Official 2016 San Francisco Giants Season Thread - NLDS (3-1 CHC) Congrats Chicago Cubs! - Page 124
Say whaaaaaaa? Last month, I'd be like "Nah, Scoot. Stay on the DL." Now, we can use him to mix things up.
Sabean on the Giants’ trade-deadline approach: “We’ve told everybody that everybody we have is in play–there are no untouchables in our organization”
Just spoke on the phone with Giants GM Brian Sabean, who was typically blunt and honest about his team’s surge-and-stagger performance this season.
I’ll be writing a column from this conversation, but a short summary: He says every other team has been told that everybody in the Giants organization is available for trade.
“There are no untouchables in our organization,” Sabean said.
Obviously he has a point to make by saying this: The Giants are ready to deal, and I presume this means Kyle Crick is not at all off-limits in trade talks, but Sabean is not setting himself up to be swindled, either.
Also Sabean stressed that the pending free agencies of Pablo Sandoval, Sergio Romo, Ryan Vogelsong and Michael Morse somewhat hamstring what the Giants can take back–any major salary commitment for 2015 and beyond will take some major figuring.
Or to be clear: Sabean is saying the Giants probably cannot take back anybody with a big salary (probably $10M or more) commitment in 2015, unless the Giants decide to move on from one of their major pending F/As first.
That has not yet happened and may not happen.
Sabean said the Giants were trying to get in on the Jeff Samardzija deal, but that they called Chicago repeatedly and were told the Cubs would get back to them and the Cubs never did, probably, Sabean said, because Chicago didn’t see how the Giants could meet their price.
Also, Sabean said, Samardzija’s final-year arbitration eligibility for 2015 (and likely $9M+ salary) was problematic for the Giants.
The likeliest target group for a Giants trade? A younger veteran who is a few years away from free agency and could give the Giants an immediate boost either in the rotation or at second base.
That is, if Angel Pagan comes back healthy very soon. If he doesn’t… well… who knows what happens to the Giants in the short- or long-term.
—-BRIAN SABEAN interview transcript/
-Q: In the past, you’ve circled a bunch of games or series as a real indicator of where your team is headed. Do you consider these two before the break and maybe the next few after as that kind of indicator?
-SABEAN: That’s fair because we’re getting hopefully–and I say hopefully, cautiously– Pagan sometime soon after the break and we may catch some lighting in the bottle if we’re able to send Scutaro to triple-A shortly. If he’s able to play some games there, we’ll get a better get a feel for where he’s at.
So yeah, this is a fair patch of games to hopefully figure out what’s going on.
-Q: You think you can get Scutaro back in a few weeks?
-SABEAN: I don’t know. Until you get him out the Arizona league and a higher level of competition, I can’t say how he’s going to react from day to day on a recovery end of things. The hope is to try to get him to triple-A shortly.
-Q: Any chance Scutaro can give you 4, 5, 6 starts a week in the majors? Can you even hope for that?
-SABEAN: I would doubt that. I would think if we got him back he’d be a role player.
We’d take that as weak as our bench is. We’ll take the starts he can give us but more so his bat off the bench. That’s the greater hope right now. I don’t think anybody expects him back as a regular starter.
-Q: So how do you feel about your team right now?
-SABEAN It’s confusing. For obvious reasons.
I think you have to be as patient as you possibly can because certain things have to play out.
Unfortunately, we’ve leaked oil in a lot of areas. That further confuses what you think you might want to do or have to do in and around the trade deadline.
They’re going to have to get well on their own first and play better first to give us a sense of what we really need and are able to try to do.
All our prospects are in play, but at this point we need bullpen help, you can always use another a starter, second base, bench help…
Just a lot of areas you need shoring up and obviously we’re not be able to do that totally in the trade market. We’re going to have to do that from within first.
Belt back helps. Pagan when we get him back helps. Scutaro on the bench, that will help. Therein lies the reason to stay the course for now.
And if something jumps up in your lap you strongly consider it.
Our other dilemma we have is next year’s situation is obviously tied up with our free agents. We have Pablo, Romo, Vogelsong, and Morse coming up—so it’s very difficult to take on any money next year.
-Q: So that means you have to think short-term with anybody you might acquire? You wouldn’t go after a guy with a big salary for next year and beyond?
-SABEAN: You look at it both ways. But our budget is, as the result of the free agents to be, somewhat spoken for next year.
So you really have to discuss it hard and long to consider taking someone with money next year. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I don’t know how probable it is.
-Q: And you’re also evaluating your own free agents, clearly.
-SABEAN: That happens throughout the course of the season. And we’re also evaluating the possible free agent market as it is. That goes hand in hand with your trade coverage.
-Q: Can you increase this year’s payroll by adding a short-term rental?
-SABEAN: Can we take on money this year? We have some room this year. Again, it’s got to be relative to how you spread that money and what you actually think is your best move.
