Sunday, October 16, 2016

Disjointed Thoughts On A Painful Collapse Of A Season

Man I was at the October 1st game, it was awesome!  It really felt like the hometown heroes were getting their mojo back just in time to go rampage.

This entire second half has been very, very painful to watch, much less comment on.  As Giants fans we have become so spoiled by exciting winning baseball.  I always feel that fans are entitled to an exciting team, that the playoffs are a privilege not a right, and to just enjoy the ride.

That ride came to a crash last week.  Bruce Bochy looked tired.  If you can't get 3 outs with a 3 run lead... Do you really deserve to advance in the playoffs?

I have maintained all year that The Greybeards definitely have not been following the Bill Walsh maxim "Cut em loose one year early rather than one year late".  Losing Jeremy Affeldt turned out to be a big time blow.  I don't think the Giants started out the year right being lite on the lefties. 

I don't really want to remember Romo, Casilla and especially Lopez this way, I want to remember the good times.  But they looked extremely weak over a long stretch of the year, and it all came crashing down in high comedy/tragedy.

Lopez had a BB/9 of 5.1 on the year!  (Fellow lefty Josh Osich had a 4.7 - he was used heavily in the first half and faded in the 2nd half).  Draft acquisitions Will Smith and Matt Moore were also in the 4s (4.4 for Smith, 4.2 for Moore). 

Casilla was still an effective K pitcher, with a 10.1 K/9 and a 3.42 K/BB.  I still maintain he is an excellent, excellent 8th inning guy who just isn't cut out to be "the Man" in the 9th.  I wouldn't mind the Giants re-signing him and I doubt he wants to come back.

It seemed like Bochy just didn't have faith in any of these guys, and as the stories come out, it appears there was a lot of grousing, more than any other time in his career.

I'm glad that Roberto Kelly got the ax.  He was absolutely overmatched as 3B coach.  Some of those decisions were baffling, you cannot have somebody that unsure of their decisions out there. 

Hunter Strickland had a very good statistical year for the most part.  He led the G's in appearances with 72.   Only 4 longballs. 

I think Derek Law is the future.  I wish Bochy stuck with him for 2 more batters, who knows what would have happened.  5.56 K/BB led Los Gigantes. 

Giants had two absolute horses with Bum and Cueto.  The Shark signing looked good, until it didn't.  But I bet you didn't know that Bum gave up more gophers now did you?  26 to Shark's 24.  Matt Cain led the starters with a 1.6 HR/9.  I love Matt Cain, I was in favor of that contract, but he needs to go to the pen and try to salvage something for his last year.  Romo's stats looked good but he was gopher prone, 1.5 Hr/9. 

Overall 3 starters putting up 200 Plus innings was good stuff.  Hopefully Matt Moore can come on strong as the number 4 (maybe walking a few less, Dirty Matty!), and then you might have Ty Blach (what a performance against Kershaw - definitely a top 5 live game for me, it was electric) competing along with Suarez and Cain.  Or Blackburn.  Or Stratton. 

On the hitting side... I still miss Matt Duffy and wish him a quick recovery so he can get back to it next year.

I don't think many Giants will miss Angel Pagan in the locker room.  Fra-gi-le.  Span being platooned might be the way to go, he showed flashes of being a serious asset but definitely wore down.

Public support from the Greybeards for Mac and Jarrett Parker!  Interesting.

Conor Gillaspie was the best thing about the last two months, I hope he gets the contract.

I am really, really sick of seeing Ehire Adrianza on the 25.

Belt led the team with 655 PAs.  4 Gigantes topped 600: Belt, Span, Crawford and Posey.  The offense wasn't really the issue, although we can hope that Posey gets some rest and gets that back back in order for next year.  Bad beat injuries to Pence and Panik hurt, but that kind of stuff happens every year.  I really liked the professionalism that Trevor Brown brought to the table. 

