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The San Francisco Giants apparently aren't finished making their moves before the trade deadline as they are set to acquire the Cleveland Indians' Orlando Cabrera for minor league outfielder Thomas Neal according to Danny Knobler of CBSsports.com.
The 36 year old Cabrera will help the Giants fill the gaps in the middle of their infield, bringing 14 years of experience with him to the Bay. Cabrera was the Indians' starting second baseman at the start of the year but tranistioned into more of a utility role down the line. The native of Columbia has a career slash line of .273/.319/.392 and was batting .244/.277/.321 in 344 plate appearances for Cleveland along with four homers and 38 RBI's.
Cabrera is hitting about 30 points lower this season then his career average, but he is still another nice addition added by General Manager Brian Sabean. The Giants really got what they wanted in a utility man; a tested veteran who can play multiple positions, brings a decent bat, and is a consummate professional. And although many a Giant fan will be sad to see Thomas Neal leave it is a relatively small price to pay for a player like Cabrera.
This move could be tied to the status of Freddy Sanchez, who could possibly DH in the Arizona Summer League as soon as Monday. He would be expected back in San Francisco sometime in August if he's healthy enough to play, but the team may be questioning how effective he can be in the field with a possible surgery on the horizon for his bum shoulder.
Either way, a good move for the Giants in my opinion.
The San Francisco Giants have already made the biggest splash a t the trade deadline with the acquisition of Carlos Beltran from the Mets, but GM Brian Sabean and the rest of the Giants brain trust are still trying to make moves to make the club even better.
According to multiple sources, the Cincinnati Reds' Ramon Hernandez is still on the Giants radar as a possible addition to their catching battery of Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart. There is a bit of a disconnect though because Cincy was said to have taken him 'off the block' because they wanted a veteran backstop for a possible playoff run, but have since fallen 6.5 games back of first place in the NL Central, possibly sparking a bit of a fire sale with the dominant Cardinals, Brewers, and Pirates all ahead of them.
The Reds would be most interested in a pitcher via a trade for Hernandez, making the Giants a likely suitor for his services. The Giants have been eyeing the catcher market ever since Buster Posey went down for the season, and may have been waiting for just the right moment to jump on a player like Hernandez.
For more discussion on the Black and Orange, head to McCovey Chronicles.
Maybe the San Francisco Giants aren't satisfied with just trading for Carlos Beltran. Andrew Baggarly noted that pitcher Barry Zito is slated for Sunday's start...but the Giants are listing Sunday's starter as TBA. Manager Bruce Bochy said that Zito is fine and that Jonathan Sanchez won't be taking that start. The only other possibility is probably Eric Surkamp from the Double-A Eastern League, who is nearby in Trenton (the Giants are playing in Philadelphia right now), although it seems like a bit of a leap to put him out there this early.
So if Zito isn't going this weekend, there might be a slight possibility San Francisco is making a move for another pitcher.
It'd be hard to believe the Giants have a suitor for Zito's obese contract given his erratic performance history in the Bay Area. Maybe some team might want a pitcher to complete their rotation, some team might want to drive up alcohol sales in their city as their fans binge-drink their way to sleep. The plot will only thicken as the weekend draws closer.
That being said Giants fans, don't get your hopes up.
For more on the Giants, McCovey Chronicles is where you should be on the Internet.
All the smoke has cleared, all the paperwork has been signed, and Carlos Beltran is officially a San Francisco Giant.
Has a nice ring to it, no?
The deal is for prospect Zack Wheeler, who will be sent to the New York Mets, while the Mets send $4 million along with Beltran to help subsidize a majority of the $6 million he is still owed for the 2011 season. Beltran packed his bags with the Mets in Cincinnati on Wednesday night and flew to Philadelphia to join his new team; but not before he treated a bunch of Mets fans to a steak dinner to show his appreciation for everything they had done for him. Very classy move.
General Manager Brian Sabean spoke to beat writer Andrew Baggarly about the move earlier today, here's a bit of what he had to say:
"Carlos is the player we coveted all along. As we knew what the price of doing business was, we tried to create other options. It became apparent no matter which way we turned, we'd take a hit on our prospect list. In this case, as we were getting close to make the deal, we crossed the bridge with trading a pitcher over a position player with almost equal potential."
In regards to the team itself, Sabean was very cognizant of the fact that a move like this affects the players:
We really felt we needed the help. We owed it to the city, we owed it to the players on the field and in a lot of ways, as defending World Series champions, you have to try to defend it any way you can.
