzzle.