With the trade deadline just over a week away, the Giants reportedly are exploring a "need-for-need" deal with an AL wild card contender.
San Francisco has "been in contact" with the Tampa Bay Rays about trading its relievers, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. With the Giants reportedly looking for infield help, Morosi speculated that Rays infielders Joey Wendle or Michael Brosseau could leave Tampa Bay for the Bay.
Source: #Rays, #SFGiants have been in contact regarding Giants relievers. Giants may move a reliever and keep Bumgarner after recent surge, especially if deal is need-for-need at @MLB level. Joey Wendle or Michael Brosseau would help SF infield. @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 23, 2019
The bullpen has been one of the Giants' strengths this season, and their relievers entered Monday ranked fifth in ERA (3.88), tied-for-seventh in batting average (.238) and 10th in total strikeouts (394). But Will Smith (free agency) and Sam Dyson (arbitration) are in the last year of their contracts, while Tony Watson has a player option after this season. San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Sunday he is open to offers, and a player-for-player swap could allow the now-above .500 Giants to get something back for players who could play elsewhere next season.
One of Brosseau, 25, and Wendle, 29, could be the odd man out in Tampa Bay as the Rays infield gets healthier. Brosseau just made his MLB debut this season, and slashed .317/.408/.590 in 292 plate appearances in Triple-A this season. Wendle has spent time on the injured list this season, struggling at the plate with a .200/.277/.264 slash line in his fourth MLB campaign. The former A's prospect finished fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting just last season, and can play both corner outfield spots in addition to second base, shortstop and third base.
Donovan Solano and Pablo Sandoval have been solid for the Giants in depth roles this season, and third base prospect Zach Green currently is getting his first look in the big leagues with Evan Longoria on the injured list. Green is the only one of those players mentioned who is in his 20s, and Brosseau could give the Giants some youth and positional versatility if San Francisco is able to deal from a position of strength.
With the Giants now in the thick of a wild-card chase, such a move could allow them to "sell" without throwing in the towel. That probably isn't a sentence you thought you'd read back when the season started, but it's now the Giants' reality as the trade deadline approaches.