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Trading for a shortstop

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Here's a thong-clad Orson Welles thought while you're enjoying that rosterbation: It's really, really unlikely that the Giants are going to make a substantial trade. The swap-a-pitcher-for-a-Brewer partisans have retreated into the hills, bloodied and beaten. No one thinks like that in this oh-so-enlightened era. And when two mediocre-to-useless players take up a third of the payroll, trading six years of a low-priced Brandon Belt for anything but another cost-controlled player is a terrible idea.

If there's a trade, it's going to be boring. Some of the shortstops on the trade market:

  • Yuniesky Betancourt

Chris Haft threw his name out there in a chat, and even though it's a miserable idea, it's worth mentioning here just to point out that his OPS+ of 88 last year would have been the second-best in the 2010 Mariners lineup. They should give Felix Hernandez next year's Cy Young just for reaching 10 wins.

Fangraphs has Betancourt as the second-worst starting shortstop in baseball. That's about right.

  • Marco Scutaro

He'll be 35, and his secret weapon is that he'll work out 10 to 20 walks every season that other shortstops might not. His defense is usually a little below-average according to UZR. That's worth, uh, let's see what have here, a stack of National Geographics, a Mario/Duck Hunt split cartridge, one of those weird, nonperishable Italian box cakes, and, uh, Chris Ray. Take it or leave it.

  • Jason Bartlett

He's a sexy choice -- sexy in that "cellmate without open sores" kind of way -- because he's supposed to be a slick fielder, but UZR is turning on him. If he isn't fielding at an elite level, he's not an especially valuable player, especially since he'll probably make $5M or $6M in his final year of arbitration.

  • Stephen Drew

Brandon Belt, Matt Cain, Zack Wheeler, Thomas Neal, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, and Stephen Drew (traded right back to Arizon for a PTBNL) should make this deal happen.

  • Reid Brignac

"So what would it take to give us the cheap version of the $5M player you want to dump? Yello? Yell-o?"

  • Jose Reyes

Reyes was about as valuable as Uribe last year if you believe that WAR is good for absolutely something. Reyes's health is iffy, he'll make $11M next season, and the Mets aren't just going to give him away. Unless I'm completely misreading what the Mets would want, it would probably take Belt.

If we could just make a little switcheroo, I'd be all for it. But if the Mets would accept second-tier prospects, other teams would jump in with better second-tier prospects. If the Mets are holding out for first-tier prospects, the Giants can't/shouldn't compete with other teams either. Even if the Giants wanted Reyes, I don't see how they get him without grossly overpaying.

So we're back here. If teams won't just give us a shortstop, it's Uribe, Uribe, Uribe. And if Uribe goes elsewhere, the Giants should seriously consider re-signing Edgar Renteria. This is where we're at. This is the paucity of the shortstop market. Because the alternative is starting Manny Burriss or Brandon Crawford, at which point the Giants should just sign Cesar Izturis -- he'll give the Giants a .550 OPS without screwing up the development of any youngsters.