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San Francisco Giants Fumble a Punt at the Non-waiver Trade Deadline

For a professional baseball franchise that has been on the down-trend the past three years, the effort shown by the San Francisco Giants at the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline was uniquely inept.

And by that I mean, sure, we’ve come to expect a fairly static level of ineptness from the Giants front office and General Manager Bobby Evans since 2015.

But by essentially standing pat at the July 31st trade deadline, they discovered previously unexplored dimensions of hapless front office ineptness. (By the way, that’s trademarked.)

Now here’s where Giant fans will jump up excitedly and point to the July 25th trade of IF Eduardo Nunez to the Boston Red Sox for minor league pitchers Shawn Anderson and Gregory Santos.

The only reason that deal was made is that Boston needed a utility infielder to pair with talented rookie 3B Rafael Devers, rated the 4th best minor league prospect in the Majors.

Maybe the Giants can pair Gregory Santos, who is 17 years old, with their first pick in the 2017 first year player draft, outfielder Heliot Ramos, also 17.

To paraphrase the great Casey Stengel: Rafael Devers is 20 years old; in three years he has a good chance to be a superstar. Ramos and Santos are 17 years old; with any luck, in three years they have a good chance to be 20.

You might well ask, “OK Mr. Baseball Smarty-tush Dude, what did you expect the Giants front office to do at the trade deadline?” First of all, I think the name-calling is out of line, but I’ll be pre-2017 presidential and let that slide.

In a way that’s actually a good question.

There’s no doubt the Giants had little of value to offer other teams, either from the 25-man roster or their bottom rung farm system. So they were not in a very advantageous position. But we saw zero drive and creativity from the front office to get any kind of deals done that could help advantage the Giants in 2018 and beyond.

But there were some pretty funny SF Giant headlines at MLB Trade-Rumors.com the past several weeks.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick noted that San Francisco tried to interest other teams in RP Hunter Strickland, without any success. And one Crasnick headline boldly declared, “Giants Shopping Denard Span”.

Span, who will be 34 next year can barely throw the ball from center field to second base. He is a lead-off hitter with a .328 OBP. His Rtot (the number of runs a player is worth based on the number of plays made) is -11.

Denard Span has one more year to go on his ridiculous $31 million three-year contract. With a $4 million buyout clause in 2019, the Giants will owe Span at least another $13 million over the next two years.

Now why didn’t some MLB team jump at that?

We should probably forgive the Giants front office for bungling a chance to use the trade deadline as a starting point to begin rebuilding this team and its mediocre minor league system.

Staff Photo by Matt Stone

Because their attention has been almost exclusively focused on re-signing former Giants players; you know, to keep the fanbase happy.

Pablo Sandoval will soon appear at a third base near you, so unpack those panda tee-shirts and funny hats.

And there are also rumors the Giants are anxious to bring back former infielder Matt Duffy and his career .719 OPS from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Could Sergio Romo, Ryan Vogelsong, and Gregor Blanco be far behind?

Essentially what San Francisco Giants’ ownership and front office management are doing is creating a virtual player petting zoo for their player-branded fans.

Forget about all that winning stuff and come to the ballpark. That’s where you can pretend that every game is a sell-out and you can visit the ballplayers you’ve come to love over past six years.

Then shout out their funny nicknames, and be sure to buy lots of replica jerseys, curiously-priced beer, and greasy garlic fries.

15 thoughts on “San Francisco Giants Fumble a Punt at the Non-waiver Trade Deadline

  1. Accurately called. Best bet is to make wholesale changes starting at GM & Manager.
    Evans is not the answer & Bochy while headed to the HOF can no longer succeed with trying to eke out 1 good season from past their prime over the hill players.

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    1. JF–
      I agree that anything less than the Giants organization clearing house at the top will be a sham (and maybe even a travesty of a mockery of a sham!).

      Yes, we honor Bruce Bochy for his leadership and well-earned plaque at the Hall of Fame; but right now? Adios mi amigo– here’s your gold watch and permanent parking pass at AT&T Park, enjoy the fishing!

      Like

  2. Yep, any serious attempt to rebuild the team has to begin by replacing Sabean and Evans with a completely new group that is given full authority to remake the team.

    At that point, deals for Bumgarner, Posey, Crawford and Panik, which could bring in some serious future talent, together with some smart draft picks the next couple of years, could begin to put together a team that might be relevant again by 2020 or 2021. Only problem is that with Larry Baer at the helm, that will never happen. He will never give that kind of authority to anyone as long as revenues are good and fans continue to believe in “next year.” Because we have two really good players.

    After the Giants lose their 100 games, plus or minus, this year, they’ll tweak the roster in order to assemble a true contender next year. And then lose another 100 games. I hope that the true nature of the problem, and the necessary solutions, may start to sink in.

