Farhan Zaidi did not say the Giants would not sell at the trade deadline. He also offered no hint they would buy.
Two weeks before July 31, Zaidi wanted to emphasize that the organization wants the 2019 Giants to win. How badly? That remains a mystery.
Asked if the Giants’ final couple weeks before decision day can change the immediate direction of a franchise that had been billed a seller since the season started, the team’s president of baseball operations danced, while saying twice the Giants are “invested” in this season.
“I’ve learned that you should never answer the specific question you’re asked, so let me wind up a little bit,” Zaidi told KNBR’s “Murph & Mac” on Wednesday. “This entire season for us has never been a throwaway season or a rebuilding season. I think people have tried to cast it that way, especially with the way we came out of the gates early this season, it sort of had that air to it. But one of the reasons we made all the moves to the 25-man, we’ve made the incremental moves, brought up [Alex] Dickerson, brought up Yaz [Mike Yastrzemski], we’ve been trying to look for a group of players, a mix of players who could get on a roll like this. If we were not invested in 2019, we wouldn’t have bothered with all of that and all the noise that comes along with turning the roster the way we have.
“We’re very invested in the season, and it’s been really exciting seeing how the team has played.”
The Giants went from a 22-34 team on May 31 to 46-49, having won four straight and abruptly three games back of the second NL wild card. The push has come at an opportune time for players desperate to persuade their boss they can do the job. And at a perplexing time for their boss, who has to weigh whether this run of 11 victories in 13 games is a mirage.
“Every pennant race, every opportunity you have to get to the playoffs has a ton of value,” said Zaidi, in his first season with the team. “It has a ton of value to the fans, to the organization, and we don’t take that lightly.
“It’s exciting to see the way we’ve played. Obviously we’re three games out of the wild-card race right now. There’s a lot of teams in it, and we’re right in the middle of it now. We’re going to continue to monitor these things.”
Zaidi hinted again that the Giants can make moves that don’t fall under the buyer or seller umbrella, “need-for-need” trades that exchange surpluses. But the Giants getting, say, a veteran fill-in at third while Evan Longoria heals is not the transaction many fans are dreading.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be a question of: What’s the value of us playing this out and being in the thick of a pennant race vs. potential impact pieces that might become available to us,” Zaidi said. “… We may have some difficult decisions to make.”