Giants CEO Larry Baer: 'We're gonna be a buyer if we can be a buyer'


Giants CEO Larry Baer: 'We're gonna be a buyer if we can be a buyer'

The non-waiver MLB trade deadline is rapidly approaching as teams must make a deal by 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday. With the Giants, going into Friday night's game, 5.5 games back in the NL West and 4.5 games in the NL wild card race, what will the front office do? 

On Thursday, Giants CEO Larry Baer joined KNBR to talk about the team and the upcoming trade deadline. Right away, Baer made it clear where his head's at with this team. 

"It's pretty clear to us that we're not in a seller mode," Baer said. 

That doesn't mean the Giants won't make a move. But it gets a bit complicated. The goal for the Giants is that if they have to trade a player, it's still to add as well.

"Now we may make a move to clear space, then make another move to add," Baer explained. "If you have to move somebody to add somebody -- move Player Y to add Player X -- then you can do that. 

"We're not really walking in the room scratching our heads with buyer versus seller. We want to improve the team and we want drive to get there at the end of September to be a playoff team and go from there. That's what we're gonna do." 

The Giants made it clear in the offseason they had no plans to rebuild, even after a 98-loss season. Throughout the winter, the front office preached their message of a "reload" over a "rebuild." 

"We're gonna be a buyer if we can be a buyer," Baer made clear on KNBR. 

Starting with a 7-5 loss to the Brewers on Thursday night, the Giants are in a critical four-game home series with the team who currently sits atop the wild card standings. These four games could be a big factor in how the Giants view themselves for the trade deadline. 

"We have a shot and we wanna take that shot," Baer said on the playoffs. 

As far as the market on the trade deadline goes, Baer stated how a lot of big names have been moved early this year. He also said there's been a premium on bullpen arms, and the front office feels confident in the current construction of the bullpen, especially when Hunter Strickland returns. 

No matter what the Giants do at the deadline, help is on the way. Evan Longoria returned to the lineup on Thursday night, Joe Panik began his rehab assignment in Sacramento, and Strickland isn't too far away either. 

MLB rumors: Almost every contender to scout Madison Bumgarner vs. Cubs

MLB rumors: Almost every contender to scout Madison Bumgarner vs. Cubs

A few more wins for the Giants and we can put this whole "buy or sell" tap dance to bed, because, well, the July 31 MLB trade deadline will have come and gone.

Following their come-from-behind win over the Cubs on Monday, the Giants now are 16-3 in their last 19 games and are over .500 for the first time all season. With each win, the Giants inch closer to deciding not to sell off Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith and the like, instead choosing to try and give Bruce Bochy one final October run. 

While it feels less likely every day that Bumgarner will get traded, that won't stop the other contenders from sending their scouts to Oracle Park on Tuesday to watch the ace left-hander, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Tuesday. 

Decisions, decisions.

[RELATED: Report: 'Few see MadBum going anywhere' in Giants trade]

The Giants' recent hot streak has turned them from surefire sellers into a team with dreams of one final fall in the spotlight with Bochy and their veteran core. Even if the Giants do elect to trade Bumgarner, he always could reject the trade and choose to ride out the season with the franchise he loves. 

Farhan Zaidi will listen to all trade offers, and the Giants reportedly could do a "need-for-need" swap as the deadline nears. But for now, it feels like Bumgarner's final start in a Giants uniform won't come in the next week.

MLB rumors: Giants talking 'need-for-need' trade of relievers to Rays

MLB rumors: Giants talking 'need-for-need' trade of relievers to Rays

With the MLB 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.  

The bullpen has been one of the Giants' strengths this season, and their relievers entered Tuesday 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 year 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 year and can play both corner outfield spots in addition to second base, shortstop and third base. 

[RELATED: Few teams reportedly 'see MadBum going anywhere now']

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.