Olney: Struggling Giants 'aren't sellers' with MLB trade deadline approaching

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The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching and the Giants find themselves in a complete freefall, still seeking their first win after the All-Star break. After getting swept in a four-game set by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants lost 5-3 Wednesday night to get swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Two ugly divisional broom jobs, as they went 0-7 on a road trip for the first time since 1985.

Entering play Thursday, the Giants are 48-50 and starting to fade from the race for the third Wild Card spot, 3.5 games back of the current holder St. Louis Cardinals (52-47). Is it time for the Giants to turn the page to next year? Not so fast.

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Despite their tailspin, the Giants reportedly are keeping faith in their squad. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Giants “continue to convey to other teams that they aren't sellers.”

The MLB trade deadline occurs at 3 p.m. PT on Tuesday, so the Giants will have to make important decisions with southpaw ace Carlos Rodón and outfielder Joc Pederson. Both players signed short term deals with San Francisco this offseason before becoming the team’s two representatives at the All-Star Game.

With the added Wild Card, perhaps the Giants think they still have a shot at the playoffs despite the obvious signs that this team is inept in various ways – especially defensively, in the bullpen and with hitting in general. Not a great cocktail if you’re a baseball team.

“Everything is going wrong. Everything needs to change,” first baseman Brandon Belt told reporters after Wednesday’s loss, via MLB.com. “We’ve got to hit better. We’ve got to play defense better. We’ve got to pitch better. I don’t think there’s any part of our game that is solid right now. We’ve just got to do better all around.”

Holding on to Rodón and Pederson would also be something of a risk, as both players could walk away this winter and leave the Giants empty-handed.

Rodón holds a $22.5 million player option for 2023, but also unlocked the ability to opt out of his contract this winter after hitting 110 innings pitched on July 21.  Rodón would be smart to test the waters to see if he can find a lucrative multi-year deal after continuing to prove he is one of the most dominant southpaws in the game. Rodón leads the league with a 2.42 FIP, carries an impressive 11.5 K/9 rate and 3.0 K/BB ratio, along with a 3.18 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He turns 30 in December and you’d think he could land a nine-figure deal from a franchise in free agency.

Pederson is making $6 million this year after being signed shortly before opening day. He has carried the offense at times, leading the team with 17 homers and ranking second with 43 RBIs and a .815 OPS. A look at his Baseball Savant page reveals how hard he’s been mashing the ball this year, as he ranks among the league’s best in average exit velocity (98th percentile), barrel rate (97th percentile), hard hit percentage (96th percentile) and expected slugging (96th percentile). Joc turned 30 in April and isn’t a stud defender, but he’s been a part of the past two World Series-winning teams and would likely have some suitors this offseason.

A lot can happen in five days. For all we know, the Giants will sweep their four-game series with the Chicago Cubs this weekend and start off the next series with a win against the Dodgers to vault right back into contention. Given their recent play, five consecutive wins doesn’t seem likely.

So, how does Farhan Zaidi play his hand? If they’re not gonna be sellers, are they gonna commit to being buyers? Are they gonna get stuck in the middle and holding the bag in October?

The clock is ticking.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images