The Giants have gone 11-22 in their last 33 games, dropping them below .500 and putting them four games out of the NL wild card race. While the club was would have resistant to being term sellers just three days ago, the Giants”now listening to their veterans” in trade negotiations, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post (Twitter link). MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand also tweeted that according to a rival executive, San Francisco was apparently “ready to sell”.
Assuming the Giants are indeed poised to become sellers to some degree, they immediately become an intriguing team to watch ahead of Tuesday’s 5 p.m. trade deadline. President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi has taken a measured approach to sales in the past, even during the 2019 and 2020 deadlines when the Giants had much more momentum to completely tear down an aging and expensive roster. A major overhaul certainly doesn’t seem to be in the works this time around, because with the Giants less than a season away from winning 107 games, Zaidi must surely feel his squad can get back in contention in 2023 (or could even regroup for a strong end to the playoffs this year).
Pending free agents are the most obvious trade candidates, and Carlos Rodon would immediately be a major new entry into the pitching market if the Giants made him available. The southpaw is in the midst of a stellar season and has recently released a purchase option which allows Rodon to opt out of his contract after the season. Rodon owes $22.5 million in 2023, but since he can surely strike a much more lucrative, longer-term pact in free agency, he seems like a safe bet to exercise his opt-out.
The White Sox decided not to issue a qualifying offer to Rodon last winter, so he’s still eligible for the QO tag this offseason now that we know the qualifying offer system will still be in place. The Giants can recoup a compensatory draft pick in exchange for Rodon’s services if he signs elsewhere, and so if rival teams are interested in Rodon at the deadline, they’ll have to offer San Francisco something bigger than that pick. compensatory. Speculatively, this could be a player closer to the big leagues, as someone who can provide more immediate help could be better for a Giants team planning to win next year.
As with other free agents, Wilmer Flores, Dominique Leonand Joc Pederson would all generate interest, even though Pederson was just placed on the seven-day IL for concussions. A team would take some risk in acquiring Pederson given the unpredictable nature of concussion-related symptoms, and of course the return of the Giants in a Pederson trade would be impacted by that uncertainty.
Evan Longoria is also on the injured list as a strained right hamstring continued an injury-plagued year for the veteran third baseman. The Giants hold a $13 million club option on Longoria for 2023 which doesn’t seem too likely to be exercised at this point, although Longoria also said that he could retire after the season. Since Longoria has already started conducting scheduled field exercises in the first or second week of August, another team could take a flyer on a veteran who is still doing well when healthy. long time giant Brandon Belt is also a free agent after the year, although a trade doesn’t seem too likely since Belt has also struggled with injuries and only has one good year at the plate. Belt may also refuse any trades due to his rights as a 10 and 5 veteran.