Sabean also knows how important the fan base is to any franchise, because without them you can't pay for salaries for guys like Beltran. This was a move to show the fans that the Giants are serious about repeating:
I don't want to sound hokey, but our fans deserve this as much as the team. Their support has been off the charts. We are trying to defend. We owe it to the players, too. They've done an amazing job under a lot of pressure and adversity. We're in first place. Hopefully this shows we mean business."
In other news I reported last night that the Giants would send Brandon Belt back to the minors, but it appears that they will send Bill Hall instead after being activated from the DL do to his gnarly shin gash from being spiked a few weeks ago. Belt will likely be the Travis Ishikawa of 2011 as a defensive replacement at first base and pinch hitter most of the time.
Although the trade itself hasn't been 100% solidified by Major League Baseball, the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets have struck an accord that would send slugger Carlos Beltran to the Bay. Many reports have stated that the Mets will receive Giants prospect Zack Wheeler in the deal, but that has neither been confirmed or denied by either side.
The Mets will also send $4 million to the Giants to help compensate for the $6 million left on Beltran's 2011 contract, signaling two possibilities: either the Mets aren't as strapped for cash as once thought, or the team was that desperate to get him off their payroll. Either way it's a bit of a head scratcher if you ask me. Andrew Baggarly points out that that money will essentially cover the approximately $3 million bonus that Wheeler got a few seasons ago if you want to look at it that way as well.
Baggarly also noted that Beltran will likely bat third in the lineup in front of Pablo Sandoval, and will play the majority of his time in right field (he is the expected starter there on Thursday). This will cause the Giants to platoon a few of their outfielders, notably Cody Ross and Nate Schierholtz. Why the team wouldn't do more platooning with Andres Torres is beyond me, especially with Nate being the Giants mainstay in the batter's box right now alongside Sandoval. Ross and Aaron Rowand will likely lose the most playing time to Beltran, but that only improves their roster depth off the bench.
More to come when the official word is dropped either later today or tomorrow morning.
Slugger Carlos Beltran is very, very close to becoming a San Francisco Giant, but the fluidity of the situation continues to bring new things to light:
Before anything can happen Beltran himself has to sign off on the deal as part of his no-trade clause in his contract, then the deal must be OK'd by Bud Selig and Major League Baseball.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, if nothing else occurs over the next 24 hours the deal would consist of Giants prospect pitcher Zack Wheeler along with cash compensation for Beltran. Names like Gary Brown and Jonathan Sanchez have been swirled around, and both sides could obviously add players or compensation to either side of the deal to make it happen.
So what happens when (or if) Beltran becomes a Giant? Here is Andrew Baggarly's take:
My best guess at playing time, should this happen: Beltran in right field, with Nate Schierholtz platooning with Cody Ross in left. Center field remains an Andres Torres/Aaron Rowand platoon, but now there will be fewer starts for Rowand in left against right-handers.
And if you were at all skeptical still, here's a tweet from the Chronicle's Hank Schulman that may quell your fears:
Can't beat source like that. Scardino = Gs travel guy. RT @WineWorkerAdamC: My mom works with Scardino. Beltran has flight to PHI tonight.less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet ReplyHenry Schulman
If that's not a good sign, I don't know what is.
The deal is far from finalized and likely won't be announced officially until later today or even tomorrow as Beltran has to OK the deal himself through his no-trade clause, and the news coming in about trade details is fluid and rapidly changing. The one name that multiple sources are naming is prospect pitcher Zack Wheeler, while others are throwing names like Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez and prospect outfielder Gary Brown. The Giants likely wouldn't trade away both Brown and Wheeler, and some reports are claiming that, as well as Sanchez staying with the Black and Orange.
Obviously this situation is chock full of rumor an innuendo, but stay with SB Nation Bay Area for up to the minute coverage of the Giants presumably landing the biggest bat available at the trade deadline.
With the rumors and speculation surrounding the Mets' Carlos Beltran building by the hour, the San Francisco Giants are looking towards other options that could bolster their outfield as well as their offense.
The Rays B.J. Upton has emerged as another likely candidate that the Black and Orange will look to acquire according the Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. San Francisco will join the Indians, Rangers, Braves and Phillies as possible suitors to Tampa Bay's former All-Star outfielder, who is currently averaging .229/.310/.395 for the contenders in the AL East And even though his numbers a down this season Upton would still be a great addition to the Giants, bringing his speed, defense, and AL East success to the city by the Bay, and a change of scenery from the dreary Trop down in south Florida would likely be a welcome sight to the 26 year old.
