SAN DIEGO - Buster Posey has seen just about every kind of trade deadline. He has watched Hunter Pence, Jake Peavy, Marco Scutaro and many others walk through the door, and Matt Duffy, Eduardo Nuñez and a steady stream of prospects walk out. Five years ago, he sat with his teammates in the visiting clubhouse of Citizens Bank Park and came to the realization that the front office wasn't doing anything at all, despite a lost season.
Posey can do the math heading into Tuesday's deadline. But he said the clubhouse was insulated from the rumors in recent days, with no feeling that they needed a win Sunday to avoid an ugly sweep that might lead to a sell-off.
"I would tell you if I did," Posey said, "But I didn't sense that."
The Giants could have been 8 1/2 out of the division at the end of the day, but instead it was back to 6 1/2 games behind the Dodgers, and Posey and the rest of the roster flew to San Diego on Sunday night without any changes. There will be an addition or two Monday because of DL moves - Joe Panik and Kelby Tomlinson are likely replacing Johnny Cueto and Pablo Sandoval - but Hug Watch was nonexistent during a disappointing series against the Brewers. The Giants do not want to sell, despite their current position, but some around the game are getting ready just in case that changes.
Several contenders, including the Cubs and Red Sox, had scouts at AT&T Park over the weekend watching Giants relievers they felt might become available by Tuesday's 1 p.m. deadline. The player asked about most often, per sources, is Will Smith, who has a 1.41 ERA since returning from Tommy John surgery. The talk around other pieces, including Tony Watson, is said to be pretty quiet.
Smith would bring back a nice return, even in an overflowing market, but the Giants do not want to move a player who is their current closer and also in line for the role next year. Smith has one year of team control remaining, and since he's only making $2.5 million this year he won't cost much in arbitration this winter. Watson has a reasonable deal. He is owed just $3.5 million next year, although he can earn millions more through performance bonuses. The third year of his deal is a player option. Some familiar with trade discussions have been surprised by the lack of interest in the left-hander, comparing it to his long wait in free agency last offseason.
The most likely player to be moved at some point is right-hander Sam Dyson. If the Giants are to add a player before the deadline, they'll need to first move salary, and Dyson's $4.425 million deal is the easiest target after the trade of Cory Gearrin and Austin Jackson. Dyson could get through waivers in August and be moved after the deadline, although the Giants have not gotten serious calls on him to this point.
They have found some interest in Andrew McCutchen, per sources, but prospective buyers have not been all that aggressive, and McCutchen was removed from Sunday's game with a foot contusion. McCutchen likely would get through waivers, so there's no urgency to make a decision with the pending free agent, who is currently hitting atop the lineup for a team that still is eyeing a postseason spot.
With a day until the deadline, the Giants are not eager to sell, and while interest in their players picked up over the weekend, the market has mostly focused elsewhere. The team was whole on the flight to San Diego, and the odds remain high that the same will be true on Tuesday night's flight to Phoenix.