Farhan details his approach, best practices for trade deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The 2023 MLB trade deadline is less than 12 days away, and the Giants almost certainly will be buyers before the clock strikes 3 pm PST on Aug. 1.
While the trade market continues to take shape as teams around the league climb in and fall out of playoff positioning, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Pete Putila are hard at work making calls and surveying the market for possible additions that could help bolster the Giants’ roster down the stretch.
Zaidi joined KNBR 680’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Thursday, where he discussed where the Giants are in their discussions with other teams around the league.
“These conversations happen, obviously it’s sort of a natural turning of the calendar after the draft teams turn their focus to the major league team and what they may need leading up to the deadline,” Zaidi said. “But we’ve been having conversations for the last week, 10 days. I think so many of those conversations are ‘We’ll see where we are a week or 10 days from now.'”
As unproductive as these early conversations might appear to be on the surface, Zaidi provided a behind-the-scenes look at why the early stages of discussions are so important for when teams are ready to make a move and shared his approach for reaching out to teams.
“You never want to presume a team is ready to unload players, so you kind of open it up, and I certainly — and I would say the same for my colleagues — we all just try and be respectful,” Zaidi explained. “You don’t really know what a team is thinking, you don’t really know what their plans are, so you don’t want to assume some sell-off is coming.
“They might tell you ‘Hey, we’re going to wait and see.’ Even teams that are in a holding pattern right now, it’s always a good idea to get your name on the board and say ‘Hey, if you get to a point where you’re talking about Player X, keep us in mind.’ When teams get to the point where they flip on the switch to sell, they want as many teams in as possible, they want the competitive bidding. So once you check in and say you’re interested, a deal’s going to happen without them checking back with you. So that’s really kind of the stage we’re at right now with some of those check-ins. When teams are ready to push the go button and accelerate the process, you know you’ll have a seat at the table.”
Zaidi might be considered a new-school baseball mind by today’s standards, but his approach to negotiations is anything but. In today’s age of text messaging, Zaidi prefers an old-school approach to conversing with other front offices.
“I think with some of the really high-end players you know teams are going to get guys in on, once you check in you can rest assured that they’ll circle back with you,” Zaidi added. “But it is interesting, we’re in this era of texting and I didn’t grow up in the era of texting so I’ve had to acclimate to it a little bit. I still find that it’s a good idea, even though sometimes it feels like you may be imposing to call people and talk to them live as opposed to sending a text ‘Hey, we’re still interested in this guy.’
“I just think you get a lot more information. Not information in a way where you’re trying to extract or manipulate, but when you talk to other teams live you get a lot more of a sense where they are, you might pick up on things they’re looking for or maybe there’s a three-team match that comes up in the course of that conversation. I try and make sure I’m making two or three calls a day to make sure I’m talking to people live and not just shooting out texts all over the place, which is really easy for people to ignore.”
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Zaidi has shared that the Giants will definitely look to add infield depth before the deadline and could survey the starting pitching market as well.
Who the Giants will land, if anyone, remains to be seen. However, rest assured, if there is a phone call to be made, Zaidi and the Giants probably already have done so.
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