The Giants' secret trade chip

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

It's a secret to everybody.

We will talk about the merits of trading Kyle Crick. We will debate the idea of trading Andrew Susac. We will invent prospects and talk them up, hoping that another team will fail for a Sidd Finch-like hoax. Today, though, I'm here to talk about the trade value of Hector Sanchez.

Wait, come back. I hate when you do that. Hear me out. If you're convinced that Sanchez is completely devoid of trade value, I'm not going to change your mind. But I think there are a couple of things worth noting:

He's still just 24

This is not meaningless. He's younger than 10 of the players on Baseball America's top-100 list before the season, including Travis d'Arnaud, the Mets' catcher. He makes the list because of what he's done in Triple-A, where he's bludgeoned PCL pitchers and improved his glove. Sanchez would have done the same thing. Or not. We have no idea. He had 183 at-bats in Fresno, where he was quite young for the league, before being called up for good. Since then, he's averaged about 75 more plate appearances per season than Madison Bumgarner. But when a player has a glove that good, it's hard to keep him away from the majors or something.

Intermission to remind everyone how insane it's been for the Giants to keep Sanchez away from catching four out of every five games in the minors.

There's potential. He has a nice swing and power. It's the decision-making in charge of that swing and power that's the problem, and that might be something fixed with regular at-bats somewhere/anywhere. Your mileage may vary, but I still believe. On a team without a regular catcher. And it's not just me who's this crazy ...

The Giants sure like him

The Giants' opinion only counts for so much. They're the team who played Jose Vizcaino at first on purpose, who gave a two-year deal to Joaquin Arias and Tim Lincecum in the same offseason. But it still counts for a lot. They have an entirely homegrown infield right now, including a guy who was not a sure thing to hit a lick. And they see something in Sanchez. They want him on the roster because he's too valuable to keep off.

That part's insane. The idea that Sanchez can help a team, and soon, is not.

Add up the two, and it's possible -- likely? -- that Sanchez has more value than his dreadful .208/.244/.326 line this season suggests.

He's also arbitration-eligible after this season -- good work, good work -- so it's not exactly right to think of him as a prospect. He's still a cheap, young catcher with offensive potential. Teams would want that.

Intermission to point out that Sanchez's framing numbers put him in a virtual tie with Yadier Molina this season, which is outstanding/hilarious.

As a main piece? Nope. As something that would make the Rays call the Giants about David Price? Nope. As something that could pair with Kyle Crick to get something nicer than you might expect? Perhaps. Perhaps. Trade value is in the eye of the tradeholder, and those teams might have scouts who come back with a three-word scouting report: He can hit.

We're about two weeks away from "What can we get for Tim Hudson???" articles, so enjoy these hypothetical scenarios while you can.

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