Sitting three and a half games above the NL West, the Giants have already begun imagining another World Series trophy in their hands. With that in mind, the time to start adding pieces to what would be their fourth championship campaign since 2010 seems to have arrived.
Meanwhile, the Yankees' demoralizing season continues, turning the hopeful contenders into a carcass to be picked apart by other, hungrier teams on their way up. Already the Cubs are poking around about New York starter Nathan Eovaldi, but the Giants' interest, according to Ken Rosenthal, is in reliever Andrew Miller.
The 31-year-old southpaw is currently pitching through his tenth season in the majors, having been acquired by the Yankees prior to the 2015 season on a four-year, $36 million deal. Last year, through 61.2 IP, Miller maintained a 2.04 ERA with 20 BB and 100 SO. His 36 saves helped win him the American League's Relief Pitcher of the Year Award, and even garnered him some Cy Young nods.
This season, Miller's success has continued, though his team has sputtered around him. He has allowed only 3 ER in 23.2 IP, striking out 42 batters and walking only three (That'd be a 14.00 SO/W ratio).
On the other other side, the Giants' bullpen has occasionally stalled. Sergio Romo suffered a "setback" while recovering from his right elbow injury last Wednesday, Javier Lopez and Hunter Strickland have struggled, and Santiago Castilla has watched three save opportunities slip through his fingers. Cory Gearrin and Derek Law have been encouraging, but the bullpen went into this past weekend with a 4.01 ERA, and there's no denying that Miller is considered an improvement to just about all of the Giants' in-house options. Though their bullpen has not been a deep enough flaw to topple them, the Giants' interest in Miller makes sense - even though Buster Olney says Miller has not been officially placed up for grabs just yet, and Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees brass won't be ready to deal until the end of July. On top of that wrinkle, it is suspected that any trade for Miller would require the Giants to give up top pitching prospect Tyler Beede, something they are not prepared to do.
San Francisco won't be the only team looking for relief help as the season barrels toward its midpoint. The Nationals are also supposed to be sniffing around Miller, considering the acquisition of additional back-end help in their own pen a "top priority."