Off the books?  Most likely.  Jake Peavy, Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, Javy Lopez, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla.  All of those guys did great things that led to rings.  But they are also aging and were ineffective a lot of the time, especially crunch time.

Team needs: A real bonafide Closer!  Duh.  The Pirates wanted Taylor Hearn and Felipe Rivero for Mark Melancon.  Are we really serious this package couldn't be beat?  Really?

I do think the pen has some talent.  Giving up that many leads is truly terrible though, and it ended what should have been a Western Division title (the Bums have 4 in a row now you knows) and it ended the season painfully.  Its been a long time since JT Snow got gunned at the plate.  I think they need a combo of somebody outside to "be the man" and maybe another lefty reinforcement if that can be found.  I do think they didn't start the season with enough lefty goodness.

I don't know what else.  Switch Pence to LF?  Get a "Big Bat"?  I just don't see it.  Maybe trade Nunez for something?  That guy turned out to be a pretty big bust, even if the price was relatively low in prospect goodness.  I'd rather have a good lefty than Nunez next year.  But on the flip side... The Giants have no stolen base threats.  Maybe they need to look in that direction - get a true leadoff guy?  Only 3 Gigantes with a OBP over 350 - Belt at 394, Posey at 362 and Pence despite swinging at every slider off the plate tweaked out 357.  An OF who can get on base by any means necessary seems like a better call than a "big bat".  Giants did get 10 HRs plus from every position (3B being a combo).  They had nobody breaking the 80s in runs scored or ribeyes though. 

They have 2-4 years left in this window most likely.  Time to re-load, re-tweak and go fight the good fight. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Check In On The Farm As The Minor League Season Winds Down

Best debuts from 2016 draftees:
100 PAs now for Jacob Heyward, he's got a 360/510/653 slash with the big caveat its rookie ball and he's a college guy.  5 triples!  Dude can fly.  7/9 in SBs.  This is exciting, some value drafting from the Monks.  Lets see where he goes next.

Heath Quinn is raking big time.  343/437/537 in 158 PAs, the vast majority at S/S S/K.  4 HRs, 11 2Bs, 3 SBs.  Quinn was a steal in the 3rd, I think most prospect hounds would be happy with him in the 2nd round.  Looks like a future RF.

The 2nd rounder who might have been a 1st round talent, Bryan Reynolds is hitting 306/379/514 with S/S S/K.  4 HRs, 9 2Bs, 2 Sbs.  Reynolds is at 9BB/30K.  Quinn is at 16BB/26K.

Best Hitting Promotions
Steven Duggar through SJ and Richmond is at 300/386/452 and has the honor of most hits in the minors this year so far with 121.  Good K/BB ratio of 58BB/88Kin 466 PAs, he has 9 HRs and a system high 7 3Bs.  11/23 SB doesn't look so hot though for the speedy OF.

Miguel Gomez takes his bat to SJ after raking Augusta, his slash is 346/378/507, 16BB/32K in 358 PAs equals an extreme contact oriented approach.  Gomez future position is an unknown but the ability to hit is certainly there.

Dylan Davis may be slow starting, but he's now in SJ as well after another stint in Augusta, he's got a slash line of 289/358/508 with 17 HRs (2nd in system to Chris Shaw).

The IFAs!  Sandro Fabian is at 100 PAs, he has a 326/360/533 slash with 20Ks and 4BBs, 2 HRs and apparently a very nice bat flip.   Playing rookie ball this year as an 18 year old.  Definite watch.  Ricardo Genoves has slowed down some, he's hitting 274/358/345 in the DSL in 168 ABs, with 17BB and 30K.  Another IFA catcher has emerged, Angeddy Almanzar is hitting 311/385/452 with 4 HRs, 18BB and 35K in 177 ABs.