If Upton was to join the Giants, he'd likely usurp Andres Torres as the everyday center fielder, possibly moving him to left field to platoon with Cody Ross. Where that leaves Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell's future is yet to be seen, but likely would limit their playing time almost to nothing as Nate Schierholtz has shown without question to be an everyday player.
Though Beltran is much better offensively that Upton, Beltran's desire to play for the NL has somewhat limited his trade value (not much mind you). Upton is better defensively and will be under a team's control through 2012, possibly making the Giants more comfortable with letting go a top-level prospect for him instead of the likely 'rental' situation with Beltran.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney the list of serious suitors for Carlos Beltran is down to five teams; the Red Sox, Giants, Phillies, Braves and Rangers. All of these teams either are leading their respective divisions or are very close it to it, while the Indians and Pirates have been all but weeded out according to Olney. The Giants were considered the leaders of the pack a very days ago, but now have seemingly the same possible chance as any of the other four teams in the running for the NL leader in extra base hits.
All these teams have the cash to drop, but the Rangers and Red Sox might have a harder sell to make to the Mets due to the fact that Beltran reportedly wants to stay in the National League. The Giants are in the most desperate need of acquiring Beltran's offense in my opinion as the Phils and Braves have more productive hitters on their rosters already with the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino for Philly and Brian McCann, Jason Heyward, and Freddie Freeman for Atlanta. Aside from Pablo Sandoval, most of the Giants have been very hit or miss (literally) offensively.
How do the Mets proceed in all of this? Well, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal New York will likely have multiple offers lined up and at the ready as the deadline approaches, leaving their options open. If Beltran decides to veto an incoming deal, the Mets would already have another one ready to go and so on, making sure to keep both the Mets and Beltran in a place where they feel comfortable enough to make a trade that helps both the player and his soon to be former organization.
The newest member of the Black and Orange is Jeff Keppinger, acquired Tuesday from the Houston Astros for minor league RHP's Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel. Keppinger is a multi tooled fielder who can play second base, shortstop, third base, and if need be outfield. He was batting a very solid .307 in 163 at bats with Houston this season, and will become a staple in the Giants lineup as a platoon infielder along with Mike Fontenot, Brandon Crawford, Emmanuel Burriss and (hopefully) Miguel Tejada.
Although this isn't a gigantic splash for the G-Men, it is another great move made by Giants GM Brian Sabean and the rest of the team's braintrust. Will Kep be the Cody Ross of the 2011 campaign? That is yet to be seen. But his addition makes the Giants better without a doubt.
San Francisco also recalled Brandon Belt from AAA Fresno but haven't announced a corresponding roster move. I'd assume it is Brandon Crawford being sent down, who has been seriously slumping at the plate despite playing great defense at shortstop.
Last week during the All-Star break it was looking very promising that the Mets and Giants could strike a deal for Beltran. Carlos along with shortstop Jose Reyes traveled to Arizona with the Giants on their charter flight over there, Beltran said he'd waive his no trade clause, there was palpable buzz surrounding both clubs that Beltran wanted to go to a true contender; a place where he would be adored by fans and lead a team to the promise land.
Well that's all good and fine, but it likely wont be in the Black and Orange.
Here's the situation as I see it: The Giants are more than willing to take on the cash that Beltran is owed for the rest of 2011, especially seeing GM Brian Sabean has already said he'd essentially buy a 'rental player' for the rest of 2011. What Sabean won't give up, and what the Mets truly want out of a possible Beltran deal, are top prospects to fill their roster with. Sabean is unwilling to trade guys like Gary Brown, Andrew Kown, Zach Wheeler, or any other up-an-coming Giant, thus meaning the Giants have little to nothing to offer the Mets that would wet their appetite enough to deal their All-Star. Teams that are less dependent on home-grown talent and building around youngsters (like the Red Sox or Phillies) would be much more amenable to make a deal the Mets would take then the Giants, even with all the hoopla created during the break about Beltran and San Francisco.
In reality Sabean will probably go dumpster diving again in waiver claims, trying to piece together some additions to the club that can make them better, if only marginally. Miguel Tejada and Cody Ross have started to have better at bats and are producing once again, but will it last? Giants fans have been waiting for years now for a possible replacement for slugger Barry Bonds in their lineup; Pablo Sandoval and Aubrey Huff are the closest things they have to it now, and are far cries from it. It's obvious this team needs another significant bat, but sadly it more than likely won't be Beltran.
A source told ESPN New York Monday afternoon that the Mets are completely willing to cover the rest of Beltran's 2011 salary if the right deal came along, one that preferably would be rich with talented youngsters on their way up to the majors. Beltran is in the final season of his seven year, $119 million contract and is owed approximately $6 million more for the rest of 2011.
