Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Praying Mantis Joins the Zoo: Pence traded to the Giants

Before the Pence Trade:

Me: I feel like the kid who got the hand me down sweater for Christmas while the snotty neighbor kid (Dodgers) got the playstation, new shoes and a skateboard

After the Pence Trade:

Sabean: Hey kid, chin up I got that playstation for you.

Me: But I want the shoes and the skateboard too... 


I think it is our right as Giants fans to never feel satisfied with what we do get, and what we have given to get them.  If you're simply looking at the trade for the pieces, the Giants definitely overpaid having to part with a top catching prospect in Tommy Joseph, a major league right fielder with excellent defense and a low level prospect in Seth Rosin.

But If you're looking at it from what the Giants needed, this is probably one of the best deadline deals Sabean could have made this year.  Not only do you get one of the best hitting outfielders that were available at the deadline, the Giants parted with the one player who had expressed a willingness to part ways with the Giants, and with a top catching prospect the Giants don't need due to Hector Sanchez and Buster Posey.

Of the 3 goals the Giants had before the deadline, Brian Sabean completed 2.  Get a power right handed batter (Pence, check).  Get a capable middle infielder for the bench (Scutaro, check).  Get a capable reliever for middle relief or possible replacement closer (not yet anyway). 

Sabes has continued his success dealing this year with today's trades and has given the Giants an important piece to compete with the Dodgers for the NL West crown.  Sabean himself admitted that the Pence deal was probably helped along in part because of how active the Dodgers were being at the deadline, acquiring outfielder Shane Victorino as well as reliever Brandon League, and third baseman Hanley Ramirez.

The other big deal about this trade was that it did 2 things that the trades for Victorino and Ramirez did not.  The Giants first of all did not trade for a guy who will be a rental (Victorino) and secondly did not have to break the bank in terms of salary (Ramirez). 

To top all of that off, Pence has an excellent track record at AT&T park.  In 76 career at bats in San Francisco, Pence is hitting .329 with 5 home runs and 10 RBIs.

If you have to put a damper on today's trade deadline, it's that the Giants were not able to bolster the bulllpen with any trades.  The Giants looked to be hot on the trail of both Jonathan Broxton and Brandon League, although both pitchers eventually were traded to the Reds and the Dodgers respectively.  Mostly the market for relief pitching was very thin, and I can't really fault Brian Sabean for not pulling the trigger on a trade and overpaying for a mediocre reliever. 

But back to positivity!

The Giants did not trade, Gary Brown, Joe Panik or any other top prospect in a position of need for the Giants.  That was huge as many were speculating that the Phillies wanted both Brown and Panik for Pence a deal I most assuredly would blast as a terrible trade mortgaging our future. 

Next year we might see an outfield of Cabrera, Brown and Pence.  How's that for a future?

Laws of the Day

With 17 home runs, Hunter Pence becomes the Giants new leading home run hitter.

The Giants have a total of 16 home runs at home this season.

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