Sabean Discusses Giants’ Deadline Plan

The Giants made one of the biggest moves of last season's trade deadline, acquiring center fielder Carlos Beltran from the Mets in exchange for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, although San Francisco fell short of the postseason. Now, though, the Giants are just a half-game out of first place in the NL West, and GM Brian Sabean shared some thoughts with Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle as this year's deadline approaches. Here are the highlights:

  • Sabean would like to bolster the Giants' weak-hitting lineup with some power, but he's unsure of where he could upgrade significantly and whether that's even available on the trade market.
  • "I'm not sure we have enough [offense]," Sabean said.
  • The Giants have had talks with 15 teams regarding about 25 players, both hitters and pitchers.
  • Sabean was "adamant" that he won't make a significant trade for a rental player this year as he did last season for Beltran. As Schulman notes, though, the Giants were more desperate for help then with both Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez out for the season due to injuries.
  • “Anything we have do has to be significant upgrade and take us into the future,” the GM said.
  • The outfield of Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera will likely remain intact, and the Giants seem "committed" to shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt.
  • If anything, San Francisco may look to upgrade its bullpen and bench, with perhaps a right-handed power hitter being the ideal fit.
  • Sabean reiterated that he's not interested in acquiring a starting pitcher.

76 Responses to Sabean Discusses Giants’ Deadline Plan Leave a Reply

  1. So basically we can upgrade at 2nd and our bench. Maybe someone to replace Casilla too.

  2. yigantee 3 years ago

    Would like to see them acquire Willingham – interested to see what the Twins want back – I think prospect-wise, Giants would trade anyone outside Brown & Panik.

    Kelly Johnson would also be an upgrade over Theriot – not sure if the Giants & Jays match up too well…

    • Nylund 3 years ago

      Outside of Brown and Panik, what prospects do the Giants have that people would want?  Tommy Joseph? Susac? Adrianza? Peguero?  It’s a short list and not too impressive.

      • yigantee 3 years ago

        Maybe start with an offer of Gillaspie, Joseph & Rosin?  Prob not enough, but who knows?

        • PandaExpress48 3 years ago

          If Gillaspie would learn to play 2nd he could be a viable trade candidate.  Let’s face it, that dude is NOT a MLB corner infielder, the man has ZERO power, but a goos contact hitter with a nice glove.

      • PandaExpress48 3 years ago

        Joseph and Peguero are both attractive trade bait. 

        • SFrush90 3 years ago

          Peguero isn’t anything special. He hasn’t produced enough above HiA to be that attractive.

      • Sky14 3 years ago

        I am sure the Twins would love Kyle Crick.

    • SFrush90 3 years ago

      Sabean should’ve signed Willingham in the offseason when he had the chance. That would’ve been the power we’re looking for now.

    • Are you crazy?? Have you seen Panik numbers in A+? If I was the GM I would love to trade him right away. The Giants should not trade Brown, Joseph, Krick or Blackburn.

      • Odawg8 3 years ago

        So basically they should try to swing a deal for Kevin Gregg with their remaining prospects?

    • BLB25 3 years ago

      Kelly Johnson is a FA at the end of the year and another lefty hitter.  Not saying he’d be a bad target but he definitely doesn’t fit what Sabean said he wants.  

  3. diehardmets 3 years ago

    I wonder if they would have interest in Hairston if the Mets were to go into sell mode, which  might not be a bad idea if they falter coming out of the All-Star break.

    • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      It’s going to be interesting to see who is in sell mode this year. With the extra playoff spot it’s a little more up in the air, obviously. Though in the NL it seems like the teams that are going to be the buyers and sellers is more set than the AL. I’d say there’s 9 potential contenders in the NL and one of them, the Dbacks, are rumored to be shopping Upton.

      I’d expect the Mets to fall into buyers rather than sellers category since they’re only a half game behind Atlanta.

  4. tomymogo 3 years ago

    Weak lineup, u should see the all star game. Man what happened to Melky, he used to be awful with ATL

    • PandaExpress48 3 years ago

      The man wised up and committed himself to the game, that’s what happened to him.  Dropped weight and got in shape.

