Giants focus on relief help as Deadline nears

Thursday, July 29

SAN FRANCISCO — As Saturday’s 1 p.m. non-waiver Trade Deadline crept closer, indications grew that the Giants were almost exclusively concentrating on acquiring bullpen help and had abandoned their pursuit of a hitter.

Sources familiar with the Giants’ trade talks said team officials constantly found that the “prices” for competent hitters, in terms of players San Francisco would have to part with, were far too costly. Giants general manager Brian Sabean has stated his unwillingness to trade left-handers Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner, who routinely appear on other teams’ most-wanted lists.

San Francisco’s most immediate division rivals have fortified themselves. The Los Angeles Dodgers traded for outfielder Scott Podsednik while the San Diego Padres got slugging infielder Miguel Tejada.

But the Giants believe they aren’t so desperate offensively that they must overpay for a proven hitter. Despite Thursday’s 5-0 loss to Florida, they lead the National League with 141 runs scored in July. They’re 18-8 this month. As a result, they’re willing to stand pat.

“I like this club, I do,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “If it’s the right fit, I’m sure something would happen, but this is a good team with a lot of moveable parts. …”

This enables the Giants to throw even more energy into obtaining a reliever — preferably a left-hander, since injuries have sidelined southpaws Jeremy Affeldt and Dan Runzler.

“You know the obvious. We lost two left-handers,” Bochy said. “There’s been a lot of talks. I’ll leave it at that.”

San Francisco reportedly has expressed interest in Toronto lefty Scott Downs, who has limited left-handed hitters to a .182 batting average. Downs also has been effective against righties, who have batted .232 off him.

By contrast, another lefty who captures the Giants’ fancy, Baltimore’s Will Ohman, is the quintessential situational reliever. Left-handers own a .207 batting average against him, compared to .340 for righties.

A handful of right-handers also intrigue the Giants, including Florida’s Leo Nunez, who has a .210 opponents’ batting average against lefties. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Giants are eyeing Seattle’s Brandon League, against whom lefties are batting .235.

Chris Haft, Cash Kruth


I agree that the Giants need relief help. Here is my worry: They worry about giving up too much for a hitter. Picking up a reliever is a lot more risky. Relievers tend to be a year to year proposition. Rumors have it that Downs is the best out there and the Giants don’t have a good chance at him. It is no coincidence that the day that Posey’s hitting streak ends that the Giant’s lose. Torres, Huff, and Posey carry this offense. They still only put up numbers when more than one of them is hot. The other two teams contending for the west have picked up bats and are looking at pitching as well. Sabean yet again waits to the last minute and we miss out. Dunn and Bautista give you power and versatility. Bautista gives you excellent defense. Both guys want extensions. Podsednik would have been nice. Giants blew that! Most teams are asking for prospects. In my opinion, I’d give any 3 or 4 guys. I’d also be willing to trade Jonathan Sanchez. I’d like to give Pablo another year. I only see 5 position players, 4 starters, and one reliever that are untouchable.

I just read that Jon Heyman twittered that Toronto wants Emmanuel Burriss and Adriana in a Jose Bautista deal. I don’t remember the last name. I hear another commentthat they are asking too much. Are you kidding me? Give them both of those and any other prospect. Giants like defense, cheap, young, and proven hitter. Add the fact that he can play both 3rd and outfield. You almost have to get him after what the Dodgers and Padres are doing. They got hitters and are looking for pitching. It seems like the price for Dunn is ridiculous. Get it done Giants. I haven’t seen any of these big name players being traded for anymore than prospects. If the Giants can’t get something done, they are making excuses. I’m tired of it!

I heard the Blue Jays also wanted Jonathan Sanchez in the Bautista deal–therefore it was a no go. It was painfull to see Sanchez forced to relieve last night. With Wilson having back spasams last night–relief is a priority right now.

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