Brandon Belt

Rangers should trade for Brandon Belt from Giants, ESPN analyst writes

beltgreyus.jpg
USATSI

Rangers should trade for Brandon Belt from Giants, ESPN analyst writes

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi finds himself in quite the conundrum before the July 31 MLB trade deadline.

With an 11-5 win over the Rockies on Wednesday, the Giants completed a four-game sweep at Coors Field and have now won 12 out of their last 14 contests. Prior to the Arizona Diamondbacks facing the Rangers later in the night, San Francisco currently is 2.5 games out for the second NL wild card spot. 

But the Giants appear to be still be sellers at the deadline, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported earlier in the day. If that's the case, the front office could move more than just pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. 

If the Rangers -- who recently have slipped in the AL wild card standings -- are buyers, they could be suitors for a Giants bat. Brandon Belt would be a major upgrade at first base over Ronald Guzman, which is one reason why ESPN's Dave Schoenfield believes Texas should make a move for the long-time Giant. 

"They need a first baseman and Belt's numbers would take a leap moving over from San Francisco," Schoenfield wrote Tuesday.

Belt, a Texas native, has hit eight of his 11 home runs on the road this season and his batting average nearly is 70 points higher -- .272 compared to .203 -- away from Oracle Park. He is signed through 2021 at $17.5 million per season, and might not have an easy contract to move, however. 

Trading Belt could open a spot for Zach Green, who is not on the 40-man roster but has hit 22 home runs in Triple-A for the Sacramento River Cats this season. With Belt gone, the Giants could also move Chris Shaw back to first base. The former first-round pick has caught fire in Sacramento and has 18 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

[RELATED: How Dickerson has conquered the horrors of Oracle Park]

All of this is speculation, though. Belt hasn't been a name thrown around in trade rumors yet, and it's highly unlikely the Giants actually move the former All-Star this season. 

Yankees should acquire Madison Bumgarner from Giants, analyst writes

bumgarnerdugoutap.jpg
AP

Yankees should acquire Madison Bumgarner from Giants, analyst writes

Every single playoff contender could use Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in their rotation.

But only one will get their hands on him. Which team needs him the most?

The New York Yankees, according to ESPN's Dave Schoenfield.

The Yankees have four reliable starters right now: Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Domingo German and CC Sabathia. But as Schoenfield writes, Paxton and German have no playoff experience and Sabathia isn't the workhorse he used to be.

Here's why Schoenfield believes the Yankees need the 2014 World Series MVP.

"No, it's not 2014 and trading for Bumgarner and expecting a similar level of October dominance isn't realistic. But do you want this guy on the mound in a big game? Of course you do. The Yankees haven't even been to a World Series since winning in 2009. This is the guy most likely to help push them over the top."

[RELATED: Cueto set to take big step]

The Yankees have the best record in the American League and are trying to reach their first World Series since 2009. After watching their arch rival Boston Red Sox win another championship last season, it's time for the Yankees to respond, even if it means trading a few top prospects for a rental player.

Schoenfield also writes that the Giants should trade closer Will Smith to the Atlanta Braves and first baseman Brandon Belt to the Texas Rangers, reuniting him with All-Star designated hitter Hunter Pence.

The Giants will have plenty of options ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. It's a matter of finding the most desperate teams willing to give up good prospects for the players they have.

Tyler Beede does it all as Giants get big series win in Milwaukee

Tyler Beede does it all as Giants get big series win in Milwaukee

Nobody would have blamed Tyler Beede for opening his second half with a clunker. The Giants right-hander went 12 days between starts and spent much of that time back in the Boston area after the death of his stepfather.

There was nothing normal about the run-up to Beede's start Sunday in Milwaukee against a tough Brewers lineup, and yet there he was, looking very much at home late in the Giants' 8-3 win -- both on the mound and at the plate. 

Beede gave up three earned over 6 2/3 innings and tied his career high with seven strikeouts. Over his past three starts, he has thrown 19 innings and allowed just six runs, but it was his work at the plate Sunday that really served as the highlight. 

Beede had a hard single up the middle in his first at-bat and helped kick-start a six-run game-winning rally in the seventh. With the score tied at 2 and Donovan Solano on second base, Giants manager Bruce Bochy -- who had a short-handed bench and lost Evan Longoria to foot discomfort during the game -- sent Beede up to bunt. He pulled the bat back on a 2-1 pitch and chopped a 97-mph heater up the middle to give the Giants a lead they wouldn't relinquish. 

"I was really just trying to put something in play on the ground and get the guy over," Beede told reporters. "Fortunately, they were expecting the bunt. I had the second baseman shifted over enough to where the ball squeaked through. Obviously, you get a little lucky there, but it's good to put the ball in play."

[RELATED: Watch Beede give Giants lead with RBI single vs. Brewers]

The Giants were happy to take Beede's contributions at the plate, but what they needed more than anything was innings, and he threw 103 pitches while getting into the seventh. That was huge for a club that has a doubleheader at Coors Field on Monday and four games in Denver over three days. 

"He clutched up in a huge way, didn't he?" Bochy said. "The guy, he really did a great job on both sides of the ball. He helped himself. What a game he had to get us there to that point. That was huge."

Beede's surge has come with a continued change in approach. He cut his repertoire down to three pitches -- four-seamer, curveball, changeup -- this spring and turned his career around, but as he has gotten comfortable in the big leagues, Beede has opened things back up. A month ago against the Padres, Beede subtly mixed in a couple of sliders. In his last start before the break, he threw 15 of them, and on Sunday he threw 23 of them. Beede threw more sliders than curves or changeups, a major adjustment for him. 

That's the sign of a pitcher who is gaining confidence, and he's doing it for a team that's doing so. The Giants have won nine of their last 12, and on Sunday they rode a rookie to a big series win. 

"We needed it," said first baseman Brandon Belt, who hit a solo homer. "He looked composed. He looked like a vet out there."