Over at the San Jose Mercury News, Tim Kawakami transcribed some meaty bits from an interview with Brian Sabean, who makes it official that everyone is tradeable.
"We’ve told everybody that everybody we have is in play," Sabean said. "There are no untouchables in our organization."
I don't know if I've ever heard that from Sabean. Let's try a reverse chronology of previously untouchable players:
2012: Gary Brown
2011: Brandon Belt
2010: Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Belt
2009: Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey
2008: Angel Villalona, Madison Bumgarner
2007: Tim Lincecum
2006: Matt Cain
2005: Matt Cain
2004: Merkin Valdez, Matt Cain
2003: Jesse Foppert
2002: Jerome Williams
2001: Jerome Williams
2000: Kurt Ainsworth
There's the obvious caveat that "untouchable" is a meaningless word. If the Astros offered Jeff Bagwell to the Giants in 2000 for Ainsworth, there would have been a deal. Also, that would have been sweet. Still, since the Giants moved into the new park, there has always been that one guy who was extremely unlikely to move at the trade deadline.
The exception is probably 2013, considering that Kyle Crick was the #1 prospect then, too. But the Giants were lousy enough that we never got the chance to find out.
Here the Giants go, though. Everyone and anyone is available. Want a relief prospect? We got 'em. A wild-but-tantalizing right-handed arm? Got one of those. Starters with a #3 ceiling? All over the place. Interested in a Brett Pill? We can get him back. Just ask.
The last time the Giants had a mentality like this was in the waning days of Candlestick, when Barry Bonds was old and there was no telling when the team was going to be good again. The Giants didn't have top-50 prospects, but they were willing to trade everything they had. Mike Caruso, Joe Fontenot, Jason Grilli, Nate Bump ... over a span of three years, the Giants traded the top prospect in their system twice, along with several other prospects in their top 10.
Their reward was a pennant. That's simplistic as all heck, but Livan Hernandez and Robb Nen helped, whereas the Marlins were disappointed with the return they got in both instances. Though somehow Hernandez was the last guy pitching in the horrific 2002 World Series, and the Marlins won it all the next year. Not sure how that all worked. Point is, the Giants have had a period where they had a farm that wasn't so hot, and they had the same win-now mentality.
Freedom's just another word for prospects you're willing to lose.
That written, there's a catch.
"Our budget is, as the result of the free-agents-to-be, somewhat spoken for next year," Sabean said. "So you really have to discuss it hard and long to consider taking someone with money next year. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I don’t know how probable it is."
So long, sweet Utley dreams. So long ... everyone but Gordon Beckham or some crap. The Giants should be looking for cost-controlled players, considering they're expecting to pay to replace the players they're going to lose in free agency, anyway. Somehow, I think this is a half-truth, and we're reading about it because of pre-trade posturing.
Regardless, the news is that Kyle Crick and Andrew Susac are certainly tradeable, and I'd think that net extends to Hector Sanchez, too. Hey, you never know what teams can look past the sub-.600 OPS and iffy defense to see a diamond in the rough.
The only question is if the other teams care. The Cubs didn't. The Rays probably won't. But there are others who might. Crick for Martin Prado? Boy, that would be weird.
I'd be mildly surprised if Kyle Crick were still in the system by August 1, and shocked if the Giants don't make a trade at all. Brian Sabean didn't exactly guarantee it, but there are lines. Between those lines are other words. The best part is you can make them up as you read along.