Brian Sabean isn’t ruling out rental players if it means making the Giants better. The GM told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he’s not going to limit himself to trade targets that are under team control after 2011.
"No, you have to be more open-minded because of the situation we're in," Sabean said. "But you'd have to be pretty damn sure that, quote (unquote), rental player was a difference maker."
Sabean and his staff have had conversations with about half of the teams in baseball to set the groundwork for possible moves. The responses from other clubs have been “really slow or guarded” so far, according to Sabean, who suggested there may not be “actual premium choices” available this summer. Sabean said he’d be reluctant to part with starting pitching in trades, but didn’t completely rule it out.
The Giants, who lead the NL West with a 50-39 record, have a franchise record $120MM payroll and ownership hasn’t yet approved major payroll increases. Carlos Beltran, who earns $18.5MM and hits free agency this fall, is the type of rental player who could appeal to the Giants, though taking on his salary would likely require approval from ownership.