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Commence Giants-Trade-Related Freakout In 3...2...1...

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I'm not sure how, or who, or when, but the Giants are probably going to make a trade in the next few weeks for an outfielder. Perhaps it will be Brett Gardner. Perhaps not.

For some people, the words "trade" and "Sabean" automatically cause their thumbs to jab into the air in search of a panic button or the direct line on their mobile network to Sportsphone 68. To those people, nothing I say will convince them otherwise. We're headed for the iceberg, the Beltranberg, the Pierzynsberg, the Garkoberg. All the bergs. Do what you need to do. Hug your knees. Put your head firmly against the seat-back in front of you. Make peace with your goddess.

For the rest of you who prefer to judge actions on a case by case basis, with a long, calm view of history at your fingertips, you've come to the right place. Let me first re-pack my briarwood pipe with my silver tobacco tamper, and adjust the fireplace logs. Ah, what? The hound does that when he dreams of chasing wild hare. Pay him no mind. Now where were we?

Yes. Trades. Prepare yourself. Know the Sabean-era trade list. I've left out a few, but here's the vast, sprawling bulk of them:

1996 Matt Williams for Kent, Tavarez, etc. "I am not an idiot."
1996 JT Snow for Watson/Macey

1997 Robb Nen for three scrubs

1998 Livan for Bump/Grilli
1998 Burks for Hamilton/Stoops/Brester

2000 Henry for Linebrink
2000 Worrell for Mueller

2001 Schmidt for Vogelsong, Vander Wal, Rios
2001 Galarraga for Ozias, Magruder, Ramirez
2001 Shinjo!/Relaford for Estes

2002 Bell for Relaford
2002 Kenny Lofton for Meaux/Diaz

2003 Ponson for Ainsworth/Moss/Hannahan
2003 Brower for Livan

2003 E Young for Bruso
2003 Pierzynski for Nathan/Liriano/Bonser
2004 Franklin/Estrella for Villanueva/Woolard

2005 Finley for Edgardo
2005 Hawkins for Aardsma/J. Williams
2005 Winn for Foppert/Torrealba

2006 Hillenbrand for Chulk/Accardo
2006 Stanton for Martis

2007 R Davis for Morris

2008 Ford/Hammond for Durham

2009 Sanchez for Alderson
2009 Garko for Barnes

2010 Ramon Ramirez for Turpen
2010 Lopez for Bowker/Martinez
2010 Guillen for Pucetas
2010 Main/Ray for Bengie

2011 Beltran for Wheeler
2011 Keppinger for Stoffel/Sosa
2011 O. Cabrera for Neal
2011 Pagan for Torres/Ramirez
2011 Melky for Dirty Sanchez/Verdugo

2012 Kontos for Stewart
2012 Pence for Schierholtz/Rosin/Joseph
2012 Scutaro for Culberson

Spend some time with it. Swish it around in your mouth, see it cling to the sides of the glass. You'll find a few bad trades, just as you would on any GM's list. But Brian Sabean does not get fleeced often. One way of looking at it is through the lens of homegrown talent. The Giants aren't the best drafters in their own division, but they excel at knowing whom to keep and whom to trade or let walk. I went into it in September 2012, and I can't imagine the numbers have changed too much.

Trades extend well beyond homegrown drafted talent, of course, but go back to the list above. Look at the trades before the ill-fated 2003 Pierzynski trade (which, as I and others have pounded our fists about, made a lot of sense at the time). One bell-ringer after another. Even the ones you forgot about: Andres Galarraga! Kenny Lofton! JT Snow! Sabes turned Shawn Estes into Shinjo and David Bell, fercrissakes. Fan is my treasure. Then, 2011, and the Beltran trade. Which, at the time, I continue to insist, made perfect sense.

When you feel the bile rise in your veiny gorge, back away from the Internet and print out that list. Put it in your back pocket. Go for a walk, then when no one is looking, take out the list and rub it on your downy cheek.

The Giants have a ton of heralded minor league pitchers, and historically they're very good at knowing which are expendable. Fairly soon, the Giants will trade for an outfielder, and many people will grumble. Perhaps I will, too. But I submit the odds of the trade looking swell for the Giants in a year, two years, three years, four years down the road, are better than even.  

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