I don’t see us being able to make multiple moves… until we find out what’s going on internally and isolate exactly what we think we need to help this year.
It’s a difficult question to answer. There’s only going to be so much money that’s going to be given to us at the deadline.
But with all the free-agents-to-be, we have to be protective of next year’s budget. That’s why it’s just a very cautious time.
-Q: Last year at about this time you said it wasn’t the year to do a rental. Is that kind of move more likely this year?
-SABEAN: I’m not fully sure of who exactly is on the market yet. A lot of teams are playing poker, because of the second wild card…
What I’m sure of is we’ll have enough information when the time comes and will have enough contact with the clubs that are in play to see what we’re able to do.
On the point about a rental, I just don’t see how we take money on for next year unless we’ve decided in advance we weren’t going to go forward with one of our free agents, per se, or it became in our best interest to move that way. And that would take our ownership signing off, a lot of other people signing off on something like that.
-Q: How close do you think you got on Samardzija? Was that something you could really even get seriously into?
-SABEAN: I don’t think so. We contacted them in the middle of the month and they gave us impression on two or three occasions they’d get back to us. Which they didn’t.
That told us they really didn’t think we had enough to move forward with.
And to be honest, a deal like that with him, with money towards to next year’s budget, would have had to have been approved above me.
But the greater sense was they didn’t think we had a match. They weren’t moving fast enough to get back to us.
-Q: They moved him for a top, top prospect. You were willing to discuss that level of prospect for Samardzija?
-SABEAN: We’ve told everybody that everybody we have is in play. There are no untouchables in our organization.
-Q: You said that to teams recently?
-SABEAN: It’s probably been a week or 10 days that it’s been out there. We’ll move anybody in our organization.
-Q: Did you say that in order to make a deal ASAP?
-SABEAN: When teams have asked, we’ve specifically told them that. There’s gamesmanship involved in these talks, you don’t necessarily tell them that…
But if a team is scouting a system and they’re trying to move forward on a deal, you have to let people know what’s possible…
-Q: OK, on this series starting today. What do you make of the A’s? How much respect do you have for what they’ve been able to put together here?
-SABEAN: Everybody respects what they’ve done. They’re created a culture and a lot of it is around extremely strong pitching and a shut down bullpen. They’re very resourceful with their platooning…
They make every effort and every game, every series to get the best lineup on the field and the best matchups. And it hasn’t just been just this year.
They’ve obviously earned their way to the best record and they’re the best team in my estimation in baseball right now.
I think anybody that’s paying attention to how they play, the passion, as well as the culture they’ve created respect that.
I think Bob Melvin’s done a fantastic job. A real steady force over there. They’re a real team to be reckoned with…
-Q: What do you think of the way the A’s have picked up young players from other systems and flourished with them?
-SABEAN I don’t know exactly their innerworkings of player personnel moves per se and what the emphasis is. Everybody does try to find a player that doesn’t fit somebody else’s situation and fits your place and time.
The A’s have been very good at that. But they’re also very good at out-pitching everybody. That goes a long way. And they have a shut-down bullpen even though their bullpen went through some changes this year.
They’re a very competitive offensive team on a daily basis. Can beat you in a lot of ways.
-Q: What does this series mean to you guys, just competitively and beyond?
-SABEAN: We have to play well. That’s what we’re looking at. It’s been good to see I think we’ve had quality starts seven out of the last eight games. That’s a big help.
This is a good test for us, a good way for us to answer the bell.
I want to finish strong here in the remaining games of the first half. There’s a sense of urgency and I think the team realizes that.
-Q: We in the media always talk about windows of opportunities. You guys have won two of the last four titles, so do you view things like that here and now? Does that become a part of your thinking?
-SABEAN: It always comes in. It’s a point of discussion year round.
But it changes. Who would’ve thought when we were 21 games over .500 that we’d be in this quandary.
But most of what we do in this business, what I do, is crisis management. That’s what’s going on now. Try to stem the tide and move forward and once we do that I think we can better assess what kind of help we need.
Right now we need all kinds of help. Because of that you need to start internally. They need to help themselves first.
-Q: So you’ve told teams anybody can be traded. Doesn’t that maybe suggest you’re going to be making a deal at some point? Maybe soon?
-SABEAN: I can’t answer that. I don’t even know what the date is. What is it? July 7.
There’s a long way between now and the end of the deadline. I don’t really know how many actual players will ultimately be in play. How many organizations will be aggressive or think they have a match based on our prospects being available.
There’s been a couple trades earlier. But there are a lot of teams in the standings that still think that they will have a chance to get better, turn their season, or decide whether they’re in or out.
There’s more pressure in all orgs because of the greater opportunity to get to the playoffs. You can’t pull the plug too soon.
Some clubs have to look at both ways, are we buyers or sellers at the same time? It’s a different place in time because dynamics of the playoff structure.
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