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As the San Francisco Giants fade in the National West, fans are increasingly insistent that general manager Brian Sabean do something, do anything, that makes an impact on the club that is clearly in danger of being blown out of the water by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fans are right. The Giants do need big, bold moves to fill many holes. They lack talent to trade to obtain quality players. That angers fans even more. That’s when frustrated fans insist that Sabean always falls short at the trade deadline and that the club won two World Series despite the GM’s complete inability to swing an impact trade at the deadline or piece together moves to help a team without tearing apart whatever pieces got the team in the playoff race to begin with.

Sabean has done a magnificent job at the trade deadline, and using the waiver wire, in every season that one of his Giants teams entered late July in the hunt for a postseason berth. He took the Giants’ GM job in 1997 and made a trade that rebuilt the fading pitching staff without giving up a player off the big league roster.

Fans are entitled to their opinions, clearly. But, information is helpful before arriving at the opinions. Here’s a look back at Sabean’s trade deadline moves, as well as key waiver wire acquisitions.


Hunter Pence, outfielder

July 31: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the San Francisco Giants for catcher Tommy Joseph (minors), pitcher Seth Rosin and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

Marco Scutaro, second baseman

July 27: Traded by Colorado Rockies with cash to the Giants for infielder Charlie Culberson.

Giants fans remember that Scutaro became the team’s most valuable player upon settling in as the second baseman, having an amazing stretch run that carried into the postseason where he and Pence helped lead the Giants to a world championship. The Giants’ organization was deep behind the plate, so the power-hitting Joseph was sent packing. After a solid 2013, Schierholtz is batting barely .200 for the Chicago Cubs. The Pence deal was considered one that Sabean and the Giants absolutely would not make since he was nearing the end of his contract.


Carlos Beltran, outfielder

July 28: Traded by the New York Mets with cash to the Giants for minor league pitcher Zack Wheeler.

Beltran was hounded by injuries, but still hit 7 home runs with 18 RBIs. He batted .323 with a staggering .920 OPS in 44 games. This was the blockbuster trade that fans insist the Giants and Sabean never make. When healthy, Beltran provided exactly what the Giants needed. Still, many criticize the swap in hindsight since Wheeler remains a 23-year-old prospect who is 12-13 over two seasons for the New York Mets. He’s started 38 games with a 3.54 ERA.

Jeff Keppinger, infielder

July 19: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Giants for minor league pitchers Jason Stoffell and Henry Sosa.

With Freddy Sanchez injured, San Francisco was desperate for a second baseman and acquired the veteran Keppinger for two minor leaguers. He batted .255 as the club’s playoff run fell shy.

Orlando Cabrera, shortstop

July 30: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Giants for minor league outfielder Thomas Neal.

San Francisco decided young Brandon Crawford wasn’t ready to play everyday at shortstop down the stretch so they dealt Neal, then a bit of a prospect for the 36-year-old Cabrera. Crawford finished the season hitting .204 in 66 games. Cabrera wasn’t much better in 36 games, batting .222. Neal was an impressive 6-foot-2, 220-pound corner outfielder considered a future starter in San Francisco. After the trade, he had seven hits in 41 big league at-bats.


Javier Lopez, relief pitcher

July 31: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Giants for outfielder John Bowker and pitcher Joe Martinez.

The 2010 “Band of Misfits” added the lefthanded relief specialist to a bullpen that played a key role in the march to an improbable World Series crown. Fans felt Bowker was a 27-year-old prospect after flashing some power. He played 88 games for the Pirates before being released. Martinez was in the starting rotation when 2010 started,but was struck in the head by a line drive early in the season. He pitched only 142/3 innings in the big leagues after the trade.

Cody Ross, outfielder

August 22: Selected off waivers by the Giants from the Florida Marlins.

The Giants wound up with Ross after claiming him off waivers to block a National League rival from signing him. Ross hit three home runs and batted .288 down the stretch with an .819 OPS, then became a San Francisco postseason legend in the championship run.


Freddy Sanchez, second base

July 29: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Giants for minor league pitcher Tim Alderson.

Alderson was considered by most to be the top pitching prospect in the Giants organization. Some, however, felt a younger left-hander named Madison Bumgarner was actually the premier prospect. There was some uproar when the Giants traded Alderson for the former batting champion. Sanchez didn’t help them enter the playoffs in 2009, but he was magnificent in the 2010 championship season before injuries ended his career. Alderson is still bouncing around the minor league. It turned out analysts and fans who felt Alderson was too much to give up didn’t know that his fastball fell shy of 90 mph and that he lacked the command the younger Bumgarner developed.

