We’re less than three weeks away from MLB’s trade deadline on July 31, and there have yet to be any trades of note around the league. It’s understandable given that every American League team is within 7.5 games of a Wild Card spot and over half the teams in the National League are only out of the playoffs by single digit games.
But the Giants are one of the few teams clearly out of the postseason picture, and the general expectation is that trades will soon come. The team’s executive vice president Brian Sabean sat down with Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group for a wide-ranging interview and addressed what he thinks San Francisco’s strategy will be at the fast-approaching deadline.
“From this point forward, leverage on either side of a deal changes almost daily and that’s because people’s roster needs change daily or from series to series or week to week,” Sabean told Baggarly. “There’s a lot of time between now and the deadline. Some of your better deals can be done later than sooner. I think needless to say, we’re open for business. I think we have to be.”
Sabean acknowledged a report from earlier this season that Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and Brandon Crawford are the team’s only true untouchables and said the team will be open-minded but patient in the coming weeks. Among the names most likely to be mentioned frequently ahead of July 31 are Johnny Cueto and Brandon Belt, both of which have complex contract situations that may complicate potential trades.
With a payroll that already sits around $175 million, Sabean said he doesn’t expect to take on much more money in any deals, but at the same time said they’ll be creative knowing that the goal in 2018 is still to return to the playoffs. Sabean said the combination of such a high payroll and such disappointing results is embarrassing for all involved.
“Make no mistake, the ownership has been very patient and understanding,” Sabean said. “Larry [Baer] has been great through this whole thing and really has helped our mindset and helped us to keep our sanity. But we know the task at hand. We’ve got to get this turned around to the point where when we start next year’s season, we’ve got the expectation to get back to the playoffs.”
The 20-year veteran of the Giants’ front office said all he’s looking for is two weeks of sanity from his last-place club. He won’t be getting that any time soon given the flurry of trade calls likely coming his and Bobby Evans’ way.