New York's financial hardships along with another lackluster season thus far leaves GM Sandy Alderson on the precipice of a fire sale, claiming that he will wait until closer to the deadline to see if his team can get into a playoff race before selling off his talent.
As it pertains to the San Francisco Giants, GM Brian Sabean said he is willing to take on "rental players" this season, but is unwilling to give away top notch prospects from the team's minor league affiliates, seemingly leaving the team between a rock and a hard place in terms of acquiring Beltran. Should be interesting to see how this general manager tango will pan out over the next few weeks.
For more on the Giants check of McCovey Chronicles.
We're still about two weeks out from the MLB trade deadline, but the rumor mill continues to churn out new stories. ESPN's Buster Olney stated on his blog Sunday that the San Francisco Giants would be a terrific fit for Tampa Bay Rays Outfielder B.J. Upton as Tampa continues to weigh it's options with the 26 year old outfielder.
Here's Buster's breakdown of the situation, which I remind you is purely speculation:
San Francisco doesn't typically make deals with the Padres, who have Ludwick, or with the Athletics, who have Willingham, and they might not want to pay the necessary price for Beltran. Upton would fit the Giants' park with his defense, and he would be under control for San Francisco through next year.
The stumbling blocks for such a deal are plentiful, especially with the Giants unwilling to trade top prospects for big name players right now. That would likely mean an outfielder on the Giants roster would have to go, and I don't see the Rays taking Pat Burrell back, picking up Aaron Rowand's gigantic contract, nor do I see the Giants letting go of Nate Schierholtz, Cody Ross or Andres Torres right now. The Giants need a bigger bat than Josh Willingham or Ryan Ludwick can bring (especially now with Ludwick slumping) and if they don't want to pay the price for Beltran, they might be digging through the wavier claim pile once more looking for gold.
Meyers' proposed trade is for Giants prospect Francisco Peguero for Minnesota Twins All-Star Michael Cuddyer. Now when you put it like that, it doesn't sound like a fair deal; a prospect for an All-Star? But Meyers breaks it down like this:
The Twins need to start looking to the future, and Cuddyer, who's 32 and a free agent after this year, probably isn't a part of it. He's an ideal NL player because he can play first base or right field, as well as second or third in a pinch. Therefore, he would give manager Bruce Bochy a ton of flexibility on double switches. Also, Cuddyer has the extra special veteran glow the Giants so desperately covet.
Peguero, who Keith Law ranked as the Giants' No. 4 prospect in the preseason, missed the first couple of months of the season with a knee injury. The 23-year-old has posted an .849 OPS since his recent promotion to Double-A, and would be a good return for a free-agent-to-be such as Cuddyer.
This deal makes sense on a couple of fronts, but I have questions about it as well. First, the Giants would get another veteran at-bat in the lineup as well as greater lineup flexibility With Cuddyer on the squad. But if Meyers is claiming he's to play first base and right field most often, where does that leave the hot hitting Nate Schierholtz and staple first baseman Aubrey Huff? Not to mention Brandon Belt, who seemingly is always on the verge of a call-up. I think he'd been playing a lot more middle infield unless they decide to get rid of Aubrey Huff of relegate him to the bench.
The Giants and Twins would also be, on paper, sticking to their game plans of not giving up talented pitchers for the Giants (i.e. Zach Wheeler or Andrew Kown) and the Twins will get younger and more talented with the addition of Peguero. But with the lack of depth the Giants have already with their positional players it might behoove them to hang on to guys like Peguero to see if they can blossom into a starting role with the Giants.
All in all, I'm not against the deal; any time you can add an All-Star to your squad more power to you. But a lot of careful consideration would have to be put towards making the right decision by the Giants braintrust before any triggers are pulled.
The San Francisco Giants remain the top candidate in the running for Carlos Beltran, if there is indeed a "running." They remain the top candidate simply because it makes the most sense for them to make something happen. They're definitely interested, but as noted, the Mets aren't necessarily eager to get a deal done sooner rather than later. It's a situation they're looking at with extreme scrutiny and if something doesn't get done, they'd be fine with sticking with him.
It'd be a great move for the Giants to make, but it's not like they have a player unhappy with his situation. Those players are generally easier to get hands on. Beltran has made some comments lately, as he reportedly told the Mets that he would be perfectly happy finishing his career on the Mets. He's receptive to anything right now, and has a say in where he ends up, as part of his contract.
