MLB trading deadline: Who could the Giants deal?

USA TODAY Sports

Talking about trade rumors where the Giants are selling is like riding a bike. STRAIGHT INTO THE FIRES OF HELL. But kind of familiar!

Let's get this out of the way, first: The Giants aren't very good sellers. They don't do fire sales well. This happened in 2006:

I Split ERA G GS IP BB SO
1st Half 2.78 18 18 126.1 42 105

That's Jason Schmidt in 2006. The Giants were bad in 2005, and in 2006 they were 51-55 at the trading deadline. They should have been sellers. They were not a piece away from a full pie.

Ah, but the Giants were just 4.5 back. Sound familiar? They couldn't trade Schmidt unless they wanted to look like quitters. Forget that they could have received huge prospects back for a pitcher whose strikeout rate was shrinking.

Of course, if the Giants traded Schmidt for Ryan Howard (a real rumor!), everything would have been different. Maybe he's looking at a Brad Lidge slider curl over the outer half in the 2010 NLCS. Maybe he's making a brapillion dollars for the Giants right now.

Heck, the only good player the Giants really sold at the deadline was Ray Durham. And that led to this:


The moral of the story might be that Brian Sabean is a warlock who can see through the mists of time.

But the Giants have a chance to be sellers again. The vultures are circling:

Vultures, vultures everywhere. But you can't blame them for asking. For the Giants are bad, and bad teams give up their good players when asked nicely. At least that's what I've always figured they should do when it was the Giants looking to pick at their bones.

But "bullpen arms" is a vague term. Let's look at everyone on the roster and classify them based on their tradeability:

Not going anywhere because of contract, youth, or awesomeness
Buster Posey
Matt Cain
Madison Bumgarner
Marco Scutaro
Brandon Crawford
Brandon Belt

Not going anywhere because they're having bad seasons/everythings
Jeremy Affeldt
Ryan Vogelsong
Pablo Sandoval

Maybe if the Giants eat all sorts of money, they can get a C- prospect (Darren Ford!)
Barry Zito

Maybe if the Giants eat all sorts of money, they can get a B prospect
Tim Lincecum

Could bring back a little something
Jose Mijares
Chad Gaudin
Javier Lopez

Could bring back something relatively substantial
Hunter Pence
Sergio Romo

Note that even though Gaudin creeps me the hell out now, he still might have a little value to a team looking for a swingman. He hasn't even groped anyone for seven months now, so he's probably cured*.

*I wrote 700 words about Gaudin and ended up deleting them because it was rambling nonsense. The abstract: Always uncomfortable pretending I was there and not waiting for a fair trial. Pretty comfortable hoping that Gaudin disappears off the roster with a minimum of fanfare.

So this is an uninspiring list. It would be a lot cooler if Tim Lincecum were 11-0 with a 2.13 and loudly proclaiming he wasn't going to be back with the Giants next year. Well, that wouldn't be cool, exactly, but think of the prospects! As is, it's not that exciting of a sell-off up there.

I'll save the what-ifs and should-wes for another day, maybe highlighting each of these guys one at a time. But for right now, this is kind of a workshop for me. Are those categories accurate? Close? Do you think the Giants will stun us all by trading Brandon Belt for Bud Norris? Help me help you help me. Who on the Giants has a lick of value? And of those players, which of them would the Giants consider trading?

It's come to this. Now let's all put money on the Giants winning nine out of 11 before the deadline to make the Giants think they still have a chance, even though they won't. Because it's going to happen. So you might as well make a mortgage payment with it, or something. But until then, let's talk about who might be on the market.

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