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Bumgarner, Posey, and Crawford are reportedly the only Giants untouchables

The Giants should have some of the best trade rumors in the business, even if most of them will be unlikely.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants have been here before. In 2013, they were awful beyond words, and they had both cheap and expensive players they could have traded. They didn’t even trade Chad Gaudin for cash or a player to be named later. They aggressively backed away from the trade deadline, and they were rewarded the next year.

That doesn’t mean they’ll sit this one out, though. And according to Jon Morosi of, the Giants reportedly have exactly three untouchable players.

Industry sources believe San Francisco general manager Bobby Evans has three true untouchables: ace Madison Bumgarner, catcher Buster Posey and shortstop Brandon Crawford. Most of the remaining players likely will be available, to varying degrees, between now and July 31, even if the odds of a Johnny Cueto or Mark Melancon deal aren't especially high.

How is that different? Well, consider the players who aren’t on that list, starting with ...

Joe Panik

Panik is a Gold Glove second baseman putting up league-average numbers in a pitcher’s park. He’s 26 and just entering his arbitration years, and he won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season. He’s the kind of player the Giants should be trying to acquire, not trade.

Except all of those attributes makes him one of the players with the most value. If you want a player who could bring back some prospects you’ve heard of, this is the player who would need to go. The Giants would have Christian Arroyo ready to fill in at second, the thinking would go, so they could afford to move another homegrown infielder.

About a year ago, I wrote about why it would almost make sense to trade Panik, and it turned out to be prescient, just about Matt Duffy instead. Instead of trading Panik for a super-reliever like Andrew Miller, though, the Giants would be interested in trading him for prospects to paper over several holes.

The problem with that theory is that there wouldn’t be a lot of teams interested. Look at all the teams who are currently happy with their second baseman. When you get to the bottom, there aren’t a lot of contenders. The Indians would rather stick it out with Jason Kipnis, I’m guessing, and it’s not like the Red Sox are going to dump Dustin Pedroia.

There isn’t a single trade partner that makes sense for Joe Panik. You can relax now.

Unless a team is convinced he can start at shortstop. Like the Rays and Duffy.

Sleep tight.

Brandon Belt

I can’t figure out if he’s underpaid, overpaid, or market price. Probably the latter. As such, teams might want him, and I could definitely see the Yankees thinking that he’s a perfect fit for their ballpark.

The Giants are bullish on Chris Shaw, even though he’s struggling at Triple-A, and I could see them wanting the extra $17 million to spend for the next few years. I’m against the move, of course, because I believe in the metrics, the homer, the slick play, the slump of a man’s shoulders, high fastballs, good shifts, that the scouting reports of the average fan are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe that Ryan Spilborghs acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment allowing Belt to call his own strikes. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core swing porn, getting excited about Opening Day rather than when pitchers and catchers report, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet at-bats that last 10 pitches and then turn into a walk.

But maybe I take Belt too seriously, idk.

I wouldn’t want the Giants to jettison one of their better homegrown first basemen since Willie McCovey, and if you think that’s hyperbole, buddy, I regret to inform you that developing players this good is hard.

Jeff Samardzija

It would surprise me if the Giants traded him. It would surprise me more if they didn’t even listen to offers. All it takes is for one front office with a K/BB fetish and a model that suggests Samardzija’s turned some sort of corner.

Matt Moore

Hey, no pushing, please, keep your hands to yourself and form an orderly line, NO PUSHING.

Marc Melancon

I’m guessing that both of these are true:

  1. Melancon is actually tradeable
  2. The Giants would have to eat millions. Perhaps tens of them if they want a real prospect.

The Giants don’t want a real prospect that bad. They still want their shiny closer, even if his start with the franchise has been disastrous.

Johnny Cueto

Of course. I’m just not sure what teams would give up for him, considering he’s having a down year and can opt into scores of millions if he tears something between now and October.

Eduardo Nuñez

I’m scared that his hamstrings are jerks and the Giants will get hosed on the most obvious trade chip at all.

Everyone else

Sure, I figure they’re all fair game.

This isn’t a rumor that should surprise you, and it makes a lot of sense. The Giants have three homegrown All-Stars they want to hang onto, lest the fans revolt. They’ll listen on just about everyone, though. They probably don’t want to eat a lot of money for some of these players, and they will probably want a huge prospect package for anyone they don’t have to trade.

That means it will probably be a quiet deadline. Still, there’s a chance it’ll be loud, and this rumor suggests the Giants are at least slightly open on 22 players on the 25 man roster. Even if that’s expected, it’s still stunning to read.