5 Difference-Making Trades For San Francisco Giants

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5 Difference-Making Trade Targets for San Francisco Giants

Pablo Sandoval
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants' offseason revamping project could soon involve a roster-defining trade that nets a big-time difference-maker. General manager Brian Sabean has gone on record, indicating the team isn’t enormously intrigued by the talent available on the open market. Sabean also hinted that it’s highly unlikely for the Giants to forfeit a draft pick in order to sign a free agent, thus making it seemingly inevitable for San Francisco to make a trade.

The Giants desperately need to improve their offense, which ranked 22nd in slugging percentage (.360) last season. San Francisco is specifically in the trade market for a left fielder, although it’s possible for the team to seek alternative options if they’re unable to deal for a corner outfielder.

First baseman Brandon Belt could be expedited to the outfield if the Giants are better able to target corner infielders this offseason. It’s unknown how aggressive the Giants intend to be in trying to acquire a potential big bat on offense, but it seems unlikely for San Francisco to deal a multitude of high quality developing prospects.

The Giants need to be open-minded in their trade ventures this winter though. San Francisco could be forced to trade a few valuable assets in order to improve their offense. However, hard-throwing right-handed pitching prospect Kyle Crick is essentially untouchable; so is flame-throwing reliever Heath Hembree.

It’s possible for the Giants to consider trading an everyday player in attempt to fill a more paramount void. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is a potential trade chip, as is right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla. Sabean ultimately needs to be willing to cough-up some organizational talent to bolster the Giants’ anemic offense.

The following slideshow highlights five difference-making trade targets for the Giants.

John Shea is a San Francisco Giants writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @shea_prosports. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Mitch Moreland (1B)

Mitch Moreland
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The acquisition of first baseman Prince Fielder could make Mitch Moreland expendable for the Texas Rangers, depending on how often they plan to slot their new slugger in the designated hitter spot. Moreland struggled mightily in 2013, posting a .232 batting average with 23 home runs and 60 runs-batted-in. The intriguing aspect of Moreland’s numbers is that nearly half of his hits went for extra bases last season. Moreland recorded 48 hits for extra bases and 107 hits in total. His career on-base percentage is suspect (.318), but he boasts a career .758 OPS, which gives him serious value in spite of a poor batting average.

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4. Alejandro De Aza (OF)

Alejandro De Aza
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Alejandro De Aza has been stellar for the Chicago White Sox over the past two seasons. The left-handed outfielder isn’t rumored to be a potential trade candidate this winter, but the Giants should check in on what it would take to acquire to De Aza. The 29 year old has registered 307 hits on the stat sheet since 2012. He recorded career highs in several major statistical categories last season: runs (84), hits (160), home runs (17) runs-batted-in (62) and walks (50). De Aza is the type of player the Giants need; he’s a spark-plug that plays respectable defense (.985 career fielding percentage) and can be slotted anywhere in the lineup.

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3. Mark Trumbo (1B/OF)

Mark Trumbo
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The trade-happy Los Angeles Angels have already pulled the trigger on a team-altering deal this offseason. The Angels’ acquisition of third baseman David Freese diminishes the perceived value general manager Jerry Dipoto would have in a play like Sandoval. However, the Angels could still be a potential trade partner for the Giants. Mark Trumbo is a perennial power-hitter that can help transform the Giants’ stagnant offense into something more formidable. The 27-year-old slugger bashed 34 home runs last and drove-in 100 runs. San Francisco needs a big bat mashed in their lineup, and Trumbo would be a solid fit.

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2. Jose Bautista (OF)

Jose Bautista
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Slugging outfielder Jose Bautista would be a monstrous addition to the Giants’ lineup. The Toronto Blue Jays could potentially be in the market for a roster shake-up after enduring a disappointing 2013 campaign. Bautista would be difficult for the Giants to snag, specifically because of the amount of talent they’d be forced to give up. Bautista has blasted at least 27 home runs in each of the past four seasons. The 33 year old also sustains a career .361 on-base percentage. He’s a solid all-around player that could catapult the Giants into offensive relevancy.

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1. Alex Gordon (OF)

Alex Gordon
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is an emerging stud, racking up at least 53 extra base hits in each of the past three seasons. Gordon is a durable player that can be relied upon everyday. He’s recorded at least 690 plate appearances every season since 2011. He’s a five-tool player that can hit for power and steal some bags. Gordon’s contact rate isn’t outrageously impressive, signified from his high strikeout tally, but he maintains a career .780 OPS. He’s ultimately a potential difference-maker for a team like the Giants, although his imaginary price tag could make him untouchable via trade.

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