Giants Add 2 Relievers Before Deadline
The Giants and Brian Sabean apparently re-visited the most logical trade options for the team in the hours leading up to the deadline, including re-starting the Corey Hart talks with Millwaukee and they even were in talks regarding a potential 3-way deal involving the D-Backs and Blue Jays that included names Kelly Johnson, Jose Bautista, Jason Frasier and Scott Downs. However, in the end, they came to the realization that there just weren't any deals that made enough sense for them to pull the trigger on. Every team wanted either Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner, and Brian Sabean wisely kept the team's strength in-tact. Still though, I think he gave up a tad too much in order to get Javier Lopez in here. I like Lopez and believe he'll help this bullpen a lot, but the Giants had to give up Joe Martinez and Jon Bowker. Now, neither of those guys have significant roles with the Giants, so they won't be missed immediately, but both of those guys will end up starting in Pittsburgh. Basically, the Pirates just traded a middle reliever, for a 27 year-old starting pitcher who will go right into their rotation, and a 27 year-old outfielder who should hit 20 hr's per year with a full playing load, to come in and start in right field for them. I'd say the Pirates got the better in this deal in the long-term, although Lopez could provide a Jeremy Affeldt (2009 version) type upgrade to this bullpen if he comes in strong.
I don't quite understand the Ramon Ramirez deal as much as the Lopez trade. The Giants desperately needed another lefty so Lopez was a necessity (Bochy was relegated to using Jonathan Sanchez to get an out in Friday nights game due to no other left-handed options), but Ramirez wasn't exactly dominating in Boston (4.46 era, 1.30 WHIP) and doesn't really appear to be an upgrade over the rest of the right-handers the Giants have in the pen right now. What Sabean is hoping for, is that Ramirez will revert back to his pre-2010 form, when he sported a 2.74 era and a .226 BAA and nearly a K per inning in 140 innings between '08-'09. It's going to be interesting to see what the Giants to in order to make room for Ramirez on the 25-man. Obviously, Lopez will slide into Joe Martinez's spot, but it's not clear on what will happen in order to clear room for Ramirez. If I had to guess, I'd say he replaces Santiago Casilla or Guillermo Mota. Neither has been particularly effective of late, in fact, all the right-handers in the Giants' bully have been hit around a bit lately. The Giants gave up minor league releiver Daniel Turpen, who has had a strong 2010 season in AA.
So, although they still could make a deal before the August 31'st waiver deadline, it appears as if the Giants are content with standing pat, sitting just 2.5 games out of first place in the West and atop the NL Wild Card standings. Somewhat lost in all the trade deadline speculation and rumors, the Giants have also had a few interesting things happen already in the series with LA. Tim Lincecum debuted a new delivery on Friday night, and it resulted in 7 strong innings, 9 strikeouts and his 11th win of the season. Lincecum was backed by Aubrey Huff's 20th jack and Juan Uribe's 15th longball of the year. Aubrey Huff continues to look like the best valued free-agent signing of last offseason, now hitting .313 with 65 RBI and a .959 OPS to go along with his 20 homers, and I really wish Sabean would extend his contract another year already. I'm fairly confident that he's going to become the first left-handed hitting Giant, not named Barry Bonds, to have 30-home run season since the team moved into AT&T Park. He's not discouraged by hitting in this park, and it's tough to find hitters, especially of the left-handed variety, that you can say that about. Only question is whether or not Huff would have interest in coming back. He's having a great year, but he may think that if he were playing in a more hitter friendly yard, he'd be putting up even better numbers. Not to mention, after his big season, he's going to get some lucrative multi-year offers from other clubs.