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What the Giants Should Do at the Trade Deadline

I suppose things are a little muddled now. The Giants are rebuilding. The Giants are contending. The Giants need to keep their core of prospects together. The Giants need to win at all costs. Flags do fly forever, you know. The Giants have a winning record, and their run differential matches up nicely with their record, but some abacus ticklers think the Giants have been a little lucky with their offense, and the team could be in for a fall. Translated: they aren’t a team that should rightfully be over .500, and they’ll regress in the second half.

Interesting theories, all. After careful consideration of the above factors, it’s time for a trade deadline manifesto.

The Giants shouldn’t trade any of their four best prospects. Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Alderson, and Angel Villalona are building blocks for the future. C’mon, man. You can’t trade them. Hands off.

The Giants need to trade for really, really good players. They need to trade for players who can help the offense now. Anyone who represents only a slight upgrade at first base or second base isn’t worth the Giants’ time.

Also, the Giants need to trade with an eye on the future. Giving any prospects away for rent-a-players would be a mistake. The really, really good players should be under contract for 2010, at least. Maybe even longer.

Jonathan Sanchez used to be a tradable commodity, but he’s looked awesome in his last two starts. He stays no matter what.

The Giants should trade one of their young, left-handed outfielders – Nate Schierholtz or Fred Lewis – to free up some playing time for both John Bowker and the player who isn’t traded. But they should only make that trade if there’s a lot of value coming back. I mean, you don’t just want to give the guys away.

If there’s one subset of players the Giants should target, it’s this: young, pre-arbitration hitters who are already middle-of-the-order lineup forces, or at least above-average hitters for their position. If those players aren’t coming up in trade rumors, make the team an offer they can’t refuse. Sweeten the pot with extra players.

Remember, though, that the top four prospects are untouchable. Well, five, really, since I’ve grown kind of fond of Thomas Neal. And Scott Barnes has been lights out in the Cal League, so we should probably hang on to him. Brandon Crawford’s bat should come around, too. Plus, Roger Kieschnick’s power is intriguing. Ehire Adrianza is holding his own with the bat and playing superb defense against older competition, so he stays too. Anyone else is pretty much fair game unless they have upside.

So there it is. It’s pretty simple, really. The Giants need to trade for an impact hitter who might not exist, they need to hold on to the players that anyone else would want in a trade, and they should center the package around a flawed corner outfielder whom we wouldn’t miss.

If the Giants do anything – or don’t do anything – within these exact parameters, I will complain loudly, and I will complain for months. It’s pretty flippin’ easy, Giants front office. I just laid it alllllll out for you. E-mail me if you have questions about this simple task.

edit: I forgot to add that I also want a pony included in any deal made. The pony would go to me. Thanks.