Friday, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports asked if it would be wise for the San Francisco Giants to deal Tim Lincecum. While that seems like an unlikely scenario, Morosi is reporting that the Giants are willing to trade another starting pitcher, Jonathan Sanchez. By moving Sanchez, San Francisco would free money up that could then be spent on offense.
Though the Giants’ rotation is the main reason they were able to win the 2010 World Series, they have certainly paid a hefty price to keep their high-quality arms together. In 2012, the Giants top six starters figure to cost a combined $60 million.
You only need five for a rotation, meaning someone’s expendable. This is what led Morosi and Dave Cameron of Fan Graphs to explore the idea of a Lincecum trade. However, this is probably as likely as someone agreeing to take on the remainder of Barry Zito’s monster deal.
Of those remaining, Sanchez is the most expendable according to Morosi. The 28-year-old is set to make about $6 million in 2012 before becoming free agent eligible following the season.
While he’s a prime trade candidate, Sanchez’s value isn’t nearly as high as it was last winter following his strong showing in 2010. That season the left-hander posted an ERA of 3.07 and 1.231 WHIP over his 33 starts and 193 1/3 innings pitched.
In 2011, Sanchez dealt with increased command issues and missed significant time due to injury. His ERA ended even with his career average (4.26), but more alarmingly, Sanchez walked nearly six batters per nine innings. He did manage to again average more than a strikeout per inning, but his lingering struggles with command likely won’t have teams handing over top prospects for Sanchez this winter.
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