The San Francisco Giants have been one of baseball’s most interesting teams in the last two seasons. The Giants weren’t expected to be a playoff team heading into last season, but eventually finished the year 107-55 and won the NL West.
This year, the team has spent most of the season in contention to make the playoffs. However, a seven-game losing streak has left San Francisco below .500 as the trade deadline approaches.
The Season So Far For the Giants
Last year, San Francisco traded for Kris Bryant at the trade deadline to boost the team’s chances of winning the NL West. However, this offseason the Giants chose to allow Bryant to leave in free agency.
The Giants also saw Kevin Gausman leave San Francisco and join the Toronto Blue Jays last offseason. However, the franchise resigned Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood, and signed Carlos Rodon and Alex Cobb to help improve the rotation and deal with Gausman’s departure. The free agent signings weren’t limited to pitchers, as Joc Pederson joined the team on a one-year contract.
However, some of those signings haven’t gone to plan. DeSclafani only pitched 19 innings this season and is now dealing with a season-ending injury. Cobb has been consistent for the team this year, but after having a 3.76 ERA last year he has a 4.26 ERA in 2022.
While the Giants have dealt with injuries on their pitching staff, Pederson has been phenomenal this season. He made the All-Star Game this year for the first time since 2015, and has hit .244/.319/.496 through 86 games.
Elsewhere in the lineup, San Francisco has dealt with injuries. LaMonte Wade, who was one of the main reasons the Giants had so much success last year, has only played 28 games this season. Curt Casali, who was one of the team’s primary catchers after the retirement of Buster Posey, is currently on the 10-day IL and has only played 41 games.
Tommy La Stella, Brandon Crawford, and Evan Longoria have all also dealt with injuries this year. La Stella has only played 36 games this season, while Longoria has played 49.
Despite the injuries the team has dealt with, the Giants are still only three and a half games outside of the playoffs as of July 28. It is possible that when some players return from injury, the Giants will once again compete to make the playoffs as one of the NL Wild Cards.
Will the Giants be Buyers or Sellers?
The MLB trade deadline is set for August 2. With just a few days left to complete trades, the Giants are one of the few teams in the league who are not clearly a buyer or a seller at this year’s trade deadline.
If the Giants front office does not think the team can make the playoffs this season the team would have two of the best players in the trade market; Pederson and Rodon. Nearly every single one of this year’s playoff contenders wants to improve their outfield, and there are not very many pitchers available at this year’s deadline.
However, San Francisco still has a path to the playoffs. If some of the Giants’ injured players return in August, the team will have plenty of time to move ahead of other teams in the standings.
While it isn’t clear which direction the Giants will choose to go in at this year’s trade deadline, they will be one of the most interesting teams to watch over the next couple of days. It is likely that San Francisco will choose to trade Pederson and possibly Rodon and look to compete next season, but the Giants still have an opportunity to make the 2022 MLB Playoffs.