  5. Looks like we have found our destination for Vernon Wells…

    • start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      Tony Reagins got a job with the Giants?

    • PandaExpress48 3 years ago

      Do you have any clue what Wells’ contract is worth?  That dude can not be moved, unless there is some serious restructuring of his contract (won’t happen), or the Angels eat 99% of it (won’t happen).

      • toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

        Two words:  Brian Sabean.  Nothing is impossible.

        • SFrush90 3 years ago

          My thoughts exactly. 

          • goo649 3 years ago

            Beltran for Wheeler
            Pierzynski for Nathan, Liriano and Bonser

            Need any more?

        • BLB25 3 years ago

          Name sabean’s last big money mistake? I don’t place too much blame on him for the post world series hangover huff contract. Not many gm’s would allow an extremely popular player who was integral to a world series run walk over a relatively short term contract. I’m not a huge fan of sabean and I do feel like his system of player analysis still leads to position player mistakes like letting keppinger and fontenot leave to keep burriss and add theriot. And the wheeler trade may be a disaster. However, you can’t deny that he did an incredible job putting this team together, his recent draft history has been incredible, and he’s done an outstanding job finding scrap heap contributors (Casilla, uribe, Torres, huff, blanco, fontenot, Hensley, etc) Sabean is a popular punching bag but he’s become a perfectly average general manager and I don’t believe he’d have an ounce of interest in Vernon wells if he cost the giants a penny.

          • oater 3 years ago

            I think that Vernon Wells for Barry Zito might work for both teams.

          • SFrush90 3 years ago

            Oh god no. Wells is owed 21M in 2014 while Zito will only get paid his 7M buyout. No way the Giants pull that off. 

          • oater 3 years ago

            Oh, sure, the Angels would need to kick in some money for the deal to make financial sense to both teams–but that is just a trade detail.  About $8M seems right to me.

          • SFrush90 3 years ago

            I’d still rather just hang onto Zito even if they kicked in 8M, still a difference of 6M. Wells has been horrendous the past two seasons (so far). I’d rather the Giants look to acquire someone different.

          • SFrush90 3 years ago

            Sabean bad big money mistakes were Barry Zito (133/8 years), Aaron Rowand (60/5 years), Aubrey Huff (22/2 years), Miguel Tejada (6.5/1 year), Dave Roberts (18/3 years), Edgardo Alfonzo (26/4 years), Matt Morris (27M/3 years), and there’s probably more. You can include Michael Tucker because he gave up a first round pick to sign him.

            Sabean isn’t a good GM. Every time he’s signed a player to a big contract he’s whiffed. He can’t even field an average offense. Six of the past seven seven years the Giants have been ranked 24th or below in runs scored, with four of those years being ranked 29th. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that he started to develop position players (Sandoval and Posey). Before that the last decent home grown position player was Pedro Feliz. He’ll once in awhile pull something good off, but I think it’s safe to say Brian Sabean isn’t a good GM.

          • sf55forlife 3 years ago

            They didn’t have any home grown position players because they were building a team around Bonds. That was the strategy and for the most part it worked considering they were just a game away from a world series title. 

             They traded away prospects for older vets. Most of those trades and deals didn’t really come back to haunt them when you take a look back. 

            Once the Bonds era was over, Sabean went back to building through the draft and international signings. He was able to assemble a highly competitive team in only a few years time. 

            I’m not a big Brian Sabean fan but he and the rest of his crew (Barr, Tidrow) know how to draft.

