The wise philosopher will choose to wear the tools of ignorance. No one wore them better than Yankee guru Yogi Berra, who might have said the following about Major League Baseball’s annual July 31st trade deadline: “You can’t cross the same general manager twice”.
Usually true unless it’s the Pittsburgh Pirates general manager, in which case he’s feeling for his missing wallet, keys and wristwatch just about the time you’ve told the cab driver to get you to the airport, and pronto. But I’m veering off line here.
For the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants, the 2011 trade deadline is particularly dicey, and everybody knows why. People in remote villages in the northern Alps have been photographed by National Geographic forming groups to discuss the Giants’ glaring lack of offense.
What will happen? What should the Giants do? And will those people in the northern Alps be able to let all the trade talk go and get back to their quaint lifestyle of rendering sheep and herding cheese?
The Giants want to do something that hasn’t been done since the Cincinnati Reds did it 36 years ago: win consecutive World Series titles. Here’s the answer to a few questions that may buy a ticket on that bus:
1. Will San Francisco make a “big deal” to get a run-producing bat between now and Sunday night July 31st?
70% yes, 30% no. The closer we get to Sunday, the more the Mets are climbing down from their unrealistic demands for Carlos Beltran. Some team is going to pick up Beltran and not by giving up a couple of their best prospects. Now, it’s down to the $6 million owed Beltran and a couple of grade B/C minor leaguers.
2. On a scale of 1-10 which team has the best shot at getting Carlos Beltran?
Texas – 9
San Francisco – 7
Milwaukee – 6
Atlanta – 5
Philadelphia – 4
3. Usually only teams pretty much out of the running, or starting a rebuild project, are willing to trade a big bat in July. Are there 5 players from those teams any one of which the Giants should go all out for– including trading one of their current starting pitchers or a grade “A” prospect?
Yes, there are:
1) Carlos Quentin – White Sox
2) Hunter Pence – Astros
3) Adam Jones – Baltimore
4) Alex Gordon – Kansas City
5) Hanley Ramirez – Florida
4. You’re so damn smart, how about predicting what trades the Giants will actually make?
This is kind of a useless exercise, but OK.
1) The Giants will trade a minor league pitcher (grade “C”) and a minor league outfielder (grade “B”) for a starting catcher.
Like Miguel Olivo of Seattle, Yorvit Torrealba of Texas, Ronnie Paulino of the Mets, or Chris Snyder of the Pirates.
2) SF will trade one outfielder on the 25 man roster, one left handed reliever, and one minor league pitcher for an RBI bat from a team that needs to move that player. Like Carlos Beltran.