Giants interested in Marlins’ Dan Uggla

Apparently the near-Jake Peavy deal between the Padres and White Sox woke up other general managers in baseball, because trade rumors are starting to kick up around the league.

One of the bigger rumors is that the Giants are interested in Marlins’ second baseman Dan Uggla. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the offense-needy Giants would have to give up a young starter to swing a deal for Uggla, and both Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez’s names were brought up in the report.

Even though San Fran has one of the worst offenses in baseball (they currently rank dead last in the NL in runs scored, on base percentage and slugging percentage), Giants’ GM Brian Sabean should be kicked repeatedly in the stones if he trades Cain for Uggla straight up.

Cain is pitching in his fourth year already and he’s only 24. His career record of 35-44 suggests he’s light years away from becoming a productive pitcher, but his career ERA of 3.63 paints a better picture. He’s a pitcher that has been cursed with poor run support over his career, but that has changed this season and he’s now finally getting the attention he deserves while posting a 5-1 record and 2.40 ERA so far in ’09.

Uggla would give the Giants’ lineup much-needed pop, but his .200 batting average is death right now and who knows how his power would transfer to a pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. Ask Aaron Rowand how it feels to hit in that home run-killer that the Giants play in. He hit 27 dingers three years ago with the Phillies and managed just 13 last year in his first season with Frisco.

I know I might regret saying this because after all, he was the nitwit who traded Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser for ass clown A.J. Pierzynski in 2003, but Sabean isn’t stupid enough to trade Cain for Uggla straight up. The Giants need offense, but it can’t come at the cost of sacrificing a potential 20-game winner in Cain. Sanchez might be another story considering he is less of a sure thing than Cain is, but even he might not be worth giving up for an average-killer like Uggla.

Believe it or not, the Giants are headed in the right direction. They’re stacked with young pitchers (including two minor league prospects Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson) and have a couple of emerging position players who will be ready for the show by 2011 (or sooner). They’re probably not going to catch the Dodgers or make a serious run at the NL Wild Card this year, so there’s no sense panicking and trading away young pitching for guys like Uggla. They’d be better off giving youngsters Emmanuel Burriss and Kevin Frandsen more playing time and hoping one of them can emerge as a quality seventh or eighth hitter in the lineup. (Not too mention that both Burriss and Frandsen are better defensively than Uggla is.)

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