The Giants are likely going to be buyers come the trading deadline (or, at least, not sellers), but don't expect anything like 2011's trading deadline that saw the Giants give up a top-shelf pitching prospect in Zach Wheeler for a potent offensive weapon in the form of Carlos Beltran.
For one, the Giants don't have any top prospects -- outside of Gary Brown anyway -- to give up. And secondly, as Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com writes, they're much more likely to pursue bullpen help.
"The Giants are fourth in the NL in bullpen ERA, but don’t be surprised if they try to acquire a reliever," Rosenthal writes. "Additional depth would be welcome, and at the deadline relievers are always in plentiful supply. The Giants could improve simply by reinforcing one of their strengths."
Rosenthal's spot-on with his assessment: the Giants currently sport a talented bullpen with Santiago Casilla closing well, Sergio Romo doing what Sergio Romo does and Javier Lopez playing the role of lefty specialist.
But there's a pretty obvious and clear reminder that a strong bullpen can fall apart quickly: the Giants lost both Brian Wilson (injury) and Guillermo Mota (suspension) earlier in the year. And both Romo and Casilla have been banged up recently.
Adding another veteran arm to beef up a strong bullpen would give the Giants more leeway in terms of maintaining leads and keeping the starting rotation fresh.
There's also a precedent for Brian Sabean going out and getting some relief help. You'll recall 2010, which featured a fairly successful outcome, when Sabean eschewed popular opinion and spent his deadline acquiring Ramon Ramirez and Lopez.
Mix in the fact that there aren't too many quality at-bats available for a reasonable price who fit the Giants current needs, and it won't be surprising at all to see Sabean help his bullpen in July.