This is going to be the most predictable trading deadline ever for the Giants. I like to joke about the Giants trading for Shane Victorino. Every time I even mention it, you make a face like you're trying to pass a VCR, and I just laugh and laugh and laugh. I'm a simple man. Trolling you with Victorino suggestions is a simple pleasure. But the Giants aren't going to trade for Victorino. You know exactly what they'll do.
Usually I'd be wary of a glib, overconfident prediction like that. Baseball is the drunk guy in your dorm who thinks it's funny to pull the fire alarm at 3:00 a.m. and see who's sleeping with whom. Disrespectful, predictably unpredictable, and a little belligerent. Here was the trade-deadline series that Jeff Sullivan had planned for Lookout Landing:
Looking Into a Jason Vargas Deal
Maybe the Tigers Want Jason Vargas
A GIF of Jason Vargas in the Bullpen, Chewing Something and Staring Vacantly (Possibly Thinking About a Trade)
Jason Vargas Doesn't Even Care if He Gets Traded, So This Is a YouTube Video of a Man Falling Down a Flight of Stairs
They were all prewritten. He was going to go to Banff for the week and sleep under the stars. Then, pow, Ichiro trade! Out of nowhere, Ichiro was on the Yankees, who were in Seattle, which meant Ichiro was going to play in a Yankees uniform right away, which meant … I mean, imagine packing up to go to a Giants/Cardinals game in 2007, and learning on the way that Barry Bonds was a Cardinal. You can't. You'd need to hack through 400,000 acres of rainforest to find a psychotropic drug that would get you close. That's what happened to Mariners fans yesterday.
So, ha, you say. Ha, to your prediction of a predictable trade deadline. Except let me tell you the story of another trade deadline. It was 2009, and the Giants needed a second baseman. Freddy Sanchez was on the market. There were rumors. Tons of rumors. Giants interested in Freddy Sanchez? Giants looking at Freddy Sanchez. Giants in talks with Pirates about Freddy Sanchez. The Pirates came to town, and the Giants traded for Freddy Sanchez.
That's how this deadline is going to go. The Giants want a reliever and a right-handed bat off the bench. They're going to get a reliever. They're going to get a right-handed bat off the bench.
There's about a 99-percent chance that Hanley Ramirez gets traded. The Marlins are tired of him. We're about 800 plate appearances into the new Hanley, which is an astonishingly mediocre player. The Marlins still owe him over $30 million for the next two-plus seasons. I'd love for the Giants to take a chance on him. It's daring and possibly stupid. It would almost certainly be Belt going the other way, possibly in a three-team deal, and it might be more than that. But I can't help myself. I have a wacky feeling that Hanley is going to go Burrell and remember how to hit on the plane ride out of Florida.
The Giants want a reliever and a right-handed bat off the bench. They're going to get a reliever. They're going to get a right-handed bat off the bench.
At least there's a little intrigue with the reliever, though. There are a few of them out there. Huston Street would be a fantastic addition if the Padres don't ask for a barrel full of prospects. Chris Perez might be available if the Indians don't start winning again. He's pretty good. So there's a little uncertainty with exactly …
Dammit, stop that. We get it. Don't have to post that picture every time y …
Okay, okay. The Giants want a reliever and a right-handed bat off the bench. They're going to get Jonathan Broxton. They're going to get a right-handed bat off the bench.
Here's where you might think a Yuniesky Betancourt joke would go. Except that shit's not funny. Betancourt is a right-handed bat off the bench. He could play third, while Pablo shifts over to oh god oh no no no no stop. But I'm thinking the Giants want a right-handed outfielder -- a mirror image of Nate Schierholtz. I'm praying they aren't interested in Betancourt. It would be so easy to slip that guy into a Broxton deal, and … no, no. My cynicism doesn't run that deep.
It runs plenty deep, though! Which is why my prediction will still gross you out. The Giants want a reliever and a right-handed bat off the bench. They're going to get Jonathan Broxton. They're going to get Scott Hairston.
The Broxton trade will annoy me. I don't think he'll cost a great prospect or anything, but you know he isn't as good as his ERA. I don't think there's anything to gain from Broxton that couldn't be gained by using George Kontos in high-leverage situations.
The Hairston trade will gross me out, but it'll also be a decent baseball move. Hairston is a right-handed Schierholtz with a little less average and a little more power. He fits on the Giants roster. He's what the Giants were hoping Justin Christian would be.
It will be the most predictable deadline since 2009. The Giants want a reliever and a right-handed bat off the bench. They're going to get Jonathan Broxton. They're going to get Scott Hairston. Once you've accepted these deals as inevitable, you can almost justify them. Start now.