Christian Arroyo?  The guy who the Giants stubbornly stick with is now hitting 275/319/374 at Richmond.  He has 1 3B, 2 HR and 31 2Bs.  Not a burner, he has 1 SB and 1 CS.  Some of my friends think he's going to be a stud, all-star type.  I see a guy who fits in with the team.  Yes, he should be able to hit, and the power will most likely fill in - that doesn't seem to be the issue.  But what they gave up with Duffy is a guy who can really, really pick it at 3B, and can run.  That running part of the game is underappreciated.  Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford didn't have huge numbers at Richmond, I wouldn't be concerned about these numbers.  But... Something tells me the Giants should have sold on Arroyo.

Ronnie Jebavy has got hot, he's overcome a bad bad juju start and is now hitting 260/320/403.  Not all is great, he leads the system in Ks with 121 (and in PAs with 484).  10 Hrs and 24/38 SB/CS.  That part along with the excellent defense is intriguing.  But the Ks and low BBs are a tough profile.

Chris Shaw in SJ: 285/357/544
Chris Shaw in RC: 234/285/400
Not everybody can Brandon Belt.

Dylan Davis in AUG: 288/368/496
Dylan Davis in SJ: 287/347/516
Giants slow play guys a lot of the time.  3rd year in pro ball from a major college program and just getting to High-A will get no attention from prospect watchers.  But... He's hitting well now.

Steven Duggar in SJ: 284/386/462
Steven Duggar in RC: 322/379/421
Well alright alright...

Hunter Cole is up to 272/328/437.

Giants have a lot of intriguing hitting depth in their system.

They did trade away a great follow in Bickford.  Don't feel like looking at pitching right now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Challange Trade: Danger and Heartbreak Up Ahead

The Giants followed up on the Nunez trade with some bold risky moves and yes, expensive moves.

Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac went to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith.

Lucius Fox, Michael Santos and... Matt Duffy went to the Rays for lefty starter Matt Moore.

My first reaction: disbelief.  The Giants do not trade off the 25 often.  Matt Duffy is pretty much A#1 around these parts, the kind of player you want on your team that makes you happy to be a baseball fan.  He won the Willie Mac award as a rookie last year, pretty much unprecedented in Giants history.  This is a big gut punch, a heartbreak. 

OK, so I hate the trade.  Lets get ruthless on the analytic side though.  How about 19?  Thats the number of HRs Jeff Samardzia has given up now.  You want the ratios instead of raw numbers?
Cain 1.9 HR/9
Shark 1.3 HR/9
Peavy 1.3 HR/9
Bum 1.0 HR/9
Cueto 0.5 HR/9

The Giants, especially during this massively bunk entry into the 2nd half, are in Sabean's terms "leaking oil".  (Matt Moore is at HR/9 1.4 himself - he'll fit right in!)

They saw him shut down the Dodgers recently, who bash righties pretty good, but they got him pretty good earlier in the season...

The Monks of MLB needed to improve the starting 5.  That's the bottom line.  Instead of going after a 5th starter rental, they went for the 3/4 guy with upside, who has 3 years of control on the contract.  That control on the contract is the name of the game.  And man does it make the costs go.

Its the same with Smith.  The Giants have a young bullpen.  Losing Affeldt to retirement, Lopez being ineffective and nibbly, Casilla being a headcase and Romo being injured and ineffective...  Its taken its toll.  Bochy manages games by the pitch instead of by the inning.  They need guys who can take an inning at a time.  Smith should be able to be an 8th or 9th inning guy, take on tough righties... 

These are big challenge trades.  Both Smith and Moore are under team control through 2019, so the costs got big.  I guess we see who wins in 3 years?  Personally its about making the playoffs.  We are smack dab in the middle of the run, you want to Win Now and extend for as long as possible around Posey and Bumgarner.  Posey is 29, Bum is 26.  So in a way, you are looking at winning as much as possible in the next 3-4 years.

But you're taking a big part of the good juju when you start trading off the core.  And I definitely think Duffy is part of the core, a big time big heart player who plays above his numbers.  This is a departure for the Giants, who would mostly nibble around the edges.

