The feeling for now is that Whiteside can do the job.
Buster Posey is out for the rest of the season.
The Giants seemed to have grasped that and begun to move on. But folks concerned with the team's offense are (reasonably) concerned about the chance of the team trading for another catcher to replace Posey in the lineup and behind the plate.
However, Brian Sabean seems to think, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury-News, that Eli Whiteside can fill that role just fine.
“[Whiteside]'s caught extremely well and we’ve done well when he’s been out there. He deserves a shot to see what it looks like," Sabean said. "He’s been around the block.
"And quite frankly, I don’t think anyone will trade us a catcher who’s any better than Whiteside. If someone is an all-around catcher, you’re not going to get that player in a trade."
The one name that's really popped out as a trade possibility is Ivan Rodriguez of the Washington Nationals. "Pudge" isn't crushing the ball lately, but he's a superb defensive player and the type of guy that could easily slide into the Giants clubhouse and behind the plate with the pitching staff.
Other names being bandied about are free agent Bengie Molina (perhaps you've heard of him?) and the Pirates Ryan Doumit, though the latter is a pretty bad defensive player, and probably not the type of guy that Sabean will target.
Pudge makes the most sense of all the non-rostered options, primarily because the Nationals appear to be prepped and ready to let the much-younger Wilson Ramos take the full-time role behind the plate.
Rodriguez' at-bats have been significantly reduced over the past few months, he's not catching every day, and he's 39.
So it's not like anyone thought he was the long-term solution in D.C. or that he'd be required to hang around San Francisco for too long.
Molina has the advantage of already knowing the pitching staff, and while he couldn't possibly be expected to hit a lick at his age, he'd be a comfortable fit for everyone.
That's provided, of course, that there's not any bad blood between he and the Giants' front office with the way that his departure last year -- he was traded to make room for Posey at the big-league level, ironically enough -- went down.
Of course, maybe all this speculation is as pointless as Brian Sabean says it is; if Whiteside can hit decently well and the Giants can keep their first-place lead and avoid a real bad stretch of games in June or July (trade season), then it's entirely possible that he ends up as the guy that Sabean and Bruce Bochy ride for the rest of the year.