Giants add Peavy, may not be done
With Matt Cain's uncertain health status and off year to this point, another veteran starter that can be used in the rotation while Cain is on the mend was something Brian Sabean felt was a necessity. The one guy that was linked to them early and made some sense was Boston's Jake Peavy and on Saturday evening, the Giants went out and obtained him from the Red Sox for two of their more prominent minor league arms. He's no stranger to the NL West either and a move to the spacious AT&T Park should probably work wonders for the 33 year-old. Just look how well it's worked out for Tim Hudson. Peavy certainly hopes it boosts his production, because his season to this point in Boston has been downright dreadful (1-9, 4.79 ERA). That's where there's some cause for concern with this move. Peavy didn't come cheaply as the Giants had to part with Edwin Escobar (the organizations top left-handed starter) and one of their top relief prospects, Heath Hembree. Granted, these two aren't necessarily "can't miss" elite level prospects, but in a system as baron as the Giants', they were each in the organizations top-10 prospect list for 2014. The veteran right-hander has been better over his last month, sporting a sub-4 ERA and 29 K's in just 25 innings. He was solid for the Red Sox down the stretch last season after they acquired him from Chicago, and the Giants are hoping he delivers much of the same for them the final two months of the season and (hopefully) into October.
They're wasting no time with their newest acquisition either as Peavy will make his Giants debut Sunday evening vs. the Dodgers at AT&T Park. What a way to make your debut with a new team, vs. the rivals on the national stage of Sunday Night Baseball, and Peavy can definitely win his way into Giants' fans good graces right off the bat with a victory. Beyond that though, Peavy's going to have to throw well down the stretch in order for this deal to pay off. I'm curious as to how much more they would have had to part with in order to get Ian Kennedy as he was at the top of my list (even though it was a long shot). The expectations will be there for the former Padres ace. Much better than trotting Yusmiero Petit out there every fifth day, but it'll be quite interesting to see what Bochy does if Matt Cain does come back strong in late August or September. This deal signifies the Giants aren't banking on that though.
So, with 3+ days until the deadline, the Giants can scratch starting pitcher off the list, but Sabean may not be done. At least he shouldn't be. The Giants have made their search for an outfield bat well known, preferably someone who can hit towards the top of the order. Angel Pagan appears to be on the mend at the moment, and could be back within 10 days. However, with his nagging injuries over the last two season, having a backup plan on the roster may not be a bad idea. They did just call-up Dan Uggla, who made his debut in Friday night's game. They've had success with players in similar situations like Uggla in the past and are hoping to strike gold again. With all the options they have lined up at second now, they have to be banking on one of Uggla, Panik, Arias, Abreu, Hicks or Adrianza to emerge there (not expecting anything else from Scutaro this year). My guess is Uggla and Panik (when he gets back) will get most of the run there. If not, they very well could re-visit second base options later down the line in August. I was monitoring the closer market a few weeks back, but with Santiago Casilla's emergence in the closer spot it's made the bullpen one area that's locked down. If something unforeseen happens in August, relievers are always the easiest thing to come by before the waiver deadline of August 31st.
As far as outfielders are concerned, there are two guys that stick out to me that have been rumored to have the Giants' interest. The one guy that would seem to make all the sense in the world for this team, and some, is Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist, who's been linked to the Giants by a few different publications. He can play second base or the outfield, whatever the team needs, and can hit at the top of the order, which again, is what this team needs. He'd probably cost a pretty penny to obtain from Tampa, but could make enough impact to warrant it. Alex Rios is another option that's out there, albeit not a very intriguing one. Chris Denorfia and Justin Ruggiano a couple of the 4th outfielder-type options they could look at as fall backs. Unless the Giants feel Pagan will come back strong the rest of the way and Michael Morse will finish off the last two months of the year the way he started the first two, they're going to need to get another impact player out there and preferably at top of the order guy. Then there's Brandon Belts issues as well to take into account, as concussions are no small matter and can linger longer than expected in some cases. Even if it's not a big name, starting caliber guy, there are tons of upgradeable options to the Blanco's, Perez's and Colvin's they've been trotting out there in Pagan's absence and/or when Morse shifts to first.