          • BLB25 3 years ago

            I said he’s become a perfectly average GM, not a good one. He put together a league average offense in 2010 and with health in the second half this year’s could be too. Its also unfair to judge him on offense alone. No team has drafted pitching better and he’s put together a pretty elite pitching staff each of the last few years. That makes him…. About average. He whiffed on zito, rowand and huff, but saying he’s whiffed on every big contract means bonds and Cain too. Sabean has gotten much better, much of that is due to the organizations ability to now turn out position player prospects. No farm system has turned out as much star level quality the last 7 years as the giants have with Cain lincecum bumgarner Wilson posey Sandoval and now perhaps belt. No GM has had more success with scrap heap free agents than sabean has with Vogelsong Torres huff Casilla uribe and blanco. He has his big faults but his strengths make him average now

          • SFrush90 3 years ago

            Sabean isn’t even average. He’s one of the league’s worst GMs. He had one lucky year in 2010. Ross fell into the Giants’ laps (it was just to block the Padres), Renteria turned into Bonds in the WS after a bad signing, Torres/Huff had career years, an Burrell some how became the power hitter the offense lacked. He got lucky. And when I said “whiffed”, that’s past sense, so how can you include Cain? Wow he re-signed Bonds in the late 90s. Talk about cherry picking. The Giants have needed offense for years and he still can’t even do that. Giants fans would be happy if he just fielded an average offense which would go along way with this rotation, but he hasn’t done that. Your job as a GM is to build a competitive team that’s balanced and he hasn’t done that.

          • theguy17 3 years ago

            So, winning the World Series, almost winning another one, in contention untill the last couple weeks last year, half a game out this year, and other playoff appearences isn’t competitive enough for you?  I’m not his biggest supporter, but I don’t hate him either.  But too say that he hasn’t built a competitive team is a little far fetched.

          • SFrush90 3 years ago

            2010 WS was lucky. You don’t see that? Ever since the 2002 World Series, he lost his touch. Sabean was good up until the early 2000s, I’ll admit that. He’s not a good GM anymore though because he continually doesn’t go after players the Giants need (and I’m not talking about Pujols, Fielder, Reyes, or any of those major $$$$ players either) and ignores their holes. How long does it take a MLB GM to understand an offense has been lacking in San Francisco for about seven years and not do anything about it? I’ll concede that he has actually built a competitive team, but it’s still severely lacking in major departments.

          • BLB25 3 years ago

            Your job as GM is NOT to build a competitive team that’s balanced.  It’s to build a competitive team that makes money for ownership.  Sabean has done this for the majority of his seasons as GM.  ’93  wasn’t the only Bonds contract either, but its funny you want to talk past tense only but not too far in the past tense.  Name a bad contract Sabean gave out other than Zito, Rowand, Huff and Benitez.  I’ll concede that those were all very bad contracts, and thats why he’s only average despite a pretty amazing draft and bargain contract record.  Do you realize how many free agents Sabean has signed since he’s been GM?  5 or 6 bad contracts doesn’t make him one of the worst in the league.  

          • SFrush90 3 years ago

            I’ve named contracts already. Go back up and check them out. He doesn’t have a good track record with free agents. What are you talking about with past tense? You’re so confusing. I only brought it up because you said to me Cain must be a whiff since he signed a long-term deal. 5 or 6 big money contracts is pretty bad. It’s not like we’re talking about 2 or 3M contacts here. He’s wasted nearly 300M on free agents that didn’t live up to anything. That’s not bad? And you still ignore the fact that he can’t build an offense. The Giants have been offensively challenged for over half a decade, but that’s goes unnoticed on your quest to be a Sabean apologist?

          • BLB25 3 years ago

            I’m not ignoring the inept offense nearly as much as you are ignoring his incredible ability putting together an elite pitching staff. I’m not saying he’s a great GM, only that he’s BECOME a perfectly average one.  Please, please answer these questions:
            Have the Sabean led Giants had a winning record and been a competitive team in most of his seasons as GM?
            Have the Sabean led Giants made money and expanded the payroll more than the majority of teams in the league during his tenure?
            If those two things are true (and they are) it would be incredibly difficult for him to be one of the worst 4 or 5 GMs in the league.

            My point about the past tense was that you want to ignore the Cain contract and also the Bonds one.  You basically only want to consider the bad things Sabean has done.  I’m not dismissing them, the Zito contract is one of the 10 worst contracts ever.  Huff, Rowand and Benitez all got far too much. But you’re ignoring ALL the good things Sabean has done.  Can you acknowledge the incredible drafting the Giants have done this decade?  The way the Giants have found more useful scrap heap free agents than any other team in the league over the last 5 years?  The terrible free agent history and the Wheeler for Beltran trade are what keep Sabean from being one of the top GMs of the last several years.

