The Giants are for real, and when the trade deadline comes on July 31, they will be buyers.
The question is, what will they buy? According to former Giants pitcher Shawn Estes, the bullpen will be the focus.
“I don’t think you need to get a closer, but I think you’re going to need to get an arm or two down in the pen,” Estes said on KNBR. “I really believe that. An experienced guy, a veteran guy that’s been around, that has good stuff, that has a track record, that can handle the pressure of pitching in September when you’re in a pennant race.”
It’s not like the Giants bullpen is bad per se. The collective 3.88 ERA of their relievers is ranked 13th in MLB, their collective WHIP of 1.23 an even more impressive sixth best. Their problem, however, is inexperience. Though closer Jake McGee is 34, most of the rest of the bullpen is 30 years old or younger, and almost none have legitimate postseason experience.
“There’s a different vibe in September than when you’re in May and June. You can bring guys up from the minor leagues, you can kind of piece it together, you can bring your Dominic Leones up, your Zach Littels, you can do that and get a look at them. But when it comes into September and you need big outs, you’ve got to have some experience. You’ve got to have guys that have been there before, that have done it before, that can rise to the occasion, that can not be overcome by the moment. And those are the guys that Farhan has to start to eyeball right now.
“What teams are probably not going to be in it, what teams have the relievers that have done what I’ve just talked about, and then you target those guys. We’re probably not going to see a big trade deadline pickup, position player-wise, starting pitcher-wise, but I think you will see maybe a reliever or two that the Giants go get.
“I think they have to, to be honest with you. Because there’s not enough experience…You can’t go too deep into the well in Triple-A and still believe that you have a chance come September.”
Listen to the full interview below.