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  3. Snarky but lacking any substance. Bitching about not doing anything while simultaneously admitting there was nothing worth trading is silly. No one wants anyone except Posey, Bumgarner, Crawford and maybe Panik. Belt is much too expensive for his output. Everyone else is just spare parts or very overpriced. What, realistically, could they have done?

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    1. BP–
      That the Giants had nothing to bring to the non-waiver trade deadline other than a bunch of older under-performing players with big contracts, and a failed farm system, apparently wasn’t obvious to their fanbase.

      So the point here is twofold.

      First, the organization deserves to be held accountable for getting to this point. They are 4th richest MLB franchise, with the wealthiest ownership group of any professional sports franchise in the country (Forbes.com).

      Yet, under Larry Baer, they’ve managed to take the success they initially had and then run the franchise into the ground. Meanwhile, much of the rest of baseball has passed them by.

      Second, the ownership group and front office management apparently aren’t going to change anything. The Giants are printing money and are busy investing in media outlets and massive retail projects in San Francisco.

      And they’re assuming they can continue to dangle shiny objects in front of their fanbase (Pablo Sandoval, the non-sellout sellouts at AT&T Park, etc.) and everything will be fine.

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      1. Agreed, but the headline suggests that they should have done something. I don’t think they had anything to do that something with except the Big 3, one of whom is just back from the DL. So the headline misleads the reader into thinking its a discussion of what could have been done, not what is wrong with the organization. Headlines matter.

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      2. the big thing is that evans needs to be on a seriously short rope. I think that a lot of people you included are going too hard but the serious issue is that eveans hasn’t really made too many good decisions since being made GM, cueto is a ? that may or may not work out in the end, Samardzija has been performing but he also cost a first round when there was no comp pick or anything leaving the draft season a wasteland, nunez was okayish, span should not have had such a backloaded contract that puts him in the untradable zone and in general the issue seems to be one of pure perception in that evans has drafted, traded and signed guys based on reaction (as opposed to what sabean did). Last year was like , everyone said we need a closer so I am getting a closer BOOM done! but it didn’t address the other holes – the previous year it was everyone says we need rotation pieces BOOM cueto and shark – but it again didn’t address the other issues like the outfield and the pen that were on their last legs – so in the end what a GM should be doing right now is throwing it at the wall, seeing what strengths you have and building around them – you can build around posey, crawford and bum, I don’t think they need to be traded but I also think you need to strategically add non flashy pieces around them to make the team better and not to chase shiny objects and sign guys based on what callers on the radio complain about – and stop giving away all your pieces for short term needs when the system is empty…..

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  4. Some great comments. All true. For a real accurate healthy blueprint on how to play the game build a strong baseball organization that continually keeps itself fresh and looks to build from within…..think… Dodgers. The success of that team is a reflection of the focus and skill within their management under Freidman. Its like any successful business that invests big money in research and development. The Giants are a throwback to old school teams where a few people want to wrap their arms around job security and money. As long as they can CONTINUE to point to the value of the franchise increasing each year the fans will have to accept mediocrity and stagnation.

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    1. actually you can’t think dodgers, so much of their success has been leveraging an investor group money in order to gain advantages like taking on bad contracts to get a guy, taking bad contracts for spending bonuses and comp picks, signing a whole bunch of guys for the rotation that have questionable health and not caring if you have to shelf half of them…. it isn’t the way the game is played it is the way it is gamed, and the league is catching on but it is too late because they already cheated enough to build a strong framework and farm.

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  5. The 48 seconds it took to read this horribly written column I’ll never get back. Some experts had them going to the World Series.

    Almost all the players are freakishly having regressive years all at once. The same front office brought 3 titles. Your age analogy was anal-ogy. Pull your head out.

    Try again. Fire everyone?? Let’s start with you.

    Like

    1. Ray–
      Opinions vary.
      Per The Giants Cove strict “Customer First” policy, your 48 second rebate is in the mail.

      Two things: I don’t think many of the Giant players are “freakish” in their regression this season. This is a combination of too many older players on the bad side of 30, too many less than league average players playing every day, and poorly constructed starting pitching and bullpen staffs.

      Nothing freakish about that. Add to that the resurgent progressive front offices in Arizona and Colorado and this “freakish” season could extend for another two or three years.

      Second, excellent play on words in your second paragraph. Disrespectful (I wouldn’t say the same to you simply because I disagree with you), but inventive.

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      1. Great comments. In MLB its all about who can construct and maintain the strongest roster assembly line minors to majors. Free agency is only patchwork. The assembly line extends itself through depth in talent through players and management. The Giants have spent too much time counting their money since the since the WS that took 52 years to accomplish. Until the Giants shake up their system and invest in an increased amount of staff and analytics the assembly line will remain weak which will produce poor minor league talent. Unfortunately managements focus the past few years has been outside the team and been spending time and resources on money making projects such as Mission Rock. A major shakeup to start to turn things around if it happened today….minimum 3-5 years. The businessmen running the team measure things in dollars not wins. You will only know a turnaround is possible when Sabean and Evans go.

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