In the wake of Nori Aoki’s injury, the Giants have “added outfielder to [the team’s] list of trade targets,” Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. No outside moves are imminent, however, and the club has announced that Travis Ishikawa will be recalled to take Aoki’s roster spot for the time being.
It remains unknown how long Aoki will miss, and that may not be clear until he is reevaluated in about two weeks. But the injury came at an inopportune time: Aoki has been excellent this year, and the club is still waiting for Hunter Pence to return to full health.
Ishikawa, of course, played an important role late in the year for last year’s club, and the Giants saw enough there to tender him a contract through arbitration (ultimately agreeing on a $1.1MM salary). He was ultimately outrighted after missing the early part of the season with a back injury. Over 149 plate appearances at the Triple-A level this year, Ishikawa has slashed .271/.342/.421 with four home runs.
San Francisco has some other options on the big league roster to flank Angel Pagan. Minor league signee Justin Maxwell has cooled after a nice start, but has already seen plenty of action. And Gregor Blanco is carrying a nice .283/.361/.417 line in his first 144 turns at bat on the season. Then, there’s first baseman Brandon Belt, who has recently spent a few games in left.
All said, it does not appear that the San Francisco front office will or must have much urgency, at least unless more serious news comes down on Pence and/or Aoki. Given the uncertainty in those players’ timelines, it would be foolish to speculate at this point as to what kind of acquisition (if any) the team could conceivably pursue this July. Certainly, a quick and impactful trade seems rather unlikely.