Back in May, Ken Rosenthal informed us that Ryan Braun can block a trade to 23 teams. The Giants are not one of those teams. This is an article reminding you of this fact.
Back in June, Rosenthal informed us that the Giants and Brewers had a “very minimal conversation” about a potential Braun trade. This is an article reminding you of that, too.
The odds of the Giants actually trading for Braun are approximately nope-in-100. This is an article gently ignoring that fact because it’s convenient for me to do so.
The Giants could use some power, and there’s Braun, fresh off a 30-homer season, potentially available. He’s a couple months away from 10-and-5 no-trade rights, so he can’t block a trade to San Francisco. He’s owed $80 million over the next four years, which is about two years and $40 million below what he’d get on the open market, so he’s almost a bargain. It makes sense in so many ways.
But as Rosenthal wrote in June, it makes very little sense in a lot of other ways. In order of “least concerning” to “most concerning.”
Braun’s steroid history
It’s too flip to suggest the Giants don’t care. They own the Barry Bonds legacy, and it seems like they’ve made a concerted effort to stay away from previously busted players, with Michael Morse a notable exception.
They know better than anyone, though, that fans forget about that stuff after the first dinger. My evidence is this: every single team in baseball that’s welcomed back a PED-suspended player and cheered them. Which is all of them? Probably all of them, not sure. There might be a couple stragglers, but the fans of those teams aren’t snowflakes. They’ll cheer.
Giants fans would cheer, too. The last player to hit 30 home runs here was also accused of ... well, you know. He was cheered.
The Giants would just prefer if Mac Williamson would hit 30 homers for a low, low price. That would be the best solution. But they’re also probably willing to pay for power, just to be sure. Braun isn’t some all-or-nothing goofball like Brandon Moss; he’s an all-around player who won’t embarrass himself in the field or at the plate when he’s not hitting for power. He would immediately become the Giants’ best hitter, and there are going to be ... maybe two players who switch teams this offseason and fit that description?
As such, four years, $80 million is something of a bargain, he wrote while the world burned, realizing how stupid this all is. The Giants might hand out one of those contracts this offseason. There’s no reason why the money can’t go to Braun.
Their outfield is already old
Braun, Denard Span, and Hunter Pence will be a combined 100 years old next season. While Span and Pence would only be signed through 2018, that’s still a great way to look up and July and say, “Wait, what happened to all of those outfielders?”
Luxury tax concerns
When the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on December 1, Major League Baseball might raise the luxury tax/salary cap. It might be that the Giants will have all sorts of wiggle room. It also might be that they would have to pay $30 million for Braun after penalties, and they won’t want to do that.
Yoenis Cespedes is younger than Braun and available for cash money
This is pretty important. Cespedes will cost more money and require a longer contract, but he’s also a year younger. If the Giants are willing to barf up coins like they were sucker punched in River City Ransom, why not do it for the younger player who would cost just money and a draft pick?
The Brewers aren’t just going to give Braun away, and the Giants would be competing with the prospect-laden teams again
Here it is again: The number one reason the Giants aren’t going to stun us all with a whopper of a trade. They just don’t have the prospects. Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede might be top-10 prospects in most organizations, but there are a lot of systems in which they might not crack the top five. And those organizations might not balk at trading a couple prospects from the middle of their top 10 for someone like Braun.
And the Brewers might prefer those other prospects even if the Giants are eager to give theirs up.
It’s not gonna happen.
I keep looking at the rosters around baseball, hoping there’s a secret Melky out there for us, an outfielder who could bolster the lineup unexpectedly at little cost. There is not. There’s a bunch of expensive goofballs, there are a bunch of talented outfielders who aren’t getting traded, and there are a lot of outfielders who wouldn’t be much better than what the Giants already have.
There’s also Ryan Braun, who can’t block a trade to the Giants. The only problem is that he’s not getting traded to the Giants. It makes for a fun November daydream, but we’ll probably have to move on to Brandon Moss rumors.