          • Steve 3 years ago

            You give any GM long enough and they’re bound to make some big mistakes… Just so happens Sabean is the longest tenured GM in baseball.

  6. erm016 3 years ago

    Has he seen Timmy this year? Maybe he should look for a starting pitcher.

    • SFrush90 3 years ago

      I agree. To have both Lincecum and Zito in the rotation, he should be looking for another pitcher. 

  7. Nylund 3 years ago

    I think Brad Penny is the backup plan if Timmy doesn’t get it together.  Even if Penny goes a bit under .500 it’s a step up, and really, at this point, the Big Three are Cain, Bumgarner, and Vogelsong.  All three are top 20 pitchers in the NL by nearly any metric you can think of.  Giants really don’t need a new ace…just a decent number 4 or 5 guy (and Lincecum can’t even be that right now).

  8. Nylund 3 years ago

    The Giants need offensive help, a real power hitter would be nice, and bullpen help, but there really isn’t much to offer any team.  What can you really get in return for Nate Schierholtz, Manny Burriss, Aubrey Huff, and Tommy Joseph?  If the front office is willing to spend money, there may be a salary-dump type player available, but I doubt that’s likely either.

    • BradyAndersonsSideburns 3 years ago

       Mark Reynolds?

    • Why would any reasonable GM trade for Schierholtz, Burriss and Huff when all of those guys are DFA candidates or retire candidates??

      • Nylund 3 years ago

        That’s sort of my point.  They wouldn’t.  That’s why I’m saying the Giants can’t get squat for them.

      • BLB25 3 years ago

        Huff and burriss are cOmpletely worthless. Schierholtz is still a perfectly capable 4th outfielder. You won’t get much for him but he’s no dfa candidate.

        • sf55forlife 3 years ago

          Nate would be a solid extra piece to help sweeten a bigger deal

  9. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    I wonder if there’s a Soriano-for-Zito deal to be made here. The Cubs will need pitching badly if they move Dempster and Garza, and Soriano could bring some much-needed power to that lineup. The money matches up pretty evenly, although the Cubs will have to kick in some to pay for Soriano’s 2014 season.

    • rainyperez 3 years ago

      Trust me you won’t want Zito at Wrigley. 

      • touchmymonkey 3 years ago

        Actually I would not mind a Zito for Sori swap. Cubs have cluttered OF and removing Sori from picture would allow more consistant playing time for DeJesus ( hopefully improving his offseason trade value) and after cubs trade Demp and Garza would be nice to have 1 veteran on the staff. Plus I would rather have anyone on the mound than Volstad.

    • BLB25 3 years ago

      Not unless the cubs pay for soriano’s extra year. Even then it seems like zito would be more useful as an average 5th starter than soriano as a 4th outfielder.

      • Nylund 3 years ago

        I think Soriano becomes a starting outfielder in SF.  They need power and Soriano has more HRs than any Giant.  They also need right-handed bats.  One of the current 3 Giant starters would switch to the 4th outfielder/defensive replacement (obviously not Melky).

        • BLB25 3 years ago

          No way. Despite lacking righty bats the giants are better against left handed pitching this year than they are against righties. There’s no chance they bench pagan for soriano and even though he brings mote power than blanco, blanco’s on bade skills and speed are at least as valuable. When you factor in defense, especially with a flyball pitching staff, starting soriano would be silly.

    • Nylund 3 years ago

      I’ve had that thought for a couple years.  Trade one alabtross for another, but maybe in a way that makes things a better fit for each team.

      Soriano is owed $18M in both 2013 and 2014.
      Zito is owed $20M in 2013 and $18M in 2014, with a $7M buyout option for 2014.If no buyout, they’re nearly identical contracts.

      With the buyout there’s a $9M difference.  But, the Giants are paying Aaron Rowand $12M this year.  That’ll come off the books, as will Aubrey Huff and Freddie Sanchez.  Maybe not the best use of that newly freed up cash…but it could work, or maybe a bit of money could exchange hands to make it more equitable.

