June 20, 2011
GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
So here the Giants sit, licking their wounds on the heels of the three-game beating administered by the rival -- in the stands, anyway -- Athletics and set for their first real look at unfamiliar interleague foes, this week in the form of the American League Central bottom-feeding Twins and their bizzaro-world-counterpart Indians.Swept by previously poor but Bob Melvin-buoyed Oakland, San Francisco looked like anything but the reigning world champions over the weekend, every weakness exposed and perhaps a new one or two revealed, yet the Giants woke up Monday ready to face their day off still in first place in the wholly flawed National League West.
Among the weaknesses we already knew about are the offense as a whole and the Issue at Catcher. The one revealed, albeit not an earth-shaker, was the need for a far more athletic option defensively at second base. REWIND: Urban: Deja vu? Sweep could spur Giants moves
Bill Hall still can hit a little bit, and his underrated pop is more than welcome, but said pop isn't so prodigious that the Giants should value his run production over run prevention at the position on a daily basis.So now what? Let's take a quick look at three potential solutions and how feasible and fixer-upperish they might be.One player who would single-handedly change the entire offensive dynamic is Jose Reyes. You remember him, right? A while back it appeared as though the Mets were likely to move him by the trade deadline because they had a major cash problem, and Reyes is a free-agent-to-be. It stood to reason New York needed to get more than the compensatory draft pick it would get if Reyes played out the season and moved on via free agency.Things have changed, though. Not Reyes' performance; he's still among the most productive players in his category. But the Mets have enjoyed a recent infusion of cash, and while they know they need to rebuild regardless, Reyes just turned 28. He's exactly they type of player a team can rebuild around, so the odds of him being shopped have dropped. Considerably.In other words, settle in, Brandon Crawford. Unpack your bags and sign that four- or five-month lease. The Issue at catcher? Bengie Molina's name has been brought up here and plenty of other places, and he's made it clear he'd be willing to entertain the notion of a reunion.The troubles with this potential solution are many, though. Nobody's quite sure how big Bengie's gotten since helping the Rangers reach the World Series. He might be a house right now. He didn't exactly endear himself to Brian Sabean after the mid-season trade that sent him to the Lone Star State, either. And Giants hot prospect du jour Hector Sanchez could very well be ready for his close-up in another month or so.But barring a more attractive option presenting itself, it makes at least a little sense to see if Molina is willing to sign a minor-league deal, hook up with the magician that made so many pounds of Pablo Sandoval disappear over the offseason, and spend a month or so trying to downsize from house to studio apartment. If it doesn't work, perhaps Crawford gets Sanchez to co-sign on the aforementioned lease.As for making second base more about run prevention, nobody prevents runs at the position better than Mark Ellis, and the A's have been more than pleasantly surprised by what they've seen from the long-ago-appointed heir to Ellis' throne in the East Bay, speedy Jemile Weeks.A respected Oakland source told CSNBayArea.com over the weekend that prying Ellis from the A's would take no more than a mid-level prospect. A Thomas Neal-type (the source didn't offer specific names), perhaps.But would Billy Beane be down to help the Giants? Some say no. Beane's history says he's far too smart to let something so petty as the rivalry that really isn't to impede him from making a deal that serves his team well now and later. And if a Neal type is all it would take, Sabean would be nuts to not pull the trigger. Ellis is a free agent next year, too, and it's not like he's breaking the bank in his option year with Oakland -- 6 million.Any of this make sense? If it does, great. If not, well, neither does the Giants waking up in first place Monday.