The Giants have dealt with a number of issues this season, but they’re still only a game-and-a-half behind the Dodgers in the NL West, and they currently own a wild-card spot.
They’ve already made one bold move, sending a pair of prospects to the Red Sox in exchange for veteran starter Jake Peavy to shore up a rotation that could be without Matt Cain for the rest of the season. GM Brian Sabean has a history of activity at the trade deadline, and it would be surprising if that’s the only big move he makes (no, signing Dan Uggla doesn’t count as a big move).
Ben Zobrist (AP Photo)
Second base has been a disaster. Six different players have started at least three games there for the Giants this year, and those players have combined for a .179 average and .539 OPS while playing the position. Only the Padres have received worse production from that position (.171 average, .494 OPS).
The Giants have tried to address the issue, of course. Rookies Ehire Adrianza and Joe Panik have been given shots but they’ve proved they’re not ready for a full-time role. Atlanta cast-off Dan Uggla is 0-for-8 (four strikeouts) with three errors in his first three games. This isn’t a give-him-time situation; the Giants should be looking for a better option, and Uggla should be cut as soon as that option’s found.
Here’s a look at a few of the names who have been connected to the Giants, along with at least one bit of speculation.
Ben Zobrist, Rays. At this point, it seems more likely that the red-hot Rays will hold onto Zobrist and David Price and whatever other trade chips they might have considered dealing over the past few months. They’ll have to be overwhelmed to deal Zobrist, who has a team-friendly option for the 2015 season, and it’s doubtful the Giants will offer that package of players even though the versatile Zobrist is an ideal fit.
Giants remain interested in Zobrist despite giving up 2 prospects in Peavy deal. Giants had 2 scouts watching Rays this weekend.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 28, 2014
Martin Prado, Diamondbacks. Prado is another ideal fit for the Giants, though it might be tricky to convince Arizona to send Prado, who is under contract through 2016, to a division rival. Prado would solve San Francisco’s second-base problem for the rest of this season, and then his ability to play third and left field would provide flexibility as the Giants figure out their plan for 2015 (Pablo Sandoval and Mike Morse, respectively, are free agents after this season).
Marlon Byrd, Phillies. This is speculation, because Byrd hasn’t necessarily been connected with the Giants, but he probably is the best bat available on the trade market (20 homers, .794 OPS), and San Francisco needs to be creative in finding ways to improve the offense. He would be an improvement over Mike Morse, a defensively challenged outfielder who (as others have pointed out) has just one homer and a .657 OPS in his past 43 games.
Alex Rios, Rangers. Rios’ average has tumbled over the past month or so; he’s down to .299 average after hitting just .231 in his past 36 games. Still, the Rangers probably are more willing to deal than some of the other teams with players the Giants are targeting.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2014
Chris Denorfia, Padres. The Giants have been connected to Denorfia, but it has to be tough for San Francisco fans to get excited about this possibility. Denorfia, 34, is batting just .244 with one homer in 87 games for San Diego.