I guess they really, really like Christian Arroyo.  We'll see how it goes, usually they value the proven MLB bat over the potential.  So that is a departure.  Off the top of my head, they have traded Nate Schierholtz (not a Bochy favorite, had Hunter Pence coming in), Ray Durham at the end of his contract (Steve Hammond and Darren Ford), swapped Alfonso for Finley during the dark days... I can't think of many besides Matt Williams.

This is Bobby Evans "Matt Williams" trade.  To be successful, the Giants have to roll tide.  Lets look at the Prospects real quick:

Lucius Fox - struggling in low-A, hitting 200 with a ton of errors.  Raw, young in the system, hard to tell.  He is most likely the best athlete in the system though...  The Giants spent a ton in bonus and penalty and gave up the right to sign big number IFA (might not be the worst thing actually...)

Phil Bickford - best fastball in the system, mixed bag of reviews - I really, really like Bickford, I think this is a ton to give up but that's the cost for good arms even in the pen.

Andrew Susac - has been injured a ton at the toughest position on the field.  Hate to see him go but this is a big time risk on the Brewers side as well.

Michael Santos - big talent, big time fragile, hard to see clear.  Could be the Francisco Liriano type that comes back to haunt for a time... and then gets injured.

The Giants continue to swing and miss at developing their pitching from the farm, specifically starting pitching to replace expensive ineffective veterans.  While the hitting has been going great guns under John Barr, the pitching has really trailed off.  And now... we don't have a homegrown infield.  I'm really, really heartbroken about Duffy.  Its a huge gut punch to lose players that are fun and easy to root for.

One final note: this trade will ride on injuries, who gets hurt, who gets healthy.  There are a lot of injury jackets.  The Giants are betting big that Moore is on his way from post-TJ back to the stud prospect he was.  They are also assuming that Smith will be back to 2015 form before his Affeldt-like injury.  The Rays are assuming Duffy will be OK and the Brew Crew are gambling that Susac will come through.  And of course... TINSTAAP with Bickford and Santos.

The injury factor is so hard to predict, and if there was one way to get ruthless with the saber factors, maybe injury risk is the way to go.  Having a great training staff is definitely a big advantage.  Having minor league development to recognize the risks, mitigate those risks... That might be the new frontier in baseball. 

Bottom line: costly trade that hastens the "win now" mentality.  Hope Matt Duffy goes to the AL East bandboxes and rakes it up for a big fat contract.  Hope these lefties put a good balance and fortification on a staff that has been pretty strained.  Giants expectations are sky high, as they should with all the moneys being raked in.  But as a fan I always remember we have the right to a good entertaining ballclub but we don't have a right to the postseason.  But the postseason is where all the exciting juju happens!  This is a move with that in mind, I have no doubt.  I think the Moore trade is a move too many, but with Shark suddenly becoming the Gopher ball king it must have been a move the Giants felt they had to make.  Win now wins out.  Together we're Giant rings pretty hollow right now.  Its been so much fun having a home grown system that grows up together, that's been the focus since they drafted Timmy and stopped the nonsense.  It does come with some heartbreak sometimes.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Giants Make A Familiar Style Of Trade

The Monks finally decided to make something happen last night, trading their 23 year old Lefty Adalberto Mejia for 29 year old Eduardo Nunez, the Minnesota Twins lone all-star this year.

This is a very, very familiar style of trade.  The Giants value depth and versatility.  They also value batting average.  Nunez supplies all 3.  He adds in some speed to boot!

Nunez this year: 296/325/439 with 12 HRs and 27 SBs.  Well well well...  He would lead the team in BA (Posey is at 285), tie with HRs (Posey with 12), his 47 RBI would be behind Craw's 63, his 325 OBP way behind BBelt's 393 and his 110 hits would best Belt's 99.  Does any of this matter?  Well... the Gigantes are dragging now.

This movie is to give the 2 injured infielders some days off upon return, but also to spell Crawford to boot.  And the way the OF goes... I wouldn't be surprised to see him in LF.  Remember, Angel Pagan is famously fragile, Blanco and Span are in their age 32 seasons and Parker/Williamson are still getting comfortable. 

