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MLB Trade Rumors: Would Jose Reyes to the San Francisco Giants Be a Good Thing?

With the New York Mets recent financial situation and the San Francisco Giants desperate need for offense and a real short stop, Jose Reyes has been one of the hottest names floating around MLB trade rumors. 

This is an intriguing idea for both teams. They have exactly what each other wants and needs. However, neither team will be bite the bait for a small price.

Reyes will be a free agent at the end of the season. The Mets are facing a $1 billion lawsuit due to their involvement with the Bernie Madeoff scandal. All that is for sure is that they will be reducing their payroll significantly in 2012.

If New York is not a postseason contender (in the highly competitive NL East) when the July 31 trade deadline rolls around, you can bet that there will be no more “Joseeeeeè, Jose, Jose-Joseeeeeeè, Josè, Josè” chants for Los Mets fans at Citi Field come August.

The defending World Champion San Francisco Giants have been plagued with issues in 2011 of similar magnitude but very different circumstances.

San Francisco won their championship in 2010 because of their dominant pitching staff and timely hitting. A band of misfits and castoffs was strategically strung together by mastermind general manager Brian Sabean. 

Sabean did everything in his power to keep his champions together, making only a few small moves during the offseason. However, fate destroyed his careful work when San Francisco was plagued by several majorly devastating injuries.

A team that has notoriously struggled offensively and barely strung across enough runs to secure wins for their staff has already lost almost all of it’s biggest producers at some point this season. 

Heart-breaking injuries to the comeback Pablo Sandoval, sensation Buster Posey, the consistent and reliable Freddy Sanchez and a few other utility players, have created a “giant” need for an offensive spark-plug. 

The Giants currently hold the sixth worst batting average in the majors and are last in runs scored.

Somehow they have managed to stay on top of the NL West within half a game of first place the entire season (proof that great pitching really does go a loooong way, my friends). Although the NL West is admittedly not the most competitive division to compete in, this has been no easy feat for the Giants, and they will need to make a move to stay there.

The Giants have a big hole at shortstop, especially with an aging Miguel Tejada picking up most of the playing time there and hitting just .226.

With second basemen Freddy Sanchez possibly out for the season and the middle infield positions being held down by high-potential but not so high-impact players who have been brought up to the majors in wake of recent injuries, the need for an offensive shortstop with speed and range just became a high priority for San Francisco.

If you looked up “Jose Reyes” in the dictionary, that is exactly what you would see. “An offensive shortstop with speed and range” and one having one of the best years of his career leading the league in runs and average with the second most stolen bases. 

If San Francisco wants to have a shot at repeating their title, or even remaining contenders for that matter, they will probably need someone of the likes of Jose Reyes to fill the void in 2011. 

What exactly would the Giants have to give up to make this happen?

New York needs good, young players, particularly pitchers. San Francisco has many very valuable young players and pitchers, but some may have too much future value to be traded. 

This could involve Giants top pitching prospects such as first-round draft pick Zack Wheeler, as well as young position players such as Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford, who both still have developing to do but have already shown potential at the big league level. 

Other players that will be targeted are members of the Giants top tier starting rotation.

Giants GM Brian Sabean will not give up his ace Tim Lincecum or workhorse Matt Cain. He would be lucky to get rid of Barry Zito in a package to the Mets. However, this could be even more costly for the Giants, who still owe the struggling lefty over $40 million and would likely have to buy out the rest of his contract.

With the year comeback player Ryan Vogelsong is having, you can bet that the Giants are going to hold on to him as long as he keeps up the best numbers and performance of the entire pitching staff.

However, No. 3 starter Jonathon Sanchez, who has had several shaky starts this season although he can be lights out when he’s locked in, has been relatively inconsistent with 38 wins and 44 losses in six seasons with San Francisco.

It might be smart for the Giants to include Jonathon Sanchez in a package with prospects to bring Reyes to SF. 

It all depends. Do the Giants want to give up the potential future success of their franchise over the next decade to bring Jose to the team for the rest of 2011? 

Yes, with the year Reyes is having, his addition would all but guarantee postseason success.

However, if San Francisco makes a trade for Jose, it would likely be a short term “rental,” as when he goes on the free agent market after the World Series they would have to re-sign him. 

