Longtime Giants beat writer Henry Schulman joined Gary & Larry on Monday afternoon, and engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about what San Francisco plans to do before trade deadline on July 31.
Schulman reported that the Giants’ brass is most concerned with the team’s offensive output through 98 games, and may look to make a moveto improve their lineup.
“The biggest fear that they have — I mean they’re happy to be where they are with all the injuries they’ve had, key injuries and everything like that, but they’re concerned about this offense,” Schulman said. “They are. I mean Bochy said it a month ago. I think that that’s where the front office is going to, to the extent it’s going to look to make a deal by the deadline, I think that’s an area where they’re going to focus on most.
That the Giants want to add another solid bat at the deadline is to be expected, the nature of what that deal might look like is less clear.
“A lot of that depends on whether they can move some money. Because let’s face it, they’re under, I don’t know how Bobby put it, it’s not a dictum but it’s a highly requested that they stay under the luxury tax cap. They’re really only about $1.5 million, $2 million under after the Austin Jackson trade and they might have to move some money.
“Ownership has been very generous with the Giants at the trade deadline in the past. They’ve raised payroll, but I think it would have to be a very unique deal before they would let them do it.
Now, there are ways they can move money like they moved Austin Jackson. They have a little bit of depth in the bullpen for instance. And I’m just picking a name, I have not heard any trade rumors, but they could move a Sam Dyson for instance and save $1.5 million at the deadline. You twin that with the $1.5 million that they are probably under the cap right now, now you can go out and get a player who’s a $3 million player for a third, so like a $9 million player at the start of the year. That’s the kind of move they could make if they found a guy and could move the money.
“I don’t think it matters if they’d be in fifth place in the West if they are four games out. I think this is one of those years where the decision on what to do, buy or sell, is really going to come down to where they are around July 29.”
At two games over .500, and four games out of the division and wild card race respectively, the Giants are close enough to contention that moving one of their key players in exchange for prospects doesn’t make sense.
“The bold moves that people are talking about, they are rebuilding moves, and the Giants on July 16 are not a rebuilding team,” Schulman said. “They are not a team that is ready to move parts out who can help them win a division in 2018. And if they falter at the deadline, or if they go in the tank in August and September, then they have to reconvene and make that decision again. But with this ownership group consistently saying we need to put a team on the field to compete because — and they don’t say this part — because ‘We gotta sell tickets and because the Warriors are building their arena down the street and we can’t afford to be a 90-loss team four years in a row.’ I just don’t see it.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Schulman on the trade deadline, start from 5:30.