If the Giants are to moves at the upcoming July 31st trade deadline, it’s going to be for bullpen depth. It’s not going to be the big splash that Giants fans are hoping for, nor will it be a starting pitcher to replace Tim Lincecum or Barry Zito.
While Bruce Bochy has been using Santiago Casilla in the closer role for the majority of the season, his lack of experience is starting to shine right through his filthy stuff, lately. Which is why Huston Street would be a perfect addition to the Giants bullpen. Street isn’t a big name, but he’s one of the more accomplished closers on the market.
At the ripe age of 28, Street still has plenty of gas left in the tank. He’s set to hit free agency after season’s end and it’s unlikely that the Padres will resign him. With that said, Padres’ management would be more than willing to deal him for a prospect or two. While the Giants don’t have much depth on the farm to be carelessly trading away prospects, it wouldn’t take much more than a couple type B prospects to pry Street away from their division rivals.
And with the young Heath Hembree rapidly climbing through the ranks in the minor leagues, Street would likely just be a rental type addition for the Giants. It’s anything but a blockbuster type move that would affect the Padres in the standings.
For the Giants, Street would immediately slide into the closer’s role. Casilla would then assume the seventh inning duties, a place where he’s the most comfortable, and Romo would remain the setup man. That’s a well oiled machine.
Street, a longtime Oakland Athletic, is in the midst of a solid year for the struggling Padres. He’s 13/13 in save chances and boasts a spectacular 1.13 ERA. Despite the dip in his fastball (89.1 MPH), he still possess a phenomenal K/9 rate of exactly 12 strikeouts per nine innings. But he’s made up for the lack of pop in his fastball by throwing his lethal slider more than ever at 42.5 percent. In reward, Street was named to be the lone Padres player in the all-star game last week.
For someone whose outs are fly balls 40 percent of the time, AT&T Park would be a dream for the veteran Street. It’s not much different from his current home Petco Park, either.
But it goes without saying that the Giants desperately need another arm down in the bullpen. GM Brian Sabean doesn’t necessarily have target a closer, but another veteran arm who has experience in the major leagues would do the job just fine. It’s just too much to ask of George Kontos to come into games. He just doesn’t have enough experience, and that’s going to become clearer and clearer when the pressure starts to amount.
Whatever the move may be, Huston Street might be the fix to the slim Giants’ bullpen.