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The trade deadline has come and gone, with the Giants making a pair of moves in advance of the 1 p.m. PT deadline on Tuesday.
We're going to grade each deal -- along with a pair of non-deals -- and then grade the overall deadline.
Keep in mind that this doesn't include the Giants making a move in advance of the waivers deadline in August and/or sneaking another deal in before the deadline and not leaking it anyone.
Received Marco Scutaro (IF) from Rockies for Charlie Culberson (IF)
The Giants gave up Culberson, a 23-year-old minor-league infielder who struggled in a cup o' coffee this year (.136 in six games) but who some scouts think could be a "solid" contributor. Scutaro is 36 and just a bench player once Pablo Sandoval returns. The Giants haven't won a single game since they acquired him, not that it's his fault or anything. It's just that Scutaro isn't going to be a day-to-day impact bat, even if he will be someone who provides depth off the bench and gives the Giants some flexibility in terms of a guy who can play the infield. Everyone will allegedly love him, and that's great, but it's just not an impact move in terms of giving up a guy who could be a utility player for 13 years.
Received Hunter Pence (OF) from Phillies for Nate Schierholtz (OF), Tommy Joseph (C), Seth Rosin (P)
This was the big move of the deadline and it's hard, relative to what was expected, to really hate it. The Giants didn't give up their top prospect, Gary Brown, and while Joseph might be quite good, he's also blocked by Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez. Pence has 17 home runs this year, which is one more than the Giants have at AT&T Park combined this season. Pence can hit the Coke Bottle. Pence is under control for 2013, albeit at a likely high salary. Pence seriously upgrades the outfield, even if he's not elite defensively. Schierholtz is a local and he'll be missed, but he's a utility guy at best, regardless of how he plays defense at AT&T. The Giants needed to acquire potential impact bat down the stretch and needed to do so without giving up an elite prospect. They did just that, which makes it kind of strange to compare with the Carlos Beltran deal from last year.
Did not trade for Jonathan Broxton (P), Royals
Broxton had superfluous value because he's a closer, but a) he's pitching above his head, b) he's got some potential injury concerns, c) the Royals probably wanted too much, and d) he's a former Dodger. The Giants would've had to overpay for a guy that wouldn't be a real upgrade over rolling the dice on Santiago Casilla figuring things out.
Did not acquire another bullpen arm
Argh. How do you go into the deadline stating that acquiring an arm was a priority and not acquire additional arms? There were some guys for sale and the Giants got beat out by the Dodgers for Brandon League from the Mariners. League would've been a nice addition. Broxton was a good move to bail on, but when you end up missing one of your three main objectives, that's not a good thing. Fortunately, there's the August waiver deadline, which means we can give this an "Incomplete" grade for now.
Grade: I (ncomplete)
The Giants got the batting help they needed, both in terms of a starting batter (Pence) and a bench/utility guy (Scutaro). When Pablo Sandoval returns, the 3-4-5-6 should be Melky-Buster-Panda-Pence, which is pretty darn stout. Brian Sabean's done enough to build a lineup that should produce, although guys like Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco have to hit too.
But there's still a ton of concern about the bullpen and whether they can hold leads for an elite starting pitching staff. Having said that, there's a very good chance that the Giants can still acquire an arm or two in advance of the waiver deadline, and they do have a pile of good arms in the bullpen. Those arms just need to stop being so bad.
The real kicker is this: the Dodgers got loose on the market out there, picked up some talent and the Giants still look like the better overall team. That's a big win for Sabean and Bruce Bochy.