Should the Giants sell at the deadline or make a playoff push?

The Giants still have a shot to make the postseason.

The San Francisco Giants are sitting in last place in the National League West entering play Friday with a record of 11-16. While last place is never good, the team is only four games back of snagging the second playoff berth from within the division.

The shortened 60-game season allows for nearly any team to go on a nice run and a find a way into the playoffs. Eighth berths are available in each league and the Giants are nowhere close to being eliminated.

The team just rattled off three straight victories over the Los Angeles Angels with just over a week to go before the trade deadline. That raises the question of whether the Giants should openly be sellers or if the team go all-in on seeking its first playoff berth since 2016.

The Giants still have a chance

It is a minor miracle the Giants even have 11 wins so far. Their run-differential is minus-28 and the 160 runs allowed is tied with the Boston Red Sox for the most in baseball. Not every team has played the same amount of games, but it is still a bad number.

The trio of Mike Yastrzemski, Wilmer Flores, and Donovan Solano have helped make up for it on offense. All three are batting at least .313 and the lowest OPS among the group is .900.

Solano stands out as a key trade piece if the Giants want to flip him for a prospect or two. He still has a year of arbitration remaining in 2021 and provides some experience at 32 years of age.

Another player teams may be calling about is Johnny Cueto. The veteran pitcher has a 4.35 ERA through six starts and has allowed two runs or fewer in four of those six outings. The only question with Cueto is if a team wants to take on the $21 million owned to him in 2021. That high figure could lower his potential return.

The Giants only have a few players truly doing well in 2020 and the lack of a true star limits the level of player the team can get back in a deadline deal. Someone like Solano has never played a full MLB season and it may be worth it to keep him in town not just for this season, but for next as well.

Trades are already going to be complicated to execute and being within reach of a playoff berth means the Giants should just go for it. This feeling would be different if they were the 4-17 Pittsburgh Pirates, who clearly have no shot at making the playoffs.

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Plenty can change between now and the August 31 trade deadline. The Giants have nine games between now and then and something like a 2-7 record may change this narrative. But for now, there is no reason to rush into being sellers. Perhaps the team can get some of that even-year magic back that was seen during the first half of the 2010s.

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