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SF Giants trade deadline preview: The real deadline is in a month, sorry

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Don’t get too hung up on the trade deadline if the Giants don’t make any moves. There is another one.

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

I’m still stunned at just how horrible everything is for the Giants this year. It’s not enough that they were supposed to contend and they’re on pace to lose 100 games instead. Almost every single player on the team has spent the entire year ruining his trade value in some capacity or another. Johnny Cueto was supposed to be the star of the deadline if the Giants fell out of contention. Nope. At least they could trade Mark Melancon if it turns out they weren’t really a closer away from winning the World Series, right? Nope.

The Angels might get prospects for David Hernandez, who was in a Giants uniform this year. The Giants signed him to a minor-league deal for depth, released him at the end of March, and lookie there, he’s having a great season and everyone wants him in their bullpen. That’s so 2017.

So here’s my prediction for the trade deadline: nothing. Nothing at all. Maybe it works better if we give them odds:

Odds of being traded by the July 31 deadline

Nick Hundley: 45%
Hunter Strickland: 30%
Cory Gearrin: 20%
Denard Span: 20%
Sam Dyson: 20%
Jeff Samardzija: 10%
George Kontos: 10%
Johnny Cueto: 5%
Matt Moore: 3%
Brandon Belt: 1%
Joe Panik: .05%
Mark Melancon: .005%

No one is going to trade for Cueto until they see if his blisters are fine. Other teams are also going to want to make sure he’s pitching well enough to opt out (or pitch well enough that it’s a good thing for him to opt in.)

No one is going to trade for Melancon until they see that he’s healthy and the pitcher he was. And they probably wouldn’t trade for that contract without the Giants give a little help, either.

No one is going to trade for Span because there just isn’t an outfield need among the contenders. No one is looking for a bat-first outfielder who’s stretched in center field.

No one is going to trade for Moore because he’s given up eleventy squillion runs this season.

So it goes for the Giants, who can’t even do a fire sale right.

My trade deadline preview, then, goes like this: The real trade deadline is in a month. Don’t worry so much about July 31. Worry about August 31. Because the silver lining to these players having hard-to-deal contracts is that they’ll probably pass through waivers. And how!

That’s a good thing because there’s a lot that can change in a month. Cueto could rattle off three shutouts. Melancon could come back to full strength. There could be injuries. Players that contending teams are counting on might be lost for the season. Matt Moore might look like himself again instead of a facsimile of what the Giants thought they were getting. Samardzija’s ERA could go down, down, down and finally match his FIP.

Or, more realistically, none of these things happen. But they could! So while I’m anticipating a super, super boring trade deadline on July 31, I’m curious to see what will change for the market by the end of August. The Giants have done a fantastic job this season making sure that absolutely no one has trade value. It’s been amazing to watch.

The wants and needs around baseball can change within the next month, though. It was just three months ago that we were still wondering if the Giants could turn their season around! The internet cliché is that life comes at you fast, but I’m pretty sure this happened three hours at a time, day after day after day, slowly and slowly getting worse. The Giants’ 2017 came at them slowly. But injuries and needs can come at other teams fast. And if they do, the Giants will still be open for business.

Not expecting a whole lot on Monday. And I’m not really expecting a lot of post-deadline deals. But there’s a chance. Which means today is an unofficial complaining day, and you can save some meatier complaints for later.