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Matt Cain Trade Talk: A Main Page Exclusive!

It’s about time to broach a subject that hasn’t been broached before on this site: Trading Matt Cain.

I know, I know, it’s weird that we’ve all been in this fog of collective ignorance, not even daring to think about the kind of returns Cain would bring. He might bring back that Big Bat that is the difference between 90 losses and 90 wins. Forget that even if we kept Cain and added a big bat, the Giants wouldn’t sniff 90 wins in a 262-game season. That’s Daniel Doubter talk. You’re not a Daniel Doubter, are you?

See, the Giants have all sorts of depth in the rotation. They have too many starters, actually. And they need hitting. So, ergo post prompter hoc decisis, it makes sense to trade pitching for hitting. So the first thing the Giants need to do is get…

Wait. Where’s that depth? I know I left it around here somewhere.

*looks under cushions*

Dammit. That depth is always in the last place you look.

*checks pockets of a jacket I haven’t worn in months*

Wow. This is awkward. Apparently, Jonathan Sanchez had a brutal second half, Barry Zito is barely good enough to crack a rotation, Noah Lowry has a bizarre injury that is still hurting him, and Brad Hennessey, Kevin Correia, and Pat Misch all skipped through the terrible aisle at Target and maxed out their credit cards. So the depth of which we spoke is actually:

  • Tim Lincecum
  • Matt Cain

Oh, my. Awkward.

The free-agent market is pretty well stocked with starters this offseason, and it features a nice mix of ace-types, reclamation projects, and innings eaters. But the Giants should be super-duper wary of investing a whole bunch of money into a starting pitcher. If the Giants were to sign, say, Ben Sheets, the team would have about 1/3rd of their payroll committed to two starting pitchers. That’d be beyond silly.

Last year’s mantra: Trade Noah Lowry or Jonathan Sanchez for a third-baseman! This year’s mantra: For the love of Bonds, just hang on to what we’ve got for a year, and we’ll see where we are at the end of next year. The vaunted starting pitching depth of last offseason? Poof. And seeing as the Giants are probably three good hitters from even an average lineup, this isn’t the time to trade a rotation pillar to fill a single hole.

Erik Bedard was traded with two years left before free agency. He still brought back a sweet return. Patience, Sabes. Hope that Pat Misch figures out a way to continue striking people out while avoiding home runs. Hope that Noah Lowry can come back from a freaky ailment to help recapture some of the depth. Hope Jaime Moyer wants to pitch in a better park for pitchers than Citizen’s Bank and signs a short-term deal. Hope that Madison Bumgarner or Tim Alderson can prove that they’re advanced enough to crowd the rotation sooner rather than later.

I’m glad I was the first one in the history of the site to think this topic through, and I thank you for your time.