SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants aren't looking for much as Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. San Francisco's primary needs remain depth in the bullpen and on the bench. The National League West leaders would welcome upgrades, but won't deplete their farm system or disfigure their active Major League roster to get what they need.
Observers expect Giants general manager Brian Sabean to acquire a player or two to bolster the Giants' roster, largely because he always succeeds in engineering a move or two before the Deadline. But as observers know, the climate for deals this year isn't nearly as favorable as in previous years, due to the creation of more psuedo-contenders as a result of the second Wild Card.
Good luck identifying which relievers the Giants are pursuing. The names of Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez never materialized around AT&T Park before San Francisco obtained them on Deadline day in 2010 to strengthen the relief corps. Given the frequency with which the Giants prompted meltdowns from Jonathan Broxton when he was with the Dodgers, they should have had their collective heads examined if the rumors linking them to the Royals right-hander bore any truth.
Chicago White Sox scout Bill Scherrer followed the Giants from Atlanta to Philadelphia last week, but all rumors involving those clubs evaporated when Chicago acquired reliever Brett Myers from the Astros.
The Giants' options include adding a third baseman and moving Pablo Sandoval to first. One possibility evaporated Thursday, when Philadelphia's Placido Polanco (back) went on the disabled list. Aramis Ramirez would look good in a Giants uniform, but Milwaukee's asking price for him is reportedly high.
Paul Turco, one of Sabean's most trusted scouts, was seen at AT&T Park on Thursday, indicating that the club's top decision-makers have mostly finished targeting players and are focusing on making choices.
Predictably, Giants players believe they can reach the postseason with the team as it's currently composed, despite the second-place Dodgers' acquisition of infielder Hanley Ramirez.
"We're a good team," said right fielder Nate Schierholtz, who himself has been prominently mentioned in trade speculation. "We have great pitching. No matter who [the Dodgers] have, I think we have everything we need to be successful and win the division."
The status of Sandoval's strained left hamstring, which will become clearer Friday, could influence the Giants' sense of urgency to make a deal. If Sandoval goes on the disabled list, acquiring a position player, preferably a right-handed batter, might become a greater priority for San Francisco.
Right-hander Tim Lincecum recalled that engineering Deadline-beating deals "... was our M.O. in 2010, making the moves that made the difference in our season. So we're probably wondering what we're going to do here. But I feel like we have all the right pieces. Obviously if Pablo comes back healthy and fast, maybe we won't need to make a move. So we're hoping for that. But whatever changes are made, that'll be up to them."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.