Reyes is only 28 years old, and if he keeps up his All-Star numbers through the second half he will demand,and likely be awarded a big time superstar contract of the likes of those of Troy Tulowitski and Carl Crawford. 

The Giants will not sign Reyes to a long term contract. If they do, it will cost them.

Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson’s contracts are all up in the next few years. This is a team that is built around pitching, and it won them a World Series. If the Giants want to repeat as champions anytime soon, they need to save their money to keep the pitching staff intact. 

Look for a team with a higher payroll to sign Reyes for 2012. The New York Yankees? That’s a whole other story. 

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Brandon Crawford Helps San Francisco Giants Regroup in Grand Fashion

Bruce Bochy called a team meeting on Thursday evening in the Giants’ clubhouse in San Francisco. The Marlins had just finished a three-game sweep of the team that almost seemed to be in a state of mourning after the dramatic loss of one of their most prized possessions. 

“We talked today about a few things—the loss of Buster and how important it is for us to move forward here,” Bochy said. “That’s what Buster would want. There will be questions about how good we will be without Buster. We have to answer that question.”

“You can’t always control what happens on the field. But you can control how you respond. We have to respond the right way, and that’s to keep fighting.”

Sounds to me like something from Angels in the Outfield. These words of wisdom may just further prove how talented of a manager Bochy is. San Francisco was able to defeat a hot Milwaukee team on the road the next day. 

All we know for sure is that his message got through to at least one player on the team.

Some fans called the end of Buster Posey in 2011 “The Day the Magic Died” at AT&T Park. A clever play on the Giants’ 2010 marketing campaign. One unlikely young player proved that “There’s (still) Magic Inside.” And he did it on the first-pitch hanging curveball that he saw in the seventh inning with the Giants trailing 3–1. 

Brandon Crawford’s first big league hit was what turned out to be a game-winning Grand Slam to right field.

The Giants know Crawford’s potential and were cultivating him well in their highly acclaimed farm system. Crawford was excelling at the minor league level before being called up. He pulled through and gave the team the spark that they could not find anywhere else. 

Perhaps a new slogan for 2011 will be a combination of magic and torture. Regardless, I can tell you that many Giants fans will agree—“Magic never felt so good.”

Crawford was the story of the night, deservedly so. Only five other players in the history of the game have ever achieved such a feat. That gives you goosebumps, doesn’t it? 

However, the fresh rookie was not the only unlikely character of the Giants’ story to make a difference. The Posey injury has been highlighted by the media as a tragedy for the team, which isn’t a stretch. But we must keep reminding ourselves in situations such as these—the game must go on.

There is one particular player that found himself right in the wake of the loss. He takes on a very challenging role, replacing the “irreplaceable.” Under the radar, he also fought to snap the Giants’ three-game skid. Not surprisingly, Eli Whiteside’s offensive performance has been frustrating. Nevertheless, the backup catcher displayed an act of courage, the significance of which may have been dwarfed by other events in the game. 

The Giants were trying to preserve their treasured lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee’s first basemen power house, weighs 275 lbs, but it sure seemed like twice that much as came toward home plate and made an aggressive play on Whiteside. It was a legal play, but arguably inappropriate given recent events. Giants fans everywhere held their breath and closed their eyes, having flashbacks to the events of that fatal Wednesday night. 

But when they opened them, Fielder was punched out by the home plate umpire. And Whiteside was alive, with the ball in his glove. An act of courage and strength from another unlikely character. 

Oh yeah, and don’t forget that Tim Lincecum was pitching. The Giants ace is held to such a high standard of performance because of his raw talent that his hard work often goes by unnoticed when he doesn’t strike out 14 batters or pitch a complete game shutout. Timmy gave up three runs on six hits and had four strikeouts with no walks. A relatively impressive performance, that is, when comparing the young righty to actual human beings. 

We can be superstitious and say that the Giants just may have had the “Baseball Gods” on their side Friday night in Milwaukee. The events of the night may or may not be representative of what is to come in the San Francisco Giants increasingly uncertain 2011. However, they certainly will go in the record books, and be remembered for a long time by many. 

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