The Giants are open to discussing possible trades involving starters Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
Cueto, who is currently on the 10-day disabled list with blisters on multiple fingers and his thumb on his right hand, has been pegged as the Giants’ biggest trade chip for quite some time. However, his contract could present a problem for prospective trade partners. The 31-year-old right-hander is set to earn $84 million over the next four years, but he can opt out of his contract at the end of this season. Most experts believe Cueto will opt out, but this situation makes him a wild card because the team receiving him doesn’t truly know if it is getting a rental or a pitcher who it will have to pay a lot of money to. Plus, Cueto has posted a 4.59 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 19 starts, so the Giants may not get as much of a return on the two-time All-Star as they would like due to his poor performance this year.
Samardzija is an interesting candidate. Though he has the most losses in the National League at 11, has a 5.05 ERA and has allowed over 20 home runs for the sixth time in his career, he leads the NL in strikeout to walk ratio at 9.20 after fanning 138 batters and walking only 15 this year. As far as his contract, he is in the second season of a five-year deal worth $90 million, but his deal could actually be considered a plus by teams since he will be under control through 2020.
Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean described his team as being “open for business” at the end of the trade deadline. But, will his last-place Giants get any takers for these two arms?