First thought in my brain after the Giants won the third game of the series: Ooh. Good. Now the worst they can do is split.
Second thought in my brain after the Giants won the third game of the series: Dang it, they're going to split.
So it goes for the take-a-penny/leave-a-penny tray of the National League. They could be better, and they could be worse. Some general managers read Moneyball to get strategies for constructing a roster. Brian Sabean read Harrison Bergeron.
Is this thing on? Hello? *cough*
Another day closer to July 31st, and another day without any sort of resolution on the Giants position at the trading deadline. The diary here, however, made me wonder if there's a bit of a false dichotomy going on with the trade talks. The discussion has usually been presented here as an either/or. Either the Giants are buyers at the trading deadline, or the Giants are sellers. And if the Giants are in contention, they're buyers. If they suffer an extended losing streak, they're sellers.
Every scenario has been sending prospects one way (e.g. a minor leaguer or two for Sean Casey, or a minor leaguer or three coming back for Jason Schmidt), but the Brandon McCarthy/Brian Anderson for Schmidt deal intrigued me. That specific deal isn't terribly attractive, but the idea behind it was. McCarthy and Anderson are both in the majors now, and locked up for the future. That's a kind of deal the Giants should probably be open to, even if one of the players in question is struggling like Anderson. It'd almost be like buying and selling at the same time.
My ideal trade would be something like one of these: Jason Schmidt for Howie Kendrick and Brandon McCarthy. Jason Schmidt and something else for Justin Morneau and Scott Baker. Jason Schmidt for Mike Pelfrey and Mike Jacobs. Obviously these are fictional deals; combining prospects from two organizations, asking for too much, or including players like Morneau who wouldn't be traded. But that's the general idea of a trade that I'd like to see for Schmidt. I don't want Schmidt for an 18-year old toolsy-type and the hottest pitching prospect A-ball has to offer, but I'd love to see something creative; something that could plug the first base hole for now and the future, as well as maybe make some effort to replace Schmidt in the short- and long-term. That's the best possible solution for the Giants. It isn't white flagging it, but it isn't wasting the trade value of a future free agent like Schmidt, either.
The problem is I've been scouring the rosters of every contender, and I don't see this kind of fit. The Angels would be able to make a great and fair offer, but aren't going to trade for a starting pitcher unless someone takes bolt cutters to Jered Weaver's achilles tendons. The Yankees would push an old lady down a flight of stairs to make a deal like this, but they would only be able to offer teenagers and Philip Hughes. The Mets could give up Pelfrey, but it's doubtful they'd do even that, and that isn't a return that does much for the Giants hopes this year. First base would still be a hole.
Brad Wilkerson's value is in the toilet right now, at least compared to what you would expect in return for Schmidt. But maybe Texas would start with Wilkerson and Ian Kinsler for Schmidt? Maybe the Rangers get goofy and start to think about moving the (relatively) struggling Mark Texiera for the ace pitcher that's eluded them since before the Chan Ho Park deal, but that's the longest of long shots. I think they just faxed a preemptive rejection to Sabean, just in case.
This is all just thinking in plain sight, and more of a desperate attempt to shift the trade talk from a diary to the front page. I'm just that insecure. Plus, I'm tired of writing about the on-field exploits of a team that is just so danged average. But it's an interesting situation the Giants are in. They have pitchers who could replace Schmidt, who is likely leaving after this year. They have hardly any young players to look forward to, and several holes that will open up in the near future. Yet they're still in contention, and any playoff rotation with Schmidt in it would have a formidable boost.
It all makes me glad that I don't run this team.