Everyone has tired of one of life's simplest pleasures, rosterbation. That's sad. It isn't even the last week of July. There's still a lot left, folks. Put some aloe vera on, and get back in the ring.
Instead of writing about players I do or don't want, it might be a better opening salvo to group the players into four categories:
These are players who will be around in November if they really compress your accordion, but they also don't have a crazy amount of trade value. Adam LaRoche, Nick Johnson, Aubrey Huff, Felipe Lopez, and Adam Kennedy. It shouldn't take a top-ten prospect to even start the conversation about these players. There's also a question of whether they'd be marked improvements over Travis Ishikawa and Kevin Frandsen/Juan Uribe. It's easy to say, "sure, I'd trade Merkin Valdez for Aubrey Huff," but there's a decent chance Ishikawa is the better player over the next three months, and that's not even considering the value of the players traded away.
Note that this category doesn't really include Matt Holliday, as the A's are going to want a package that's better than the two first-round picks they'll get if Holliday signs with another team this offseason. That's a price that the Giants shouldn't pay. Though then the Giants would get those picks to help minimize the hit to the farm system. Now I'm confused. I still don't want Holliday, but it would all depend on what the A's want.
These are the players who would be under the Giants' control for next season, at least. Freddy Sanchez and Dan Uggla are the obvious ones, but the Giants could get creative with good, young players having good seasons (Alberto Callaspo), or good, young players having poor seasons because of bad luck (Kelly Johnson). It's easy to get caught up in the somewhat-distant future (Posey! Bumgarner! Alderson!) and hold firm that the Giants should make every transaction with that eventual roster as the end game. But Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are pretty danged good right now. Aaron Rowand is a productive outfielder right now. Pablo Sandoval is a deserving All-Star right now. Maybe that will all be true in 2011, too, but there's a lot of sense in making a move that helps the Giants contend in 2010 as well as for the next three months.
But there's some pain involved. Uggla doesn't come over unless a top-four prospect goes back. Freddy Sanchez would probably come at a price of Jonathan Sanchez plus a prospect or two. The Royals have never mentioned anything about trading Callaspo, who's young and cheap, so they'd have to be knocked over with an offer. The Braves and Giants match up really well -- the Braves could use an outfielder to bridge the gap between zombie Garret Anderson and Jordan Schafer/Jason Heyward, and they already have the replacement for Kelly Johnson starting at second -- but even though it seems like Johnson's poor season is due to awful luck with balls put in play, maybe he's misplaced his talent for good.
3. Here. No backsies.
This is a pretty wide-open category, filled with players who are overpaid and/or not producing. The Giants could probably trade Eugenio Velez for Vernon Wells, for example. Of course Wells's contract might actually be worse than Barry Zito's, so there's a reason he's in the free box. The White Sox probably don't have a lot of interest in paying Paul Konerko $12M next season. Even though Scott Rolen is having a fantastic season, he's an injury-prone player scheduled to make $11M in 2010, so the Blue Jays shouldn't expect much in return if they decide to trade him. The Giants could find a good player for the short-term in this category, but he would probably limit the team's roster-building options for next year or longer.
4. Pop goes the farm system 'cause the farm system goes pop
Roy Halladay. Victor Martinez. Adrian Gonzalez. It's like the second category, but more painful. Sure, you can have them, but at least one of Posey/Bumgarner/Villalona/Alderson are going the other way. At least one, probably two, maybe more. A realistic package for Martinez, for example: Bumgarner, Villalona, and Sergio Romo. The throw-ins for a deal like this would be better than the entire package given up for the players in the first category.
It's kind of a weird trade deadline. Six months ago, would you have traded John Bowker straight up for Matt Holliday? Would you do that same deal today? Exactly. Freddy Sanchez for Jonathan Sanchez would have made blood come out of this site's nose in December, but it sure seems like a reasonable proposition these days. Put me down for one of #2 and maybe a #1 if the price is right. The Giants are a right side of an infield away from a decent lineup, and there are ways to get it without setting the farm ablaze. I hope.