Infield outfield is a great skillset.  The Giants haven't really had one since Mark DeRosa.

Now... what did they give up?  Mejia has long been a favorite of the stats crowd more than the scouts crowd.  He gets generally good reviews around the horn though.  BP has him as the #86 prospect in 2015, he's got some noise in the revised BA top 100, the MLB guys rank him pretty high...

I have never really warmed to him.  He has two things going for him: one is age, he's always been young for league and aggressively pushed by the Greybeards.  The other is he's a lefty.  But the results have always been lacking.  There has never been any polish.  There was also the pop for PED (a weight loss supplement that might have been more bad judgement than ill intent).  Mejia does have a strong career K/BB ratio of 3.55, he has now started 92 minor league games.  Its possible that he will be a innings eating 4-5 type, but frankly I think he's more of a pen guy when its all said and done. 

Mejia has been pretty hittable most of his career.  While he gets good reviews for having good stuff, I do think he will need yet more time to refine his offerings.  Maybe its prospect fatigue at this point, he has been in the system and been relatively highly regarded for a long time.  I've just never been excited, and I love those lefties. 

So I think this is a pretty sweet trade for Los Gigantes.  Nunez has another year of control on his contract and is relatively inexpensive.  He was once the heir apparent to Derek Jeter, it just didn't work out that way.  His career slash line is 274/312/401 - nothing too special but the Giants have found success with "hackers" who have higher batting averages at the expense of OBP.  He has excellent base stealing percentages to go with the SBs.

The Giants haven't had any base stealing threats in a long time.  Somebody who can come in and pinch run and effect the late game, that's a nice piece to have.  The ability to play him in 4 positions?  (more if you count 1B or RF in a pinch)  That is pretty good stuff. 

I don't think the Giants are done, they'll keep looking for a pitcher.  I think they will look at Milwaukee and Atlanta, and perhaps Pittsburgh.  I do think danging Susac to Atlanta might get a nice arm.  If the Brew Crew do trade LeCroy, they might be interested as well.  Should be a good hang in and see the next couple of days.

One thing of note: the trio of Green, Conor G and Pena have done an admirable job filling in, but I do think they have their limits and you are seeing some of them during this losing streak. 

The Giants have made this type of trade or signing again and again during their winning runs.  Its not a flashy move, but an incremental piece that fits into the current core.  One last thing: he bats righty.  This is a great thing, as the Giants skew lefty. 

Solid trade, I think they got off cheap just sending Mejia personally.  When you get the news you always tense up to see what it cost... My gut was immediate "awesome, don't mind that at all" when I saw it was Mejia.  So it goes...

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Sleeper System Gets Some Noise

BA came out with their top 100 midseason and wouldn't you know... 5 Gigantes are rocking that thing.  In order:
50.  Phil Bickford
Knee Jerk Reaction: Too low!  But there is a lot of love for Bickford at BA, JJ Cooper says it's the best fastball in the minors.  Can't wait for the futures game on Sunday.
56.  Christian Arroyo
Knee Jerk Reaction: Giants love him too much to give him up!  I says go get Andrew Miller!  (Hey, for the record I wanted Andrew Miller back when he was just another failed top 30 prospect and I got mocked for it a little!)
81.  Tyler Beede
Knee Jerk Reaction: go look at #95 on the list!  Beede is growing on everybody.  Will he put together the workhorse body with some good juju and mix it all together?  Remember, MLB hitters square the heck out of premium velocity.  The bird is the word and its all about movement.  And location.  And avoiding location mistakes.
83.  Chris Shaw
Knee Jerk Reaction: I've warmed a lot to Shaw, I didn't like the pick at the time, most likely too obsessed with defensive profile.  They also note the very impressive 2015 class that has sent 3 to AA already.  Yes, that's best in the majors.  From bad draft position.  As a reward for "losing" Pablo Sandoval to FA, Shaw is looking mighty fine.  I would rather trade Arroyo than Shaw personally.
91.  A Mejia
Knee Jerk Reaction: Trade!  Trade!  Workhorse body, what not, but I just don't see a starting pitcher here.  This is a nice bounce back for Mejia of course, and they note the Giants depth in the upper minors.  Well... if you follow Los Gigantes, you aren't surprised at all.

