SAN FRANCISCO — With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Giants continue to scour the market in search of a significant addition, but if that’s not in the cards they’ll be content to sit this one out and go forward with the hottest team in the National League.
Appearing on CSN’s “But, Seriously,” on Thursday, vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean said the front office still going “by the mantra of we’re looking for a significant upgrade.”
“Bochy really likes the deck he has now,” Sabean said. “Of course, we’re winning. This big road trip we have coming up might further define things.”
Team officials have privately said the same thing all week: Manager Bruce Bochy loves the group he currently has and the Giants, winners of 13 of 15, would only really shake it up if the upgrade is a big one. For that reason, they chased Cole Hamels before he ended up with the Rangers and tried to get David Price before he was dealt to the Blue Jays.
General manager Bobby Evans, appearing on KNBR, said Hamels went as far as waiving his no-trade clause as discussions got serious, but “by the time he did that the Phillies were to the point that they felt comfortable with the deal in Texas.”
Evans immediately contacted the Tigers when Price, a rental, was made available Wednesday. The Giants made at least one offer for Price, but the Blue Jays took their offer to a level that met Detroit’s demands.
The Giants continue to search for a starting pitching upgrade, although most of the options remaining are rentals. The front office has long liked Mike Leake of the Reds, and the Giants are said to have at least some interest in Yovani Gallardo of the Rangers, who coincidentally was starting in Arlington on Thursday night, an off day for Giants players and coaches who flew into the area Wednesday.
Team executives remain back in the “war room” at AT&T Park, and Sabean said he wasn’t completely disappointed when the group found out both Hamels and Price had ended up with American League clubs.
“They’re not down south, they’re not going to a competitor,” he said.
Translation: Neither ace is a Dodger. The first-place club did make a big move Thursday, finalizing a deal that adds Mat Latos and Alex Wood to the rotation, but for the Giants that’s a far cry from having to face Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hamels or Price down the stretch.
As part of the complex deal, the Dodgers acquired former Giant Michael Morse and then designated him for assignment. Even if the Dodgers are unable to find a deal for Morse in the next week, the Giants are unlikely to claim the popular veteran.
The Giants didn’t push hard for a Morse reunion last offseason in large part because they no longer believe he’s a fit in left field. The club had to let Travis Ishikawa go earlier this season because the roster, with 13 pitchers, doesn’t have room for a backup first baseman. Morse could be viewed by some as a pinch-hit bat, but he has a lower slugging percentage than Justin Maxwell this season, so even that wouldn’t be an obvious upgrade.