As the trade deadline approached, the question on everyone’s mind was whether the Giants would buy or sell. It turns out, they didn’t do either.
It was a confusing tactic even after it was explained by president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. Zaidi said, as he has throughout this rough stretch, that he likes the team he has, and that he believes they can still compete for a playoff spot. Despite that, he offloaded a few players who could’ve theoretically helped during a playoff push, specifically two relief options in Matt Boyd and Trevor Rosenthal.
But Zaidi also didn’t do much to improve the team, something you think San Francisco would be looking to do when fighting for the final wild card position. They flipped Darin Ruf for a similar player and traded some role players for mid-level prospects.
Giants fans weren’t the only ones left scratching their heads. Longtime Giants beat writer for The Athletic Andrew Baggarly belives that Zaidi is sending mixed signals with his approach.
“On one hand he says ‘Okay, we’re going to move Matt Boyd, Trevor Rosenthal, people that was signed a week or two ago or in spring training, thinking they would give us meaningful innings in September,” Baggs told Papa & Lund on Thursday. “There are other teams that have better playoff probabilities and they can value those players more than we can at this point.’ So you’re making an admission that it’s probably going to be a pretty long road ahead to try to be a postseason team.
“On the other hand, you’re keeping Carlos Rodon, you’re keeping Joc Pederson, while saying ‘Hey, we need to see this season through.’ If that isn’t a mixed message, I don’t know what is.”
Perhaps most damningly is that Zaidi botched the Rodon situation according to Baggarly. He says that the Giants waited too long to make the decision to put the ace on the block, and couldn’t negotiate a deal for him before the deadline.
“A lot of what I hear in the industry is they basically waited too long to make that decision and they needed to react to that swiftly and they really didn’t,” Baggarly said. “There were other contenders, other teams that were able to lineup what they wanted to do from a pitching standpoint and they didn’t give themselves enough time to get a deal done.
“Maybe teams were strong-arming them. Said ‘Look if Carlos Rodon gets hurt we are going to be on the hook for $20+ million next year and he may be a rehab guy.’ That is a risk that teams would take on. But I think they used that to maybe drive down the price to a place the Giants weren’t comfortable going, and if you’re Carlos Rodon, he’s probably about eight starts away from a $100 million contract and for him to be in a less-leveraged spot is probably not the worst thing in the world.”
Things have only gotten worse since the deadline. SF lost three since in a row since Aug 2, and now eight straight against the Dodgers. They are 3-12 since the All-Star break, and now four games below .500.
Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Catch Papa & Lund weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.