The Giants and Dodgers have completed three trades since 1958.
On Thursday, Farhan Zaidi slowly dipped a toe into unfathomable waters: Perhaps there could be a fourth.
The Giants’ president of baseball operations, in an interview on KNBR’s “Tolbert & Lund,” said he will have to be “open” to dealing with the blood rivals — even pointing out it might be easier to stomach than fans realize.
“There is an interesting point here,” said Zaidi, the first-year Giants boss who had been the Dodgers GM. “If we do end up in a position where we’re selling and looking to get some future talent, you actually want to be trading in the division because you want to weaken your rivals in future years, and you want them to push more chips in to the present. In a way, it actually benefits you more.”
He knows what he is saying. He can sense the pitchforks.
“I understand there’s all kinds of emotional baggage going with that,” said Zaidi, who surely knows the Dodgers’ farm system well. “Maybe the Dodgers are a special case, and I think most fans would say it’s not maybe, they just are a special case. But in general, I actually think trading in the division has a strategic advantage.”
The Giants, at 25-36, have several solid veterans with October experience, none more attractive than Madison Bumgarner. They also house an impressive bullpen in a league in which shutdown late-inning arms are like gold.
In the wake of the Cubs landing closer Craig Kimbrel and the Braves reportedly in talks with starter Dallas Keuchel, trade talks will soon pick up.
“[Those two being off the market] does show the teams that were in on those guys — it kind of identifies who the buyers are going to be in the starting-pitcher market and the relief market,” Zaidi said on a day San Francisco moved 17 games back of the Dodgers. “Certainly for the teams that did not land those players, they’re going to be looking elsewhere to try to fill those needs. So I expect there’ll be a lot more phone calls between GMs these next couple weeks.
“Again, without trade waivers this coming August, it’s going to put more pressure on teams to get their business done before July 31.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Zaidi on a potential trade with the Dodgers, start from 16:00.