NEW YORK--The San Francisco Giants didn't make a move on one of the busiest deadline days in MLB history, and that was just fine with Brian Sabean. The general manager said the club zeroed in on options at second base and came close to completing one deal, but ultimately the front office decided the price was too high in terms of prospects.
"I've done this a long time," Sabean said. "I feel as good about not getting something done as any year we've done something. There were a lot of bad deals to be made, and we certainly weren't going to do that."
The Giants have spent the entire season trying to fix the situation at second base, and that was their primary focus leading up to Thursday afternoon's deadline.
Giants second basemen are hitting a league-low .176 with a .259 collective on-base percentage and just 22 extra-base hits. Seven players have manned the position, none sticking, and the latest is said to be trying to decide if he would like to continue playing. Sabean said Dan Uggla did not travel to New York with the team and is weighing his options. Uggla is 0 for 11 with six strikeouts and three errors in four games with the Giants, and he was spending the off day deciding if he wanted to go back to Triple-A Fresno to try to knock the rust off.
Sabean said the Giants would be aggressive on the waiver wire in August, and the hope is that they find a more permanent solution at second base. For now, they'll continue to rotate.
"It's going to be a work in progress," Sabean said. "That's the only way I can answer it. It might be series to series."
With Uggla no longer on the active roster and Ehire Adrianza and Marco Scutaro on the disabled list, Joe Panik appears to be the current starter at the position. A league source said the Giants are calling up 23-year-old prospect Matt Duffy, who has hit .332 with a .398 on-base percentage and 24 doubles for the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels. Duffy is primarily a shortstop but has moved to the other side of the infield several times in recent weeks. Jarrett Parker, a 25-year-old outfielder, also is expected to be called up from Double-A. Parker, a second-round pick in 2010, is batting .421 with three homers in his past 10 games.
The Giants also poked around in hopes of finding a right-handed bat to add to the outfield mix. They spoke to the Texas Rangers about Alex Rios and the San Diego Padres about Chris Denorfia. The latter was a good fit payroll-wise, but the Padres, per a source, asked for Edwin Escobar, a top pitching prospect who instead was sent to Boston as part of the Jake Peavy deal last weekend. Denorfia was traded to Seattle on Thursday.
Sabean has maintained that the Giants would not mortgage the future, and he said the prices were too high Thursday.
"A lot of that had to do with too many buyers on the market," he said. "We'd do the same thing if we were on the other side of the fence. (Other teams) held out to the very end to try to get what we weren't willing to give up."
The front office was further hamstrung by the fact that it has been impossible this season to determine just how good the Giants really are. They led the division by 91/2 games at one point but entered deadline day three games behind the Dodgers after a 1-5 homestand. Sabean said he doesn't have a good read on if his team is a true contender in the National League West or better suited for the wild- card race.
"I don't know how close we are," he said. "We haven't played too well."
The lineup has been the biggest issue, but Sabean said Brandon Belt (concussion) and Angel Pagan (back inflammation) could return on this 10-game road trip.
"Our biggest barometer is going to be when we get our two players back," he said. "We'll see if we flip the switch."
If the light turns on, the Giants might find themselves feeling just fine about the way a busy trade deadline turned out in the N.L. West. The Giants didn't make a move, but neither did a Dodgers team that was looking for help in the rotation and bullpen.
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