Efforts by the San Francisco Giants to land a starting pitcher have heated up, per Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. The Giants, who recently lost Matt Cain to the disabled list, can't afford to lose another starter, as they are locked into a tight race with the Dodgers for the NL West crown.
According to Baggarly, San Francisco has found the cost for a majority of available arms to be "prohibitive" in one way or another. The Giants don't have the prospects to land a David Price and they lack the payroll flexibility to add someone like Cliff Lee without the other team picking up a significant chunk of salary in the deal.
The Giants also find themselves in a precarious situation with a number of sellers, as them being in the NL West could make it significantly more difficult to consummate a deal with the Padres, Rockies, and Diamondbacks. That could very well take them out of the running for top names such as Ian Kennedy and Jorge De La Rosa.
As far as other targets go, the Giants could look at Kyle Kendrick of the Phillies, who is eligible for free agency following the season. San Francisco has also shown interest in Bartolo Colon, but the Mets' starter is owed $11 million next year, and New York doesn't appear willing to take on that much salary.
Jake Peavy appears to make the most sense as a target for the Giants, who pursued a trade for him last year, but fell short. Peavy would just be a rental, as his vesting option for next season is nearly impossible to reach. Peavy is having a down year, but the Giants don't need him to be much beyond a number four or five starter, as Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson are a pretty reliable duo at the front of San Francisco's rotation.
The big holdup in a Peavy deal is that the Red Sox are supposedly seeking young outfielders in return, and the Giants are direly lacking in that department. The Cardinals, who have been oft-mentioned as a suitor for Peavy, can offer Boston a much better package of prospects, and therefore seem to be the favorites.
Outside of the rotation, the Giants are also in the market for second basemen, right-handed hitting outfielders, and relievers. Baggarly mentions San Diego's Chris Denorfia and the Cubs' Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell as possible options.