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The Tigers might sell, so let’s see what the Giants can pick from their sun-bleached bones

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Do you want a pitcher, a slugger, or both? TigersMart has it all.

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It's probably not nice to circle the desert sky, looking for contenders to give up and collapse into the hot sand. It's more than a little ghoulish. Its, why, it's not polite. It's just not good manners. Leave these poor teams alone, and stop bothering them with your "Uh, you gonna eat that?" questions. You can enjoy an offseason without having to be that callous.

lol, just kidding, so anyway, Buster Olney just posted an article suggesting the Tigers might be open to a fire sale, and I am very much into that. Let's pick through that estate sale like we don't care about the owner that just passed away, which we don't. Who could help the Giants?

Miguel Cabrera

Yeah, no. Not only would it take a whopping prospect package that the Giants don't have, but he's a bad defensive first baseman who is owed $212 million for the next seven seasons. He's great, as inner-circle as Hall of Famers get, but he'll also make $32 million until he's 40. I would say go for it if I didn't think he needed to move to DH soon, but he'll need to move to DH soon. He should probably be there already.

I still think Brandon Belt would, with experience, be a fine defensive left fielder, with good range and an excellent arm. I'm okay moving him for a first baseman, in theory, provided the first baseman is special enough. Pretty sure Cabrera is a special enough hitter, but the problem is that he isn't really a first baseman. Not one you want to tether yourself to for the next seven years.

Justin Verlander

Sure! But the Giants don't have the prospects. Over the last month, I've read and heard a lot of second-guessing about Andrew Miller, golden relief god, and how the Giants should have acquired him at the deadline. Except even if the Giants were willing to part with Joe Panik, which seems a lot more reasonable now, somehow, I'm pretty sure the Yankees would have taken the Indians' offer anyway.

It would be like that for Verlander. The pitching market is such a complete mess that teams will be willing to give their top prospects for a Cy Young finalist, even if the contract is oppressive. The Giants don't have anything the Tigers want that they can't get anywhere else.

Jordan Zimmermann

Very, very interesting, in that he's broken and possibly Matt Cain now, which removes that Giants-can't-compete warning that Verlander has. It's possible that the Tigers would accept a polite request, a firm handshake, and a guarantee that he'll go to a good home in exchange for Zimmermann. He's 30 and owed $92 million over the next four years, which is quite a bit of scratch for a broken pitcher.

Imagine if he's healthy, though. Imagine if he comes back next season, shakes off the rust, and pitches like a credible #1 or #2 again. Bumgarner/Cueto/Moore/Zimmermann/Samardzija. My stars, that's a pretty dream.

Imagine if he's Matt Cain, though. Imagine if it never happens again for him because of one sustained hiccup with his right arm.

I'd do it, but remember that I'm the idiot who would have preferred Zimmermann to Cueto in the first place.

JD Martinez

Here. This is the one. Martinez is ...

  • 29
  • a .299/.357/.540 hitter with 83 home runs over the last three years
  • a free agent after the year, which means the Tigers' asking price might be something the Giants can meet

The downside? He apparently fields like he has flippers. It wasn't always like that, and his arm used to be an asset, but I confirmed with Bless You Boys that he looked just as bad as the defensive numbers suggest. "It was like he forgot how to field," was the exact quote.

Can you imagine having a horrible defensive left fielder? That would be awful. We haven't seen a bad fielder in left since last year and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that and, look, I guess the last good one was Barry Bonds before he got all huge with exercise.

Seriously, though, except for Gregor Blanco filling in for injuries, the Giants have an amazing defensive history in left field. Bonds! Burrell! Morse! Ishikawa! Fred Lewis! Melky! Aoki! Pagan! Pedro Feliz! Moises Alou! I'm not sure if they're all an argument for Martinez or against him. It makes me appreciate this play even more:

Almost certainly the reason the Giants won the World Series. Two parts positioning. One part Juan Perez. Perfect for a franchise that hasn’t had a good defensive left fielder in decades.

The Giants would probably survive with a subpar left fielder, then, and maybe the Giants would get their first 30-homer hitter since Bonds left. Martinez would cost prospects, though, and it would be a rental. That's more than a little sketchy, and I'm not sure if the Giants can afford to exchange their meager prospect capital for a rental.

My counterargument is this: dingers. Sweet-smelling dingers just like Bonds used to make them.

Relievers

The Tigers usually have the 2016 Giants of bullpens, so let's just back away slowly.

Conclusion

Yeah, I could shop at TigersMart. I would even explore a trade for Zimmermann, even if that's a little misguided, but the primary focus would be on J.D. Martinez, I would guess. A young outfielder and a pitching prospect might be enough (total random speculation), and it's a deal the Giants would have to consider, defense be damned. Which it usually is.

We'll be focused on free agent rumors over the next two months, but don't forget about the trades. And the Tigers being willing to listen on just about anyone means there's an incredibly interesting potential trade partner out there.