Should there be more?

The yoots!  Lucius Fox isn't hitting enough to draw interest.  But he's there, athlete'in away.  BA talks to more scouts than the saber dudes, so they aren't quite as in love with youth as BP or ESPN. 

Sam Coonrod?  Hey, I think he's right there with Beede.  Would he be in the next 100?  I have to think yes.

Aramis Garcia?  My choice to zoom, he's been injured.  That is always a drag.  There really aren't that many good catchers.  I love the Giants continuing to draft them high.  Speaking of... Is Susac a trade chip at this point?  Inquiring minds want to know! 

That's a helluva top 8 to throw out.  Not that I care except for grousing points... The Giants will be leaving behind their back 10 in the top 30 systems for the early teens methinks. 

The fact that its being built from low draft position is pretty sweet.  Still a sleeper system, but hey you are used to all the hype the Cubs are getting at this point right?  Right?  Looking forward to the Giants getting healthy, trading off some of this farm to go contend for that 4th title, and of course, following all these guys as they struggle through the hardest grind there is to make the show.

Great job Greybeards.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Check In On The Yoots

The Giants have a few "kids" playing full season ball.  Let's take a quick check:

Lucius Fox is the youngest, he is currently slashing 208/311/298 at Augusta.  The good: good SB #s at 17/22, he can draw a walk with 26BBs/48Ks in 208 PAs, he has hit for some power (4 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 2 HRs).  The bad: batting average is pretty anemic, and he hasn't hit for much power, but that has to be tempered by the fact he's young and this is his first professional start.

3 19 year olds:
Manuel Geraldo 198/238/228, back at S/S S/K
Jalen Miller 234/266/326, playing 2B in Augusta exclusively. 
Kelvin Beltre 247/318/382, playing mainly 3B.  Beltre has to shake that injury prone label. 

And... Gustavo Cabrera, the Giants are taking it very easy with him.  He's back in S/K.  Has hit 239/293/337 in 99 PAs.

Arroyo is at Richmond, 2 years younger than Matt Duffy, hitting 288/330/397, recently he must have been told to take walks because they've doubled up quickly.  I don't think there is a lot of doubt that Arroyo will hit at this point.

Logan Webb in Augusta: 42IP in 9 starts, 6.21 ERA, 11.6 H/9, 6.4 K/9 and 2.50 K/BB.  He's allowed 7 big flies.

Mac Marshall in Augusta: 21IP in 5 starts, 4.79 ERA, 7.0 H/9, 8.70 BB/9 and a 0.90 K/BB.  He has been very wild.

Phil Bickford was electric to start Augusta and he was electric to start San Jose.  My favorite prospect in the system now, I like him more than Beede and Arroyo for sure.  66IP in 12 starts, 7.0 H/9, 11.2 K/9 and a 5.47 K/BB.  Those are some sexy numbers.  2.73 ERA, and its worth noting that a few of those runs came when he tired.  Giants will stretch his arm out to where they feel comfortable, but the biggest thing is him gaining strength to that wiry frame.  Bona fide pitching prospect who will zoom, zoom, zoom.

Michael Santos in Augusta: 59IP in 10 starts, 9.4 H/9, 6.80 K/9 and an awesome 8.80 K/BB.  Because he has issued 5 BBs all year!  Santos is a better version of Joan Gregorio in my opinion, a wiry kid who might fill in and become a bona fide. 

