The San Francisco Giants currently sit with a record of 40-26 which is good for the fourth-best in all of MLB, only a half-game behind the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers for the second-best. The team seems to be well on its way to an NL West title and a potential run in the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy with their roster.
According to multiple reports, the Giants have had preliminary talks with the Milwaukee Brewers about outfielder Ryan Braun.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 13, 2016
The Giants are without Hunter Pence, who recently had surgery on his hamstring and will be out until after the All-Star break, and Buster Posey is also playing with an injury. Long-term, both Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco will be free agents following the 2016 season so an outfield of Braun, Denard Span and Hunter Pence would seem to be a solid group.
All of that being said, a deal is unlikely to come to fruition due to a number of factors including Braun’s contract, injury history and the Giants’ lack of top prospects to offer the Brewers in return.
Braun is making $19 million in 2016 and he’s owed $80 million over the next four years, including a buyout of his option in 2021. The 32-year-old is also fresh off of surgery last October for a herniated disc and has been battling soreness in his wrist this season. That’s a ton of money to shell out for a guy who seems to be breaking down physically.
The other obstacle is the Giants’ lack of talent in their farm system. According to Baseball America, the Giants had the No. 19 farm system entering the season with infielder Christian Arroyo being their No. 1 prospect. Assuming that the Brewers don’t view Braun as a dump of salary, it seems that there would need to be a third team involved.
So while the Giants might have interest in Braun, there are still a number of roadblocks that might be too difficult to overcome and complete a deal.