Unfortunately, the 2022 season did not go the same way for the Giants. They’ve already lost the same amount of games as they lost last season, and they still have two months to play baseball. At 51-55, the Giants sit in seven games of the last wild card place in the National League, which is currently a three-way tie being played between the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Giants almost certainly wouldn’t make the playoffs, and even if they did, they wouldn’t quit as world champions. The San Fran front office somewhat admitted this, exchanging a few lower level players for a meager return. But they have failed to move bigger players, and it will cost them in the future. Carlos Rodon was one player in particular the Giants would almost certainly trade, and his trade was the move San Francisco should have made in the 2022 MLB trade deadline.
The first step the San Francisco Giants should have taken in the 2022 MLB trade deadline
Trade Carlos Rodon
The Giants have added Rodon to their off-season rotation with the expectation that it will help them return to the playoffs. Rodon has signed a two-year, $44 million free-agency deal, joining the giants’ rotation that revolutionized the Premier League last season. But things did not go well in 2022.
That’s not so much Rodon’s fault, as he’s been solid for the second season in a row. He has a 9-6 record with 3.00 ERA and 158 strikes so far this season, and he’s easily been the most consistent player in San Francisco this season. The rest of the starters in San Francisco backed away around Rodon a bit, and this brought the Giants down.
Considering where the Giants find themselves in the rankings now, it was very logical to explore the possibility of Rodon trading on the trade deadline. He’s been really good for the Giants so far this season, and he’s been described as the best rotation option that could have helped the play-off team make significant progress this season.
San Francisco wasn’t averse to trading Rodon, but in the end they never pulled the trigger despite interest from some of the league’s top teams. Why they don’t is a mystery. The Giants won’t win the World Championship this season, and they could have had two good odds against Rodon.
It was said that the main problem the Giants faced when it came to trying to deal with Rodon was his knots. The Giants included a clause that would allow Rodon to opt out of his deal if he were to run in 110 rounds this season. Rodon has already surpassed that number, so the prospect of him pulling out of his deal at the end of the season scares the teams.
Even then, Rodon’s trading still made sense for the Giants. It’s possible they won’t re-sign Rodon this off season if he chooses to walk away from his deal, so they might as well try to get some value back for him while they can. Instead, they stood up and decided to stick with it for whatever reason.
Assuming Rodon can finish the final two months of the season without sustaining an injury, it’s possible that he’ll walk out of his current deal with the Giants and try to get a bigger deal at free agency than the one he just got with the Giants. This deal was more proof of a deal for Rodon than a long-term one he was looking for, and so far this season, he has proven that his arm can handle the heavy workload the Giants have handed him.
Even if the return was less than what the Giants had expected, trading Rodon on Deadline would have been a reasonable move for San Fran. They don’t compete, probably won’t be back after next season, and their farm system could use some help. By holding on to it, the Giants gained nothing.
San Francisco was courting some deadline veterans, but in the end they didn’t do much, and it would cost them to move on. Teams that struggle to recognize the need to be a seller often pay a heavy price in the future, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants lose Rodon for nothing this upcoming season.