The Cubs traded Emilio Bonifacio in a package deal with a left-handed reliever in exchange for a nice catching prospect from the Braves. The Nationals traded away a 24-year-old middle infielder with power (and a long swing) for two months of Asdrubal Cabrera. These were not trades I would have wanted the Giants to match.
Were the Cubs yelling, "SUSAC AND BLACKBURN OR GET OFF THE LINE"? Were the Indians yelling, "PANIK AND SUSAC, OR GTFO"? Possibly. Maybe. Maybe not! It's also possible teams were in a thanks-but-no-thanks position with the Giants' prospects. Not everyone is as enamored of Gary Brown as we are, you know. We don't know what the offers were, and it's possible that every single danged team indicated that no Kyle Crick = no interest. It seems silly to excoriate the Giants with just 50 percent of the returns in.
If that's the case, if the Giants were getting hammered with requests that would have punted a bottom-five system back to dead last, good for them for ignoring those requests. Good. Fine. Grand. There were three options:
- Second base upgrade at a reasonable cost
- Absolutely miserable trade
- No trade
I'm not sure if the first one existed. The difference between two months of Panik and two months of Cabrera is probably not worth whatever the Indians were asking for, not when the Giants aren't exactly looking like a team that's an extra 50 points of OPS away from overtaking the Dodgers. I wouldn't trade five more years of Panik for that upgrade, for one example. When teams like the Giants -- i.e. teams with an unfortunate farm system -- trade, it's far too easy for other teams to perseverate on the top of the top prospects.
I'm absolutely certain the second scenario existed. Oh, goodness, how that one existed. Technically, it was possible to trade Kyle Crick for Emilio Bonifacio. It was possible to trade one of the last remaining plus-prospects in the system for a guy who was waived by the Royals in March. That might have been the price of admission. If not Crick, then maybe Susac or Blach or Stratton or any of the other raffle tickets in the system. All of whom are extremely unlikely to make a difference for the Giants at any point, sure. But the Giants weren't a Bonifacio away from being a super team, and he was a bit of a raffle ticket himself. He was just as likely to be Ricky Ledee as he was Marco Scutaro. What do you pay for that?
The Giants have a starting catcher. They probably don't need a catching prospect for a while. But dealing Susac just to deal him gives off a freaky, Wilson Ramos vibe. One minute the Twins had an eternal catcher, and the next minute they were desperate for someone/anyone to catch. In the catching prospect's place, they had Matt Capps, who is out of the league. I was terrified the Giants were going to do that kind of deal for someone like Alex Rios, who looks good only through the prism of the Ballpark at Arlington.
The third one wasn't the best option. I'm sure that if there were a spreadsheet of all the different options for the Giants, all the different trade returns they could have had, there would have been at least one that would have excited me. There would have been at least one deal the Giants weren't willing to make that I would have been. So the trade deadline gets an INC because, dang it, Giants. You should have done that. Why didn't you do that? Should have done that. The Yankees traded for Stephen Drew, and all they had to do was absorb the salary. I would have loved for the Giants to do that.
As is, the Giants aren't as good as they could have been, but I'm not sure just how good that is. I'm not sure how good they really are. They're not sure how good they really are. The odds of looking back and saying, "Oh, god, we traded what away in an 84-win season?" were much greater than them saying "Turns out Asdrubal Cabrera was the missing piece the whole time!"
What the Giants need to do is stay away from Dan Uggla and get healthy. There's progress on the first part -- Uggla isn't with the team in New York. That means Joe Panik or Ehire Adrianza (and/or Matt Duffy?) will play, which is a net positive from where they were last week. I wanted an upgrade. You wanted an upgrade. None of the upgrades were worth it, it seems. I'm a little surprised, but not livid. There's no reason to pay $30 for a bottle of water with toenails in it, just because you're sick of a bottle of water with cat fur in it. Not when you know it's probably going to take three bottles of water to avoid dying of dehydration.
Also, Dan Uggla is a bottle of water with toenails in it. But without the range.
The Giants stood pat, other than Jake Peavy. That's both disappointing and refreshing. There were a lot of options that would have been better than standing pat. There were also a ton of options that would have been worse.