The Giants have hiked up their efforts to find late relief help after losing in extra innings to narrowly miss sweeping the Phillies this weekend.
|Giants Interested in Perez|
A lot of Giants headlines Monday revolved around Cleveland Indians' closer Chris Perez. It's no secret the Brian Sabean has been searching high and low for relief help this month, especially late relievers, and apparently Perez may be the best, most attainable fit for this team. This really shouldn't come as a surprise though. Perez has been on the block seemingly every year since arriving in Cleveland via the Cardinals, and the Giants just happen to be the one contender searching desperately for relief help. I've never been overly impressed by Chris Perez, but he's had a solid year this season, converting 26 of 28 save opportunities. He's not a particularly overpowering right arm or elite closer, but he typically gets the job done. He's also been closing out games a lot longer than Santiago Casilla has, and would provide a more experienced option for Bochy down the stretch. I'd prefer Huston Street, but at the right price, Perez wouldn't be a bad fallback.
There's been a lot of talk about the Giants lack of trade chips too. They don't have much in their minor league system, and they could be auditioning some players on their major league roster. Nate Schierholz is one guy who's seen his playing time spike over the last week, and he's responded terrifically. Schierholtz had a two-homer day in Philly on Sunday, capping off a nice weekend for him with the bat. He was inserted into the lineup in place of the slumping Gregor Blanco on Friday, and even though Boch and Sabean aren't saying publicly that Nate's on the block, that's the general consensus around the Bay Area. The other guy that the Giants could be shopping is first basemen Brandon Belt, who's gone back into a funk and has struggled with the bat since late June. Bochy has started using Pablo Sandoval more and more often over at first base, but unfortunately that moves Joaquin Arias into the starting lineup which pretty much offsets the benching of Belt.
|HanRam Could Play 3rd or SS|
So, there's a little over a week left before the non-waiver deadline, and the Giants indeed have some decisions they need to make. Do they have enough resources to go after a good closer and then turn around and deal for an infielder, or would they have to pick and choose just one? Also, which hitter does this team see as a possible fit. I've mentioned Hanley Ramirez here before, and there was a lot of talk about him on KNBR Monday. He'd be my top choice in terms of any available player out there on the block right now cause he's a guy who could come in and have an impact beyond this season. He's signed for two more seasons after 2012 at top dollar, and I know the Marlins had discussions about moving him over the winter before he committed to third base. The more I look at Ramirez's situation, the more I think he's the guy to get. He likely wouldn't cost the Giants a bunch of players in return, just a bunch of dollars, and that's the type of move this team is set up to take on right now. They don't have a bunch of five star prospects in their system right now, so making a move to take on salary for a good young player like HanRam would make some sense!
There was the first big move of the trade season made on Monday, with Ichiro being sent to the New York Yankees. It usually takes one big one to get the domino's rolling, and I'd look for trade activity to pick up over the next few days!