WASHINGTON The Giants could use a right-handed hittingoutfielder or right-handed power at any position, really.
Theyll always troll the waters for right-handed reliefpitching.
But a major addition at the July 31 non-waiver tradedeadline? Another Carlos Beltran?
Dont bet on it.
Yes, the annual Get a bat! cries are about to begin anewfrom Giants faithful after a second consecutive drubbing at Nationals Park. TheGiants are simply not built to win slugfests, and their pitchers are gettingthem tangled in more and more of them away from AT&T Park.
RECAP: Nationals 9, Giants 4
But from what sources tell me, the Giants are not hopeful offinding an everyday player that would supplant one of their current starters.
You never know. A Flyin Hawaiian might fall in their lap.As much as Giants fans are conditioned to hate the Phillies Shane Victorino,hed be a help atop the lineup and in the outfield.
Sources tell me the Phillies havent put him on the marketyet, though. And besides, the Giants dont have another Zack Wheeler tosacrifice, as they did to get Beltran from the New York Mets a year ago. Theirsecond-tier talent isnt that impressive, either.
Even if they did have prospects to trade, it probably wouldbe a prohibitive expense for Giants GM Brian Sabean. Last year was different inthat the Giants were trying to defend a title. If there was any time to go forbroke, it was last year.
This year, the NL West is soft enough and the Giantspitching staff is good enough for them to win it, or at least gain entry withan extra wild card in play. Anything short of that will be a majordisappointment, to be sure.
But you cant afford to shed a Wheeler from your systemevery year. Thats just a dangerous way to operate. (Witness how Wheeler is dominating at Double-A for the Mets this season. He'll start against the Giants' affiliate at Richmond on Thursday, by the way.)
So with a thin system and no real trade chips other thanmaybe Nate Schierholtz, the Giants likely will focus on incremental upgrades.They definitely need more power threats for the bench. And you can never haveenough relief pitching. If they have to eat a contract to get a player, theycan do it. To a certain degree, anyway.
I'm told the Giants aren't going to prioritize an upgrade over Brandon Crawford at shortstop, either. They learned their lesson after doing that last year by acquiring ancient Orlando Cabrera, who was abysmal with the bat and nowhere near as good with the glove. Defense will remain a huge consideration in any move as the Giants move forward. (Besides, Crawford's average is creeping up in recent days.)
What about starting depth? Will they seek a replacement for Tim Lincecum inthe rotation, as Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi suggested? Anything is possible, depending on how Lincecum pitches from this point. But the Giants arent anywhere near thatsituation yet. As Bruce Bochy often says, either your core guys are good enoughor they arent. Lincecum, for all his woes, still remains at the heart of thefranchise.
So dream about those big bats as we cast off into July. Buttemper those expectations.