Those are your 10 yoots in the Giants system who are noteworthy.  There is a lot of emphasis on young age in prospecting.  The Giants generally have not had draft order to go snag premium bonus babies, and they lean towards the college ranks (where they have had a large number of looks at the prospects by multiple evaluators including cross checkers and brain trust types - in other words a good thing) and yes they lean towards wood bats and the cape cod. 

As you can see from the stats, being young isn't always easy.  But there are some top prospect types in the Giant system who deserve big mention.  Bickford is going to get a lot of ink if he keeps up these type of performances.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Will the Pirates Trade Cutch?

Lot of chatter lately about the Pirates, down in the NL Central, possibly trading their franchise player.  They'll see how it goes the next six weeks.  Here is his stellar B/R page

McCutchen has been battling a thumb injury that has really affected his swing.  His stats are way off his career norms.  Further, he is turning 30 this October.  Further, he has two years left under contract and then its a similar age category as Joey Batts for the re-up, he would want something around 5 years at 20MM a pop to take him through his age 37-38 years. 

Better to cut bait a year earlier than a year later?  The Angels have Albert Pujols on their books for a looooong time... Pujols in the past 5 years (crazy to think its been that long since the Cards snuck into the 2011 series and took it down): 138 OPS+, 116 OPS+, 126 OPS+, 117 OPS+ and this year sitting on 95 OPS+.  His OBP's have been pretty lite: 343, 330, 324, 307 and 310.  The SLG, once stuck in the 600s like glue, have dipped from 516, 437, 466, 480 and 396 this year.  That is where it really hurts, the money is in that power, that's why you pay the insane moneys.

McCutchen has put up 4 straight years of 400 Plus OBP, with SLG in the 500s.  His career slash line is 294/383/490.  He is the heart and soul of the Pirates.

I've loved McCutchen for a long time, and if there was one player in the major leagues that I really, really wanted to be a Giant it would be him.  The Pirates were able to lock him up to a pretty team friendly contract which is great for hometown fans and great for MLB.  Now they have developed more outfielders (who are most likely better defenders than Cutch) and have another knocking on the door in Austin Meadows. 

Should they trade him?  It would really hurt the fanbase.  But if you look at it from a ruthless statistical side, you are most likely looking at some downgrades in skills, and a contract that might handcuff a small market team.

Does every player follow that aging curve though?  There are exceptions.  But the hardest thing to overcome is the law of averages with injury.  As Giants fans know watching Matt Cain and Hunter Pence, two former iron men before the big contracts, nothing is guaranteed and the injuries can hit anybody.

Do the Giants have enough?  Not sure.  But here's one thing to consider: the Dodgers wouldn't trade not only their top two prospects, they wouldn't let anybody touch their second tier as well.  If the Giants are willing to deal Arroyo AND Beede AND Blackburn... The Pirates might be tempted to listen.  Especially if a Andrew Susac goes as a throw in. 

Is that a ton?  Yep.  Two years under contract, and a hurt hand to boot.  Would a healthy Cutch be a gigantic balance swing?  Absolutely.  But knowing the extent of the injury, how long it really takes to heal, whether it could be solved by a 2 week shelf job mid-season... lots of balls in motion.

With the Giants outfield on the older side... getting a couple of years younger might be a money move.  Having a superstar possibly be available is a rare thing.  And the only reason its being considered is a hand injury, subpar stats and subpar performance by Pittsburgh, who never seems to be able to get enough Arms to go battle in the Central, even though they have two studs in Taillon and Glasnow in the wings (Taillon likes pitching to the Metropolitans of New York something fierce). 

Most likely its just a thought exercise, and I imagine the Cubs have more "steaks in the freezer"... but the Giants might be in a good position.  The Pirates aren't dealing Cutch to a division rival they have to see a bunch during a stretch, the Cubs don't necessarily need an OF.  The Dodgers seem to value their prospects as the crown jewels.  And it has cost them in the past.

If the Giants are close, and can swing a deal, I say go for it.  After all, trades for Pirates, signing of ex-Pirates, its all worked out quite well for Los Gigantes.