1. I'm still not happy about the Orlando Cabrera deal, but I'll move on. He just might be a defensive upgrade at shortstop over Brandon Crawford. But to put it in a way that an old-timey baseball person can understand, it's like the difference between a .280 hitter and a .281 hitter. Maybe that extra little nudge will make a difference between playoffs or no playoffs, or between advancing in a playoff round or not. It's as unlikely as Javier Lopez being magic in a two month stretch, or Cody Ross doing a Frank Robinson impersonation in the playoffs. It can happen, but keep chasing those keno numbers if you eventually want to be disappointed.
But I'm pretty sure that Cabrera is a terrible hitter. This is because of a gut feeling that I like to call "available evidence." You might start getting optimistic and think, "Hey, he was acceptable up until 2008!" True. And Miguel Tejada was an All-Star who picked up MVP votes in 2009. Age is a mean and nasty little thing with sharp pointy teeth, and right now it's chewing on Cabrera's elbows and wrists. Omnomnomnomnom.
It's not like Crawford was better. But he wasn't much worse, if he was worse at all. Sabean was expecting Crawford to get worse while thinking Cabrera has a little bit of a rebound in him. Okay, fair enough. Don't think that was worth a B-level prospect. The sun rises tomorrow. Unless you're in Daly City.
2. The lack of a catcher wasn't surprising. Victor Martinez wasn't on the market this year, and all of the names on the trading block were pretty underwhelming. Would have loved Chris Iannetta, but I doubt the Rockies were interested in sending him to the Giants. If the Giants picked up a Jose Molina, Ramon Hernandez, or Yorvit Torrealba, I'm convinced the price would have been too high. Eric Surkkkkkkkkamp, or the like. That bit up there about the .280 hitter vs. the .281 hitter also applies to Whiteside v. other, but probably with a bigger gap. Not enough to make a move, though. I don't mind Sabean staying pat.
3. I'm absolutely dying to know what the Giants offered for Michael Bourn. I'm guessing Andres Torres (who is still cheap) and two pitching prospects. Total guess. Pretty sure it wouldn't have been worth it.
4. This was a Beltran deadline. That's the only move that really matters, and even though he hasn't hit at all in four games, he's good. My only regret with that deal is that Zack Wheeler is a disappointing loss, and that I can't watch a Posey/Sandoval/Beltran/Belt middle of the order. I'm not worried about Beltran's slump. Sometimes dudes get cold. I'll trust in Beltran's overall talent.
5. Barry Zito is not good.
6. The Giants got better than the Phillies and Braves did. But not by much. Not by much at all. And the Reds series was a reminder that looking at those two teams as the Giants' direct competition is completely asinine. There's a division to win, fellas. Don't screw it up.