      • BLB25 3 years ago

        Most of that money coming off is going to salary bumps for lincecum Cain Sandoval and Posey next year, nevermind a melky extension and free agent additions in cf and at 2b. The only way zito’s 2014 option vests is if he throws 200 innings each of the next couple years. The giants won’t let that happen. The 2014 salary difference between zito’s buyout and soriano’s contract will be more than enough to sign a 5th starter and an ageing power bat so committing all that money to one of those things would not be smart.

  10. buckhenry 3 years ago

    Sabean said on CSN Bay Area tonight that if Lincecum didn’t show some improvement in his first start after the break this weekend, that the brain trust would get together to do something, perhaps have him skip a turn or two.  Having Penny aboard allows them to use him for a couple of short starts until the trading deadline to see if they need to add a starter, probably from the farm system.  It seems they want to upgrade with a right-handed power bat who can play 2B and will stick around for awhile, so who fits that description?

    • BLB25 3 years ago

      Infante isn’t really a power hitter, but he otherwise fits the profile of what they could be looking for

  11. Bye Bye Baby Bonanza 3 years ago

    The Giants have prospects and I’d trade any of them if Sabean could add a good hitter to the lineup. CF Gary Brown, SS Joe Panik, RHP Heath Hembree, RHP Kyle Crick, RHP
    Clayton Blackburn, C Tommy Joseph, C Andrew Susac, OF Francisco

    • 55saveslives 3 years ago

       Depends which good hitter. Gary Brown, Crick, Blackburn are the real deal.

    • SFrush90 3 years ago

      If Brown, among others, can bring back a good power hitter that’s here after this season, and that isn’t upwards of 32 years old, I’d consider it, but he’d be a damn good piece to have whenever he becomes a starter. Him and Melky (if re-signed) at the top of the lineup would be stellar.

    • sf55forlife 3 years ago

      With the struggles in the bullpen and the closeness of Hembree to the majors, I would really like to hang on to him. 

      I wouldn’t dream of trading Blackburn or Crick, the minor league pitching is quite barren. I also believe it is too early to trade either Panik or Susac considering they haven’t even had a full season in the minors yet. 

      I think Tommy Joseph and Hector Sanchez are the best bets to be traded. They are young for the leagues they play in and haven’t looked over their heads so far.

      I think Gary Brown is untouchable at this point. There is a high probability of him making it to the majors as at least a league average centerfielder. Probably not a star but someone who is valuable while he is under team control.

  12. FS54 3 years ago

    Josh Willingham, don’t know how but he is the guy I would go after.

  13. theguy17 3 years ago

    The Giants need to put together a package of prospects (not named Brown) for Willingham and Capps.  They get a right handed power bat and a closer.  Blanco probably gets benched, but if he gets hot he can play center over Pagan. 

    1. Pagan/Blanco CF
    2. Theriot/Arias 2B
    3. Cabrera RF
    4. Posey C
    5. Sandoval 3B
    6. Willingham LF
    7. Belt 1B
    8. Crawford/Arias SS

    • BLB25 3 years ago

      Why the heck would you put the lineup’s second worst hitter second when it may be the most important lineup spot? Bochy is dumb for hitting theriot 2nd now, if he did so after acquiring another bat it would be insane. Willingham will be too expensive both financially and in terms of prospects for the giants and Capps just isn’t good.

      • theguy17 3 years ago

        It’s either that or have 3 weak spots at the bottom of the order.  Theriot at least has the quality of putting the ball in play and getting a runner over.  Capps might be able help.  A ton of money off the books next year.  Willingham is affordable.  Maybe for Joseph, a mid level prospect or 2, and Scheirholtz.  Unless they can find a better deal for that, I’d be for it.