Brad Penney, starting pitcher

August 31: Signed as a free agent with the Giants.

The acquisition of this veteran pitcher will be lost in history, but belongs near the top of deals made during Sabean’s tenure. Penny started six games and finished 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA. The Giants didn’t win it, but this guy wasn’t to blame. He produced a WHIP of 0.96.


Randy Winn, outfielder

July 30: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Giants for starting pitcher Jesse Foppert and catcher Yorvit Torrealba.

Fans loved Torrealba and hoped that the highly prized right-hander Foppert would overcome arm problems that sidelined him after he was 8-9 in 21 starts in 2003. Winn, however, filled the Giants need for a lead-off hitter and versatile outfielder with speed. Winn became a Giants star with 14 home runs, 26 RBIs and a .359 batting average and a 1.071 OPS. Few players in Sabean’s tenure have played as well as Winn under playoff pressure. Torrealba had a representative big league career that now seems over. Foppert could never overcome arm injuries.


Sidney Ponson, pitcher

July 31: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Giants for minor league pitcher Ryan Hannaman (minors) and major league pitchers Kurt Ainsworth and Damian Moss.

Ponson was 14-6 with a 3.77 ERA in Baltimore when the Giants acquired him. He put up almost identical numbers across the board in the National League, but was 3-6 in 10 starts for the Giants. The 27-year-old also took the lost in a first-round playoff game to the Florida Marlins in San Francisco. Ainsworth and Moss had both spent time in the starting rotation, but neither achieved big league success after leaving San Francisco.


Kenny Lofton, centerfielder

July 28: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Giants for minor leaguers Ryan Meaux and Felix Diaz.

The Giants, who were headed for the playoffs, needed a lead-off hitter and a centerfielder after free agent Tsuyoshi Shinjo flopped after arriving from Japan. Lofton filled both needs and the Giants got with a few outs of their first world championship in San Francisco.

Scott Eyre, relief pitcher

August 8: Selected off waivers by the Giants from the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sabean has done some nice business using the waiver wire after the trade deadline. Eyre was a left-hand specialist who had a 1.58 ERA in 28 games for the NL West champions. Then, he went on to be a fan favorite in four seasons with San Francisco.


Jason Schmidt, starting pitcher

July 30: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with outfielder John Vander Wal to the Giants for outfielder Armando Rios and pitcher Ryan Vogelsong.

This is the sort of trade the 2014 need to really begin to address their variety of needs. Schmidt became the ace of the pitching staff for years to come, while Vander Wal gave the team a solid, power-hitting lefty-swinging bat coming off the bench. Rios was built in the Gregor Blanco mold. The key for the Pirates was acquiring top prospect Ryan Vogelsong. Yes! That Ryan Vogelsong.

Andres Gallaraga, first base

July 24: Traded by the Texas Rangers to the Giants for minor leaguers Todd Ozias, Chris Magruder and Erasmo Ramirez.

Fans and the media weren’t as conscious of the trade deadline 13 years ago, so it’s easy to forget that the Giants added a top-flight starter, a left-hand pinch-hitter/outfielder and a still capable slugging first baseman. Gallaraga, a right-hand hitter, played 35 games. He hit 7 home runs and drove in 35 runs in 35 games. The current Giants could use that type production from a deadline acquisition.


Wilson Alvarez, starting pitcher

Roberto Hernandez, closer

Danny Darwin, pitcher

July 31: Chicago White Sox traded left-hander Wilson Alvarez, closer Roberto Hernandez and right-hander Danny Darwin to the Giants for minor league pitcher Keith Foulke, infielder Mike Caruso, pitcher Bob Howry, outfielder Brian Manning, pitcher Ken Vining and pitcher Lorenzo Barcelo.

Sabean’s first season as general manager was highlighted by this trade deadline deal that added veteran lefty Alvarez, versatile Darwin (who was a solid reliever and starter down the stretch) along with closer Roberto Hernandez. The deal is, in some ways the only type trade that would much help the 2014 Giants. It upgraded three spots on the pitching staff – really upgrading the rotation and adding quality depth at the back end of the bullpen. And, Sabean didn’t give up a player off the big league roster. Foulke did go on to have a solid career as a big league closer. Caruso, Howry and Barcelo also played well in the big leagues briefly.

(Follow Ted Sillanpaa on Twitter @TedSillanpa. E-mail him ted.sillanpaa@pressdemocrat.com. His sports blog appears regularly at http://overtime.blogs.pressdemocrat.com)

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