As the calendar winds down for June and the All-Star game approaches trade talk begins to heat up. With spring in the rear view mirror the hope that each team felt has disappeared for some and that naturally leads to teams talking stock of their position and figuring out if they will be buyers and or sellers. At this point it should be fairly safe to say that sitting in the middle of a tight NL West race 1.5 games out of first the Giants look to be buyers.
With 68 games played we have a good idea of what the team has on its roster and where it needs to go from here. As more teams playoff hopes fade the GMs of the contending teams will begin to rummage through whats available looking for a player or two to push them over the top. This is the Giants shopping list based on need.
The 2010 Giants are built around their starting pitching which is among the best in the National League this season with the most K/9, the best batting average against, fewest home runs allowed, 3rd best ERA and 4th best FIP. The 1-4 starters have been phenomenal each having at least 1.5 wins above replacement season already and Lincecum and Cain both already over 2.2 WAR.
The fifth starter spot has been less reliable with Todd Wellemeyer struggling with his effectiveness especially on the road. This would be a pressing issue if there were not a ready arm in AAA ready to go in Madison Bumgarner but if the Brian Sabean decides that the time is not right a cheap arm might be a nice thing to add for the stretch run.
Need level: Low
Bullpen: Outside of Brian Wilson this years bullpen has been just OK. Brian Wilson is having a career year and is putting up numbers in the closer role not seen since Robb Nen went down with a career ending injury. There have been moments when other guys have pitched well but no one has put it together consistently.
The biggest disappointment this season was last years go to guy Jeremy Affeldt who has struggled all season with control problems. There is less help available in the minors for bullpen arms but one intriguing choice would be Henry Sosa who has a live arm but has a history of control and injury issues. This may be the biggest thing to try to acquire to get some help for Wilson in nailing down wins in the 7th and 8th innings.
Need level: High
Offense: The offense is not be any means a modern day murders row but it has slowly worked its way toward the middle of the pack in the National League. You look around the diamond and there are average or above average guys at just about every position. There are some things that can be done without adding players to make things better like moving Buster Posey behind the plate and sliding Aubrey Huff back to first base to open a spot in the outfield to allow some at bats for Pat Burrell and Nate Schierholtz. I
f the Giants can add a corner outfielder with some pop it would be really nice but it only really upgrades the team if the person who loses at bats is Bengie Molina other wise the upgrade is much smaller. The in house options are pretty limited outside of giving John Bowker another chance with the big club with no highly touted prospects to call upon at the AAA level and the AA hitters going through a tough adjustment period.
Need Level: Medium
Adding a big splash type hitter or pitcher is sexy but I am pretty sure the Giants will continue to add more marginal players at the deadline like they have in years past. Perhaps things will change and a team will go into fire sale mode and the Giants can add some players for a huge discount.
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