"I've already made it clear for the organization that I would love to finish my career here, but at the same time you understand organizations have plans that are sometimes not the plans you think of"
That's a quote from the New York Daily News, and it goes to show that getting Beltran isn't going to be easy. He's happy where he's at, he's a great All-Star player and the Mets would be fine with keeping him on the roster. Who knows what the price is?
Since the All-Star break the talk surrounding the New York Mets' Carlos Beltran and the possibility of him being traded has been on the lips of many a sports fan across the country. The San Francisco Giants are likely the most buzzed about team about acquiring the All-Star slugger, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Mets are ready to deal him just yet.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson reiterated this fact Thursday as he spoke to some media folks via conference call to clear the air a bit about Beltran and his impending status:
"We have had discussions with other clubs about a variety of players, Carlos' situation is well-known ... and it's not surprising given his situation and performance this year that a lot of interest has been expressed. We have not pursued that interest in great length to this point."
"I do want to make it clear that the (Francisco) Rodriguez trade should not signal anything to anyone about Beltran. The far more important situation is how we play in the next two to three weeks."
Beltran is also being eyed by a number of different ball clubs such as the Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, White Sox, Rays and Reds, all of which could use an upgrade in the corner outfield position as well as another slugger in their lineup.
The Giants have likely done the most courting of Beltran, but that doesn't make them the frontrunner per se. It's going to be an interesting few weeks, and if the Mets keep winning, Beltran might not be going anywhere at all.
Almost immediately follow the end of the 2011 All-Star Game the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers solidified a deal that sends closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brew Crew in exchange for $5 million in cash and two players to be named later.
From the outside looking in it appears that the Mets are about to begin a serious fire sale if they are basically giving away a veteran closer with good numbers (23 of 26 saves completed, 3.16 ERA in 42 appearances in 2011) for cash and two invisible ballplayers, but how will that effect the San Francisco Giants and their chances of landing Carlos Beltran, or even Jose Reyes? Quite possibly a lot.
The Giants have already begun their courting process of Beltran as skipper Bruce Bochy named him to his All-Star team late, taking Beltran to the All-Star game with them on their charter flight after they finished the series in San Francisco before the break, as well as Brian Wilson's rumor talk during the All-Star game broadcast. And now with the Mets essentially giving Rodriguez the proverbial dont-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out maneuver, they could easily send Beltran packing as well.
Let's not forget what got the Mets into this place, their finances. Like the Los Angeles Dodgers the Mets are essentially broke, barely making enough to keep functioning on their own. In fact, if it wasn't for a loan from MLB they might not be staying afloat at all.
Another factor is all the PR mess that Rodriguez created for the organization last season as Rodriguez was arrested for assaulting his then girlfriend's father after a game at Citi Field. The Mets have have just been waiting to dump him anyway, and the price in which they did may certain prove that, but they also may just be trying rid of as many big contracts as possible.
The Midsummer Classic is in the books, and the second half on the MLB season is right around the corner, meaning that the July 31st trade deadline is rapidly approaching. The San Francisco Giants have been besieged by their lackluster offense and numerous injuries, leaving them as an obvious buyer before the deadline.
The question is, where do they need to improve the most?
The obvious place to start would be at the catcher position after they lost Buster Posey for the entire season. Bengie Molina was an option, but has since opted out of playing again, while Ivan Rodriguez, Ramon Hernandez and former Giants Yorvit Torrealba are all players likely to be on the Giants radar.
The middle infield is another problem area for the G-Men with the loss of Freddy Sanchez to injury, Miguel Tejada aging by the day, and minor league call-ups Brandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss not producing much at the plate. They have veterans Bill Hall and Mike Fontentot, but would like to upgrade to a player who could add more offensively than they do. The Mets Jose Reyes has been recognized as an option.
The outfield is already crowded, but could possible use some of their players as trade bait as they try to land some new talent. Aaron Rowand is the first Giants to come to mind, but might be hard to move with his big time salary. The pitching staff is the Giants best asset, while have blossoming prospects waiting in the wings, but could have to dip into both of them if they want to make a big deal.
The biggest deal of all is of course Carlos Beltran, who has been rumored as a prize piece for the Giants for some time now. Beltran travelling to the All-Star Game with the Giants as well as closer Brian Wilson's invite during the broadcast of the All-Star Game certainly seems like San Francisco is actively trying to woo Beltran into joining the leaders in the NL West, but you never quite know. It should be quite the wild ride over the next few weeks as general manager Brian Sabean will undoubtedly be on the horn a lot trying to make a deal.
Remember, the Giants added Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez, and Jose Guillen during last season's run, going all the way to winning the World Series with all of them making contributions along the way. Maybe they can repeat the process this season.
For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.