The San Francisco Giants have now won 16 of their last 19 games (including last night’s W over the Cubs, sigh) and are over .500 for the first time *this season.* And at just 2.0 games out of the Wild Card race in July, their plans over the next week may have just changed.
And that could impact a lot.
- No, I don’t necessarily think the Giants will become buyers at the deadline (their chances of making the playoffs are still under 10%), but until quite recently, a number of their players were obvious trade targets for other teams, including the Cubs (for example: relievers Will Smith and Tony Watson). If those guys get removed from the market, the prices on their alternatives will go up. Supply and demand.
- But I wouldn’t be so quick to assume the Giants’ intentions. For one, the Cubs could win these next two games and set the Giants off on a spiral that changes the calculus yet again. But even if that doesn’t happen, the Giants might still consider moving a reliever or two (dealing from a position of strength), if the return can help them out this season:
Source: #Rays, #SFGiants have been in contact regarding Giants relievers. Giants may move a reliever and keep Bumgarner after recent surge, especially if deal is need-for-need at @MLB level. Joey Wendle or Michael Brosseau would help SF infield. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 23, 2019
- If the Giants are looking for young infield help, the Cubs obviously have guys like Addison Russell, David Bote, and Robel Garcia hanging around, but the first guy is playing poorly and isn’t winning any popularity contests, the second has struggled a lot this season and just signed an extension this Spring, and the last guy may not be destined for greatness, but is pretty much the only offense we’ve seen out of second base for a couple weeks. More importantly, none of them, on their own, are going to get you the impact guy you want, and without picking up a second baseman elsewhere, you’ll just create another hole for the front office. Oh, yeah, Daniel Descalso is also a person. He does not factor into any of this right now.
- The Brewers lost again last night, but are still only 2.0 games behind the Cubs. However, the loss of Brandon Woodruff is going to hurt – perhaps right now more than ever. I know a lot of people believe his absence will push the Brewers to be even more aggressive on the trade front, but that’s not necessarily the only path. If they don’t start winning in the very near-term, they could just as easily also decide to stand pat (or, at least not add as aggressively as we’ve seen). After all, they’re not the only ones looking to add a starting pitcher, and without a particularly strong shot at winning the NL Central, may not be willing to give up as much as other teams like the Braves.
- Speaking of which …
On Marcus Stroman, I was told this morning there are *not* active trade talks occurring between the #BlueJays and #Braves. Of course, that could change between now and next Wednesday. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 23, 2019
- The Tigers also have a starter, Matthew Boyd, that has drawn the attention of many buyers this deadline, including the Phillies, who will send their GM to Detroit to get an in-person look at him and others this week. And while the Cubs don’t figure to play a role in the Boyd sweepstakes, they are said to be interested in Shane Greene and Nicholas Castellanos, both of whom have turned into Cubs targets over the past week or so. If the Phillies are seriously involved with either guy – there have reportedly been trade talks between these two teams already – it’s more potential competition for the Cubs.
- Also reportedly checking on Castellanos, the Rays:
In addition to Cubs, Rays have checked in on Nick Castellanos. Not a perfect fit, tho, and no evidence it’s close yet with them. @cmccosky 1st mentioned Cubs.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 23, 2019
- The Colorado Rockies are reportedly willing to listen to offers for All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon, but I wouldn’t get too excited. Blackmon turned 33 this month, has a 15-team no-trade clause, and has a contract that will pay him at least through 2021 (plus player options through 2023, when he’ll be 37 years old. That wouldn’t necessarily be terrible, if you believed in his bat – at least, for this season – but Blackmon has a 202 wRC+ at Coors … and a 68 wRC+ on the road this season. That is not going to play.
- The White Sox remain open to selling at the deadline, but their biggest trade chip, closer Alex Colome, is still under contract for next season – so they might decide to hold onto him in hopes that he can help them win in 2020 (and if not, they can always trade him at the next deadline). Bruce Levine seems to believe that former Cub Jon Jay could be a nice pickup for the Cubs (he does have a 107 wRC+ this season), but he’s not hitting lefties at all this year (54 wRC+), which has been an issue for this Cubs team (he is crushing righties this year, though, so who knows?). Left-hander Aaron Bummer would be a great for for the Cubs bullpen – in more ways than one – but the White Sox are not interested in trading the breakout 25-year-old. Bummer. [Brett: Leury Garcia wouldn’t be a horrible outfield depth addition.]
- Joel Sherman thinks the Mets need to be realistic about their chances this season and remain all the way open to selling. To that end, they do have former Cub and left-hander Justin Wilson, who has kept lefties to a .111/.238/.167 slash line this season (only 21 batters faced, though), as well as Luis Avilan who has been similarly good against lefties. For some reason, though, I just don’t see the Cubs and Mets getting together this month.
- At The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ben Frederickson makes a case for the Cardinals not only to add a starter at the deadline, but someone that can make a big impact, as well. He doesn’t believe any of the desirable Mets starters (Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard) are actually available and he doesn’t want the injured Zack Wheeler, but he does mention Trevor Bauer, Madison Bumgarner, Matthew Boyd, Zack Greinke, Mike Minor, and Marcus Stroman, all of whom could be available, even if pricey.
- Speaking of Wheeler, he could return on Friday to make at least one start before the Deadline, at which the Mets will desperately try to get some value.