Rumors about who the San Francisco Giants are going to trade have followed the club since the offseason. Now eleven days before the deadline, those rumors have only ramped up, with the club improbably sitting just two games out of the final NL Wild Card spot.
This development has now changed the question from ‘When are they going to sell?’ to ‘Are they going to sell?’ According to a recent article by Jeff Passan of ESPN, the answer is a resounding yes.
San Francisco’s recent success isn’t throwing a wrench in the team’s trade-Bumgarner-and-all-the-relievers plan. Even with their best run of the year, the Giants are three games below .500 and have the third-worst run differential in the NL. They are selling. One more time, a bit slower. They. Are. Selling.
The Giants tried to jump the deadline on a Bumgarner deal a month ago. When nothing substantive came of that, they resolved to wait — and interested teams believe that waiting will continue until close to July 31. Everyone knows what Bumgarner is. The actual prices they’re willing to pay won’t reveal themselves until the clock starts ticking louder.
The straightforwardness of those claims by Passan apparently didn’t sit all that well with Giants VP of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow detailed why when he joined Murph & Mac on Friday morning, recounting an incident in manager Bruce Bochy’s office where a fiery Zaidi called Passan, and told him to stop implying his information was coming from the Giants, especially the report about Madison Bumgarner.
“Farhan stands up and he starts talking about an article that was written by Jeff Passan,” Kruk began. “And in that article, (Passan) basically said that the Giants were going to sell. That it’s just all but said and done, they’re going to sell.
“And as Farhan gets going — he doesn’t cuss — but he gets going and he gets passionate real quick about this article…And Passan he’s got some clout. He’s got some reputation, he’s a good writer. But (Passan’s) writing this and it’s unwarranted. It hasn’t been something that has been instigated by the Giants, and in his article he leads you to believe that he and Farhan, they were the guys who had this conversation, although he never says ‘Farhan,’ and that’s what upset Farhan.”
“(Farhan) said, ‘We don’t know what we’re gonna do right now. It depends on what (the Giants) do in the next 12 days. That’s what’s going to determine it. We don’t have a plan to sell. We have a plan to watch the team.’ He goes, ‘I don’t believe in three-year plans or five-year plans. I believe in winning that year, and this team has come together. Why would I handicap this team that has put together a chemistry?’
“As far as Bumgarner’s concerned…(Passan) was talking about there was a deal a month ago with Bumgarner. (Zaidi) said, ‘That was completely false.’ He said, ‘That never ever came from our office and I have no idea where that came from.’
“(Zaidi) called up Jeff and he called him on it. He says, ‘Do not write this stuff because it’s not coming from me, it’s not coming from us.’ And he was very passionate about that.
“So the bottom line is, where everybody’s been saying that ‘this could be the last start of Bumgarner’ or ‘this could be the Giants’ selloff,’ not true. We don’t know what Farhan’s going to do because he doesn’t know what he’s going to do.
“If this team stays hot through the break, they’re not going to sell anybody. I felt so good coming out of there. I asked (Farhan), ‘Do the guys in the clubhouse know that?’ And he looked at Bochy and he says, ‘well, tell them.'”
Listen to the full interview with Krukow below. To hear his comments on Passan, start from 5:45.