Even with an expanded Wild Card field, some teams have to know that a playoff berth isn’t enough to get them through a five- or seven-game series against some of the MLB’s best. For some reason, it might be taking the San Francisco Giants a little bit longer to realize that, but they sooner they do, the New York Yankees can benefit greatly.
The 2019 Nationals, who at one point were 19-31, as well as the 2021 Atlanta Braves, who were a few games under .500 at the trade deadline, have seemingly provided false hope for others out there in similar positions. But Washington rode magic that year (and also had a stacked roster) while the Braves hit the jackpot with low-cost acquisitions at the trade deadline. That just doesn’t happen to everyone.
Perhaps the Giants, who are now 51-52 with the trade deadline approaching in a few hours, should get a clue. If they sell, that puts obvious trade candidates Carlos Rodón and Joc Pederson on the table, for which they can get significant value.
The Yankees need one more starting pitcher, and Rodón, who’s likely going to reject his player option in the offseason after his tremendous first four months, could be the perfect candidate.
If a deal does come to fruition, the Yankees will have to thank the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have faced the Giants five times since the All-Star break and have went a blistering 5-0, putting their division rivals in this precarious position.
LA might be inadvertently helping out their top World Series competition should the Giants decide to sell.
If the Giants sell and the Yankees benefit, New York can thank the Dodgers
In SF’s defense, the roster is dealing with injuries, but there’s a total dearth of power and the bullpen won’t be able to last down the stretch and into the postseason without serious additions. The rotation is rock solid, but nothing special. That would need another marquee acquisition, too.
What many forget is that last year, the Giants rode unexpected bounce-backs to a 107-win season. Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Evan Longoria put up All-Star-caliber seasons. This time around, Posey is gone and the other aforementioned guys either aren’t pulling their weight or have struggled with injuries. This is far from the same Giants team.
Maybe it’s time Cashman swoops in with a minor overpay to see what Farhan Zaidi thinks. The Giants have a number of key players hitting free agency after this year and don’t exactly have an identity at the moment. They’d benefit from an infusion of young talent given their poor standing in various publications’ farm system rankings.
The Dodgers further kicking the Giants down the NL West standings has to have Zaidi wondering if Rodón is going to be among the driving forces for a playoff run. While he certainly could be, it’ll hinge on so many other factors, like health, bounce-backs, and the Dodgers, Padres, Cardinals, Mets, Phillies, Brewers and Braves getting way stronger at the deadline.
Don’t worry though, the Yankees are here to buy if you see this as all too overwhelming, guys.