It's becoming more apparent, though, that if the Giants are to build a respectable lineup before 2011, they must give up a prime asset — the kind of trade that Sabean made as a rookie G.M. in 1997, when he moved popular third baseman Matt Williams for a package that included Jeff Kent.
With that in mind, club sources said Sabean would put out feelers to see what he could fetch for right-hander Matt Cain, who pitched a complete game Saturday to improve to 5-1. Because Cain is young, controllable and relatively cheap for two more seasons, it would require productive offensive players with similar service-time attributes to strike a deal.
"If the bat per se is talented and hopefully not a free agent to be, you pay the market price, whatever that is," Sabean said.
Note: With the quick emergence of Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner and with the possibility of selecting another pitcher in the first round in the upcoming draft Sabean may feel comfortable dealing Cain.