The Giants are in an interesting position as the MLB trade deadline approaches.
San Francisco is currently in a three-way tie for the second (and third) wild-card spot in the National League at 54-47. Both the Giants and Diamondbacks are four games back of the Dodgers in the NL West as well.
While Shohei Ohtani is the big fish on the market, it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll stay with the Angels. So, who else could the Giants turn to?
Joe Shasky and Sam Lubman of Audacy’s original podcast “Garlic Fries and Baseball Guys” suggested that the Giants try to offer the Mets some financial flexibility in order to land starting pitcher Justin Verlander.
“Go get Justin Verlander and take on every single cent that he is owed for the next couple years,” Lubman said (3:45 in player above). “He’s owed about $14 million the rest of this year. Take it all on. $43 million next year. Take it all on.
“He has an option for 2025 that vests next year if he hits 140 innings, though the word on the street is that any team that does acquire Verlander at the deadline is going to have to agree to just vest that option right off the bat. Sold. $35 million to Justin Verlander in 2025.”
Verlander is the reigning AL Cy Young winner and is coming off a World Series championship with the Astros as well. The Mets expected him to form a dynamic duo with Max Scherzer atop their rotation, but that hasn’t panned out.
The 40-year-old Verlander has been more than solid, though, going 4-5 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 14 starts.
While Verlander’s age and contract may scare away some teams, the Giants should embrace it.
“Taking all that money off the Mets’ payroll, then you say ‘We’re going to give you some financial flexibility, and in return, why don’t you give us a player as a thank you for taking this salary off of your books?’” Lubman continued. “So the Giants would get Justin Verlander, maybe even a player, and the Mets get financial flexibility. Maybe that’s being a little too aggressive.”
It might be aggressive but Shasky is all for it.
“You’re using the resource that you have in abundance, which is money,” he said. “I agree with you on that.”
Shasky then likened Verlander’s potential presence to the one that Randy Johnson brought in 2009. It gave the team some hope and the Hall of Famer helped the development of Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum, among others.
Lubman also threw out the idea of getting both starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and shortstop Tim Anderson from the Chicago White Sox. That would likely take a few prospects that the Giants may not be willing to give up, but he just wants to see something.
“I just want to see the Giants do something to show that they’re at least trying. We talk about nobility in winning while losing or whatever,” Lubman said. “There’s nobility in wanting to try to be in the playoffs…
“I want to give Logan Webb a chance to have another postseason moment. If we don’t win the World Series, that’s fine. Give me something to feel positive about going into this offseason.”