At the beginning of the season, there were no illusions about who the San Francisco Giants were: a bad team backed by a bad farm, with little hope of being good again anytime soon.
And then, July happened.
For the last 25 days, the Giants have been playing out of their freaking minds—and no one has played a bigger part in that than Alex Dickerson. In 15 games this month (10 starts), he has stroked his way to an absolutely turgid line of .413/.471/.870, good for an OPS of 1.340. Of his 19 hits, more than half have been for extra bases, and nearly a quarter have gone over the fence. This is not just great or even fantastic production. We’re talking Bonds-like level of play here.
Which is why now is the best time to trade him.
Okay, calm down, everybody! I realize this isn’t a popular take. Since arriving in San Francisco, Dickerson has become a huge fan favorite, thanks to things like hitting a grand slam in his Giants debut, hitting more than singles at Oracle Park, and a third reason that seems to have Freudian slipped my mind at the moment.
But no good thing can last forever. It’s astonishing that Dickerson has remained this potent for this long, but eventually, the bat will go limp.
Of course, the question is how long can he keep it up. If you had asked me a month ago, I would’ve guessed that even if he remained solid, the numbers would have shrunk to something closer to his time with the San Diego Padres. (There’s a reason why the Padres gave him away without much fuss.) But here we are, the Giants winning their way to .500 while Dickerson keeps pounding away at the plate.
How much longer does he have it in him to play this hard? One month? Two months? Could he keep unloading well into October and help a playoff team reach climax?
The Giants know how valuable a flash in the pan can be. Aubrey Huff. Marco Scutaro. Jake Peavy. Sometimes, all it takes is one good, hard tug for a team to go the distance. Perhaps Dickerson could fill a big hole—or even many holes—for a contending team.
The question, of course, is finding the right fit. Dickerson has a few things going for him. First, he absolutely smashes right-handed pitching, which is always valuable. Second, while he’ll never win a Gold Glove, at least he doesn’t wilt under pressure out in the field. Last and most importantly, he comes with tons of team control; he doesn’t become a free agent until 2023, ensuring any team that acquires him is protected from a premature discharge. (Of course, his extended team control is also a good reason to keep him in the Giants organization.)
On the flip side, he comes with a long history of injuries. A bulging disk ended his 2017 season, and a sore back has already cost him a handful of starts this year. It’s a risk other teams will have to contend with. After all, nobody wants a broken Dickerson.
Moreover, he just turned 29 a couple of months ago. It’s a fact of life that with age comes dysfunction, and it gets harder to perform at the same level.
We’re six days away from the trade deadline, and the Giants will have to make a decision soon. Do they look for a big load from another team, or will they choose to hold onto Dickerson? Whatever they decide, I’m excited to see the finish.