Plenty of the same names remain, but this isn't the same old -- no pun intended -- Giants.
The product looks similar to previous seasons, however, with president of baseball operation Farhan Zaidi at the helm, everything is different. That could become even more clear at the July 31 MLB trade deadline when the Giants are expected to see significat roster turnover.
Zaidi could even be on the phones with his former employer, which just happens to be the Giants' biggest rival. MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Tuesday morning that the Giants and Dodgers haven't ruled out a trade that would send San Francisco's closer Will Smith to Los Angeles.
#Dodgers, #SFGiants aren't ruling out the prospect of making a Will Smith trade, source says. The rivals haven't paired up on a deal since @Sweendog9 to L.A. for Travis Denker in 2007. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 25, 2019
Smith, who turns 30 in July, could be one of the top targets on the trade market. The left-hander is a perfect 20-for-20 in save opportunities this season. He owns a 2.01 ERA over 32 appearances out of the bullpen and has 47 strikeouts to seven walks in 31.1 innings pitched.
"Right now, we'll play hard for the orange and black, and whatever happens, happens. We'll cross that bridge when we get there," Smith said less than two weeks ago when asked about trade rumors.
The closer we get to the trade deadline, the louder the rumors will get. Just last week, MLB Trade Rumors released their list of the top 50 trade candidates. The top two names were both Giants pitchers, but it was Smith who topped the list, not team ace Madison Bumgarner.
Smith is on a cheap one-year, $4.23 million contract. He's been one of the best relievers in baseball this season and could be exactly what a contender needs for a postseason run.
As far as the Dodgers go, Zaidi is plenty familiar with the state of the franchise. Zaidi served as the team's general manager from 2014 through the 2018 season. He knows the team's farm system, which ranked seventh by MLB.com entering the season, inside and out, and should be able to target the type of players the Giants need to bolster their minor league system.
"If we do end up in a position where we're selling and looking to get some future talent, you actually want to be trading in the division because you want to weaken your rivals in future years, and you want them to push more chips into the present. In a way, it actually benefits you more," Zaidi said on KNBR at the beginning of the month when asked about a possible trade with the Dodgers.
The Giants and Dodgers last traded with each other in 2007. With Zaidi running the show, though, anything is possible -- even if that means helping the rival now for a better future in San Francisco.