The SF Giants should probably try to upgrade without giving up their best prospects

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The Giants' loss to the Dodgers last night was heartbreaking, and it was a microcosm of their season. Sloppy defense hurt the pitching. The Giants' bats went through stretches of being ice cold, only to awaken at times. Darin Ruf's game-tying grand slam could've been one of the best moments in the season, but a less-effective bullpen coughed up the lead in the eighth. The SF Giants don't have star talent on their team, and it showed against a loaded Dodgers squad. Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Freddie Freeman, three of the best four players in the NL since 2019, each made an impact.

The game had a lot of Giants fans about Juan Soto. But are the San Francisco Giants just one piece away from being World Series contenders? Would it be worth giving up elite prospect capital in exchange for 2.5 years of Soto, when the Nationals themselves (who have Soto already) have proven that one star player doesn't necessarily lead to winning. Heck, the Angels have proven that two elite players doesn't necessarily lead to winning! The Giants have so few future pieces on their roster, and Carlos Rodón reached 110 IP last night meaning he can test free agency again this winter, that it doesn't make the most sense for the SF Giants to give up their best prospects for 2.5 years of Soto. If they know they can extend him, that's a different story. But Scott Boras clients typically like to test free agency.

The upcoming trade deadline is discussed from the viewpoint that it may not be the wisest move for the Giants to give up what it would take to get Soto. There are other players available who could help the Giants in 2022, including the likes of Willson Contreras, Brandon Drury, and bullpen pieces. It probably makes more sense to upgrade this team without giving up uber prospects, and try to sign a star like Aaron Judge (2022-23 offseason), Shohei Ohtani (2023-24), or Soto (2024-25) when they reach the open market.

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The best daily San Francisco Giants podcast. Whether the Giants are winning championships or retooling for another title run, Locked On Giants host Ben Kaspick—a lifelong Giants fan and former contributor for RotoGraphs and Beyond the Box Score—breaks down every game, rumor, and transaction in a way that's data-driven and rational but also simple, passionate, and accessible to all.

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