        • BLB25 3 years ago

          Its better to put all your good hitters together and have a weak bottom of the order than to mix the suck in with your good hitters.  Theriot has been good since the start of June but its mostly BABIP luck, they should focus more on a replacement for Theriot than one for Blanco who still brings outstanding defense when he’s slumping and brings speed and great OBP when he’s not.  Willingham is affordable for his production right now, but thats why the Twins will ask for a lot more than Joseph, Nate and mid-level prospects.  They’ll want at least one big upside arm and I’m really not even sure they do a deal centered on Crick and Joseph.  There’s not as much money as you seem to think coming off the books next year, this is a common misconception among Giants fans.  Yes a lot of decent sized contracts expire but Huff gets a buyout, Cain, Posey, Lincecum, and Sandoval get pretty big raises and if you want to keep Melky he’s going to require a very large raise.  The biggest money doesn’t really come off the books until 2014 or even 2015 but by then you’ll have to start looking at a Posey extension, another Pablo extension, and rotation replacements for Zito and possibly  Vogelsong and either an extension or replacement or Lincecum.  I’d be surprised if the Giants have room in the budget THIS year for Willingham and Capps in the 2nd half and I don’t know that Capps is an upgrade over Kontos who would likely be sent down.  

          • theguy17 3 years ago

            Don’t get me wrong, I’d like an upgrade over Theriot.  But who’s available that’s worth giving anything up for?  And Blanco’s OBP has been pretty bad lately.  I hope he turns it around, but I’d rather have someone with pop right now.  Blanco could still be valuable if he out played Pagan.  They had money for Beltran in the 2nd half last year?  Why wouldn’t they this year?  And they payroll might increase a little bit.  Well… it better. Bottom line, they need a bat and a reliever, and I can’t think of anyone better.  I think Capps has a chance to be better than Kontos and Hensley, and maybe even Casilla the way he’s been lately.

          • BLB25 3 years ago

            You’re right that there’s not much available at 2B.  I’m not sure I’d want to give up as much as it would likely take to get him but Jed Lowrie would be a perfect fit, allowing Theriot and Crawford (who both have extreme platoon splits) to basically platoon while Lowrie alternates between SS and 2B.  He does fit what Sabean says he’s looking for as a longer term solution and brings some power.  Other 2B who wouldn’t cost quite as much but would likely still be better than Theriot over the 2nd half while also not being 3 month rentals are Omar Infante, Jamey Carroll and Jeff Baker.  If Sabean were to change his mind and look to a rental player then Scutaro or Johnson could become options.
            As for the payroll situation they’re already where they were last year after acquiring Beltran.  Its possible the front office left a little flexibility for a deadline acquisition, that seems to be a popular Sabean strategy, but Willingham and Capps would be a pretty substantial monetary addition, roughly 5 or 6 million over the last half of the season.  They’d have to be pretty sure those 2 guys would almost ensure an NL West title.  It would tough to swing big and miss two years in a row.  I really like Willingham, but with defense factored in I don’t think he’s a huge upgrade and I don’t like Capps much at all.  I kinda suspect Minnesota will want a lot for Willingham and if we’re going big I’d prefer a deal for Lowrie, even if it is buying high.  

  14. I was hoping for Willingham last year before the A’s signed him.  How that turned out?  Probably his career lows.  

    Don’t know how that’s gonna pan out at AT&T though with the Twins (and that bandbox known as Target Field) he probably resurrected his career.  He is 33 y.o. too.

    Why not see if Victorino can be had?

  15. Marinersforever71 3 years ago

    Seattle Mariners would be a great team to acquire relief pitcher as a closer in Brandon League along w/ infielder Branden Ryan or Chone Figgins (infielder) to come of the bench as pinch hitter/runner for outfielder Francisco Peguero if he’s related to a brother or cousin playing for the M’s Carlos, SS Joe Panik, and RHP Heath Hembree or Kyle Crick. It would help both teams for the Giants on the playoff race this season and years to come for the Mariners.

    • theguy17 3 years ago

      Peguero, Panik, and Hembree/Crick are worth much more than League and Ryan/Figgins.  No way Giants do that.

  16. Timmy for Braun anyone? and a couple of prospects for Jed lowrie…..


    CF Pagan
    2B Lowrie
    RF Cabrera
    LF Braun
    C Posey
    3B Sandoval
    1B Belt
    SS Crawford/Theriot


    Sign me up!

  17. Armando Freaking Benitez

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