Let's see if I can keep this from devolving into a ramble. It doesn't look good, honestly, but I am going to give it a try.
So, the Giants have needs, as do we all. I need to find a new apartment sometime in the next couple of months, and I also need quesadillas once a week for my sanity.
Actually, that's erroneous. I need quesadillas twice a week, and the Giants don't have needs, they have a need. Singular.
The way the roster is currently constructed -- if by constructed, I mean by Sabean simply hanging on to every player he could from the 2010 World Series run -- it leaves very few ways to acquire this mystical "offense" (my grandpappy used to tell me stories 'bout offense). The only clear-cut position to acquire a position player is shortstop. The rest...are muddled.
Corner outfielder? Well, yes, if the Giants can get a good one, they should try -- but only if he's legitimately good. Once acquired, though, what does Brian Sabean do with all of his other outfielders? While if you combined all five of Nate Schierholtz, Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Aaron Rowand, and Pat Burrell, I'm pretty sure they could form Voltron (...well, okay, at least Devastator), the reality is that Torres and Ross are really the only two legitimate starting OF. So...somebody would have to go, and it will be someone that, emotionally, at least, it will hurt to part ways with.
(so maybe not with Rowand, but I'm sure eating the rest of his contract would produce a tear or three)
Second base...is probably best left alone. If Freddy Sanchez needs surgery, um, hate to be obvious, but "ouch". They'll just have to make do with Bill Hall and Mike Fontenot, methinks. I'm actually hopeful that could end up working out okay, because I believe Hall still is capable of hitting very well for 200-300 plate appearances.
Catcher is very odd, because the Giants are obviously looking for a rental, here, and a good one. Or a decent one. Or one that can hit.
So, who can the Giants trade to get one or more of these things?
- Ryan Vogelsong - depending on which team is knocking at Sabean's door, he could be the most valuable chip on the team right now. A team that's looking to 2012 and beyond probably won't be asking much about Voggy, but a team looking to make a run at the postseason in 2011 and is in need of a starter definitely will. He's cheap, he isn't old quite yet, and...by golly, he's been very good this year. Giants should really only listen if it's a legitimately good offer, otherwise they may as well keep Vogelsong and just not look Barry Zito in the eye.
- Jonathan Sanchez - I think this is the reverse of Vogelsong. A team looking for help in 2011 is probably going to be scared off by 50 walks in 80 innings. But a team looking to 2012-2013 could very well be interested, and the Giants, again, should listen if it's a legitimately good offer. Otherwise, they may as well keep Sanchez and just not look Barry Zito in the eye.
- Sergio Romo - yeah. You don't want Romo traded, and the Giants don't want Romo traded, but there's bound to be a few teams in need of bullpen help badly that will really want Romo...and, furthermore, will want to call him "closer" and give him nice things. Oh, and I don't want Romo traded, either. But they might have to in order to acquire that bat.
- Brandon Crawford - I only bring him up because I'm sure people dream of Jose Reyes, and convince themselves that giving the Mets miscellaneous stuff along with Crawford will serve in bringing Reyes here. I'm not saying it won't, but Crawford can't be viewed as a particularly valuable chip. To be a valuable chip, he'd have to hit, and if he was hitting, the Giants wouldn't care about Jose Reyes, would they?
Anyone else on the roster I generally view as either untouchable (like Matt Cain, Brian Wilson), unmovable (Rowand, Zito), or not valuable enough to be a chip on their own (Burrell, Fontenot, other members of the bullpen, etc.).