The MLB trade deadline is less than two weeks away and the Giants, who figure to be major sellers, have yet to ship off any of their aging, overpaid or underperforming chattel.
Just about everyone on the roster – with the exceptions of catcher Buster Posey and pitcher Madison Bumgarner – could be moved for the right price.
According to USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, third baseman Eduardo Nunez is drawing interest from the Boston Red Sox, who lead Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East by just two games. Ironically, the BoSox are in need of a third baseman due to colossal failure of Pablo Sandoval, who was part of the Giants’ three world championship teams before fleeing for greener pastures – green, as $95 million – in Beantown.
Boston’s need became even greater when the rival Yankees, four games off the pace, acquired Todd Frazier to shore up their corner-infield deficiencies.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman reports that two Giants pitchers – starter Jeff Samardzija and reliever Hunter Strickland – are drawing interest, but not the usual levels of mania that usually exist in late July. As Schulman points out in his July 18 article: “... The Giants have a problem that all potential sellers face: a lack of buyers. In fact, one major-league executive asked rhetorically, "Has there ever been this few buyers in the wild-card era?”
Nuñez, Samardzija and Strickland don’t figure land the Giants the kind of haul that the Yankees collected last season when they dealt away Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran to contending clubs. Miller, who was dealt to the Indians, and Chapman, who went to the Cubs (and subsequently re-signed by the Yanks this past offseason), helped their new clubs clinch pennants, while New York stockpiled its minor league system. The Giants injury-prone right fielder Hunter Pence also falls into the Nuñez-Samardzija-Strickland category.
Power-hitting first baseman Brandon Belt probably will fetch the most in return for the Giants, though his contract – $68 million through 2021 – could be a deal-breaker for some.