If the Giants can stay as close as they are now to the Dodgers, by the end of July, they could trade Tim Alderson for a much needed bat.
I don't think there will be a ton of guys with season altering skill available, but a nice piece or two could be obtained in the right deal.
There are probably 4 teams in the American League (Tampa Bay, Chicago, Seattle and Oakland) who might be willing to unload an offensive weapon for Alderson.
The Rays might be tempted to give up Carl Crawford, and maybe even SS prospect Reid Brignac for Alderson and a mid range prospect. The problem here is that the Rays have even more pitching talent in the minor leagues than the Giants do. Brignac has fallen out of favor with the Rays, and with Tim Beckham a few years off and Jason Bartlett doing an adequte job, he may be a nice player to pick up to take over when Edgar Renteria's contract expires. Carl Crawford has a contract with a club option for 2010 that would increase his salary to $11.5 million, which might be a little too rich for the Rays. He still has some pop in his bat and is still very fast on the bases. Could you imaging what it would do to the Giants offense if he were hitting in front of Pablo Sandoval?
The White Sox have a few veteran power hitters that they would relinquish perhaps for Alderson. The only one that would be of any use to the Giants would be Jermaine Dye or Paul Konerko. Konerko is the younger of the 2 and his contract expires at the end of the year. At best he could provide a very nice clean up bat, that would allow Molina to drop a spot in the lineup, and at worst, he is perhaps a Type A Free Agent, and you get a sandwich pick in the 2010 draft for his services.
The Seattle possibility is the most far fetched and most unlikely, but if the Mariners went for it, the Giants would get one of the best lead off hitters in the game. Yes, I am talking about Ichiro. Jack Zduriencik would love to unload Ichiro's $17 million salary for the next 3 years in return for Alderson. The Mariners might actually throw in a prospect just for taking the massive salary off of their hands. Ichiro could move back to RF and provide a great spark at the top of the lineup. The guy will always hit.
The last possibility could be Matt Holliday from the A's. The A's will love to pull off a patented Billy Beane move and dump the high paid veteran for a prospect or two to a team that needs a big bat in the lineup for the stretch run.
All four of the possibilities only would exist if the contra team is out of the playoffs in the middle of June, and it only works if the Giants have a shot at making a run at the playoffs.
In each case, the player obtained would play their outfield spot whichever that may be LF or RF, Fred Lewis moves to the opposite outfield spot, and Randy Winn becomes the 4th OF, PH.
Tim Alderson is probably the most expendable of all of the Giants hot prospects.
Does anyone else agree? Would you do any of these deals? What would it take in exchange for Alderson if not?